Corporal punishment of children is serious business


It was encouraging to recently read an article by Sir Frank Peters on the harmful effects of corporal punishment on children. As the author of The Primordial Violence: Spanking Children, Psychological Development, Violence, and Crime (Routledge, 2013) from which Sir Frank gathered material for his article, I fully agree with all the comments made. .

Corporal punishment of children is serious business, as the scientific evidence in this book shows, which is based on large samples from many countries. These studies, and more than 100 others, found that corporal punishment increased the likelihood of many things parents in all countries hope will not happen to their children, including:

* A weaker bond between parent and child
* Lower IQ
* Antisocial behavior and delinquency
* Depression
* Violence and sexual coercion of wives and husbands and romantic partners.

Corporal punishment usually stops bad behavior in the immediate situation, but parents and teachers have no way of seeing the long-term effects such as depression or hitting a spouse because they don’t manifest themselves before. months or years later.

Like all harmful events, most people who experience them do not suffer any harm. For example, while one-third of heavy smokers die from smoking-related illnesses, two-thirds of them do not suffer the same fate. Likewise, only a small percentage of soldiers in combat end up with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Corporal punishment of children is a serious matter given that only a fraction of those who experience a harmful event like a slap are actually harmed, those who have been slapped a lot may believe it is harmless, especially if their culture says that it is sometimes necessary.

What this really means is that they are part of the lucky majority who have been slapped a lot and not harmed.

Harmful effects may not appear for months or even years later. This makes the connection between the behavior problem and being slapped when they were young even less likely. It should also be understood, although corporal punishment has only a low probability of harming a child, it is almost certain that it harms the nation.

How can this be? This is because in most countries almost all children are slapped in the face. Therefore, the number of children who later develop these problems overall, although only one percent of children who are spanked have their IQs lowered, depressed, or hitting their spouse.

Therefore, for every million children who are spanked, “only one percent” means 10,000 with lower IQs, depression, or spouse abuse when they are adults.

From my extensive research on the subject, over a period of four decades, I can categorically state that corporal punishment is not beneficial to a child or to society as a whole and I fully agree with Sir Frank Peters for say that sooner they will be abolished worldwide in homes. and the schools, the better the nation and the world would be

The author is a former professor emeritus of sociology who was co-director of the Family Research Laboratory at the University of New Hampshire and widely regarded as the most eminent researcher in his field. Professor Straus had studied corporal punishment since 1969 and had received numerous honors and awards for his research. This is one of the last articles he wrote before his death on May 13, 2016.


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