The Instigator
Pro (for)
The Contender
Con (against)

Corporal Punishment Is Wrong

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/23/2017 Category: Society
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 1,203 times Debate No: 106090
Debate Rounds (4)
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In this debate, I will be arguing that corporate punishment in schools, homes, or other places is a wrong way to teach your child a lesson.

Definition, according to

Law. physical punishment, as flogging, inflicted on the body of one convicted of a crime: formerly included the death penalty, sentencing a term of years, etc.

physical punishment, as spanking, inflicted on a child by an adult or authority.

I will be mostly targeting home and school corporal punishment.

Round 1: Acceptance ONLY
Round 2: Arguments ONLY
Round 3: Rebuttals ONLY
Round 4: Rebuttals and Conclusion

Let's keep this professional.


I accept both of those definitions from and I am ready for this debate.
Debate Round No. 1


I would like to thank my opponent for their acceptance in this debate. Round 2 are arguments only, so let's start with that. First, I'll start with parental corporal punishment.

Parental Corporal Punishment

1. Hitting is frequently done impulsively.

A study shows that parents are more likely to spank or hit their child almost immediately. In 10 minute audio recordings, it seems like the child is getting hit without them explaining why they have done their behavior. Parents usually hit out of frustration without actually thinking about the severity of what that child has done. They also spank their child for minor infractions, not just major ones. The practice of hitting a child is recommended to be the last resort, however, according to these studies, they seem to be doing it impulsively. They also recommend doing it once or twice however these audio recordings show them hitting their child a lot more than that. Basically, parents are abusing or overexaggerating moments to use the practice of corporal punishment. To extend on this, Holden states: "From the audio, we heard parents hitting their children for the most extraordinarily mundane offenses, typically violations of social convention. Also, corporal punishment wasn't being used as a last resort. On average, parents hit or spanked just half a minute after the conflict began." [1]

2. Hitting causes externalization of behavior and increases in aggression.

A study from Michael Mackenzie of Columbia University indicated that maternal spanking at age 5 was associated with greater aggression and rule-breaking by the time children were age 9. In addition, lower scores on vocabulary tests by the age of 9 were also associated with the use of spanking at age 5. [2]

3. Hitting children affects their development.

A study from Akemi Tomoda (et al.) showed that harsh corporal punishment reduced children’s gray matter, which processes information in the brain. Another study showed that corporal punishment had a bidirectional relationship with a lower cognitive ability, meaning that parents tend to hit children with lesser cognitive ability more frequently (most likely out of frustration), and children who experience corporal punishment often had a lower cognitive ability as a result. These negative effects on the brain can surely be connected to the increased aggression and externalization of behavior found in the other studies. [2] [3] [4]

3.1 Hitting causes mental illnesses.

The study, named "Physical Punishment and Mental Disorders: Results From a Nationally Representative U.S. Sample," is released in the August edition of Pediatrics, which is online July 2nd.

It states clearly that children who are spanked, hit or pushed have an increased risk of mental problems when they grow older. The research seems to show that the effect can range from mood and anxiety disorders to drug and alcohol abuse. Around 2% to 7% of children are affected by physical punishment. [5]

Secondly, I'll talk about only one argument I have for school corporal punishment.

Corporal Punishment in Schools

Corporate punishment causes lower academic success.

Aside from the infliction of pain and the physical injuries which often result from the use physical punishments, these violent disciplinary methods also impact students' academic achievement and long-term well-being.[6] Despite significant evidence that corporal punishment is detrimental to a productive learning environment, there is currently no federal prohibition on the use of physical discipline against children in public school. In fact, children in some states receive greater protection against corporal punishment in detention facilities than they do in their public schools.[7] For this reason and others, the ACLU and HRW are encouraged that this subcommittee is seeking to address the problems stemming from corporal punishment in schools.[8]

Those are my arguments for round 2.







[6] See generally A Violent Education, at 57; Impairing Education, at 4-5.

