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Corporal Punishment

This is a very controversial topic. Do you think spanking should be used for disciplinary purposes? And, what disciplinary techniques do you think or inappropriate/effective?

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Let's take a closer look at both sides of the controversy and arguments presented for and against corporal punishment to help you position yourself.


1. This is a very controversial topic- do you think spanking should be used for disciplinary purposes? And what disciplinary techniques do you think or inappropriate/effective?

There is evidence on both sides of this controversy. You will have to position yourself and argue from one stance.

In the United State and Canada, spanking children is not a crime under criminal law (see For example, in ALABAMA, parent/guardian/person responsible for care and supervision of a minor/teacher or other person responsible for care and supervision of a minor for a special purpose may use reasonable and appropriate physical force when and to the extent he reasonably believes it necessary and appropriate to maintain discipline or promote welfare of the child. Sec. 13A-3-24. [Cr.] (See other state laws at

The factors usually taken into consideration to determine whether a punishment is excessive are:

1) Whether a mark is left and the length of time the mark remains after the punishment.

2) Whether the physical force was applied out of anger.

3) The age of the child.

4) Whether the punishment had a traumatic impact on the child (

For other countries' corporal punishment laws, click for laws on the following countries. Interesting, in Canadian law, whipping is still considered a punishment, even for adolescents for some crimes, although it might not be still used:
Afghanistan ¦ Anguilla ¦ Australia ¦ Bahamas ¦ Bangladesh ¦ Barbados ¦ Belize ¦ Bermuda ¦ Botswana ¦ Brunei ¦ Canada ¦ China ¦ Cyprus ¦ Egypt ¦ Ethiopia ¦ Fiji ¦ Germany ¦ Ghana ¦ Grenada ¦ Guatemala ¦ Hong Kong ¦ India ¦ Ireland ¦ Isle of Man ¦ Jamaica ¦ Korea ¦ Malaysia ¦ New Zealand ¦ Pakistan ¦ Palestine ¦ Papua New Guinea ¦ Qatar ¦ St Vincent ¦ Saudi Arabia ¦ Singapore ¦ Sierra Leone ¦ Somalia ¦ South Africa ¦ Sudan ¦ Swaziland ¦ Sweden ¦ Tanzania ¦ Thailand ¦ Tonga ¦ Trinidad & Tobago ¦ United Arab Emirates ¦ United Kingdom ¦ United States ¦ Zambia ¦ Zimbabwe (


There is a growing body of empirical evidence suggesting that corporal punishment, such as spanking a child has negative implications for later adult adjustment e.g. higher prevalence of drug and alcohol abuse, mental disorders, cognitive disturbances, etc in adults who were spanked compared to adults who were not spanked by the parents (

Similarly, according to UNESCO (n.d), corporal ...

Solution Summary

This solution fully details the arguments for sides of the debate on corporal punishment. In this way it addresses the questions: Should spanking be used for disciplinary purposes? What disciplinary techniques are inappropriate or effective? Supplemented with a research article on the corporeal punishment debate.