[7] Corporal punishment of children in juvenile justice facilities have been prohibited by the Courts of Appeals in several Federal Circuits. See Nelson v. Heyne, 491 F.2d 352 (7th Cir. 1974), cert. denied 417 U.S. 476 (paddling of children in juvenile detention was a violation of the Eighth Amendment's ban on cruel and unusual punishment); Morales v. Turman, 562 F.2d 993, 998 (5th Cir. 1977) (corporal punishment and physical abuse in juvenile detention facilities subject to prohibition as a violation of Eighth Amendment), rev'd on other grounds, 535 F.2d 864 (5th Cir. 1976), rev'd and remanded, 430 U.S. 322 (1977). See also,Santana v. Collazo, 533 F. Supp. 966 (D.P.R. 1982) (corporal punishment against juveniles in industrial schools and juvenile camps violates Eighth Amendment and is barred "for any reason"), aff'd in part and vacated in part, 714 F.2d 1172 (lst Cir. 1983), cert. denied, 466 U.S. 974 (1984). The American Correctional Association has also issued standards banning use of corporal punishment in juvenile facilities. See also Steven J. Martin, Staff Use of Force in United States Confinement Settings, 22 Wash. U. J.L. & Pol'y 145 (2006). In addition, corporal punishment and other harsh disciplinary practices are prohibited in publicly-funded non-medical substance abuse and long-term medical care facilities. See, e.g., 42 U.S.C. § 290jj (banning corporal punishment in "non-medical community-based facilities for children and youth."); 42 C.F.R. § 483.13 (banning corporal punishment in long-term medical care facilities).


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Here are a few of my arguments for corporal punishment.
1. Corporal punishment sets clear boundaries and motivates children to behave in school. If children are clearly given the fact that if they misbehave, they will be given corporal punishment, then this will make them more aware of what will happen to them and will make them think twice about their actions. A lot of the time corporal punishment is not told clearly enough to the child and they do not understand the consequences of their actions, and therefore misbehave.
2. Another argument for corporal punishment is that it is quick. Other forms of punishment such as detention or suspension in schools can hurt the student because the student can miss school, and waste hours on top of hours sitting in detention, while corporal punishment is quick and takes a second. So non corporal punishment can ultimately be a waste of time.
3. A study showed that kids who have corporal punishment misbehave less. In other words it deters misbehavior. If we have corporal punishment kids will not misbehave as much because of misbehavior.
4. Young children are not able to discern right and wrong to the decree that older age kids are. For example, if a young kid were to stick his finger in an electrical socket, then if you give them a smaller dose of pain, then it will teach them not to do life threatening things. Little kids don't understand being grounded. They don't understand their being punished. Rather with corporal punishment toddlers know that their experiencing pain and it teaches them not to do the wrong thing.
5. As corporal has decreased in public schools and home, you would expect to seem a decrease in misbehavior, but that hasn't been the case. This is why corporal punishment is better. It shows kids that they will be given physical pain if they misbehave.
In conclusion, corporal punishment should be allowed.

Sources used
2. soapboxie
Debate Round No. 2


I like to thank my opponent for his arguments in round 2. I will make my rebuttals to Round 2 here in Round 3.

1. Corporal Punishment sets clear boundaries and motivates children to behave in school.

Con adds to this by stating if the child is aware that they will be given corporal punishment, they will be more aware and prevent further bad actions/behaviors.

Punishing the child for these behaviors, though it may be tempting, is not the way to go since it gives the impression that having the emotions in the first place is a bad thing.

Klein suggests that rather than scolding a child for acting out, "Helping a child understand their negative emotion (anger, sadness) and in time learn to understand why they feel as they do will help them develop competence socially and emotionally. So, empathizing with a child, rather than scolding them, while setting a limit (i.e., "I understand you are angry, but I can't let you hit.") bears better outcomes later than scolding and punishing the young child."

Rather than "shutting down" a child's emotions, help your child see that you understand his frustration and it's OK to feel that way -- but that there's a better way to express it. [1]

Con continues adding by stating that corporal punishment is not told clearly enough to the child, resulting misbehaviors.

While this is true in some cases, parents are more likely to scold and give them other punishments, other than corporal punishment. Groundings, lectures, limits, etc. are a few examples of parent's different options to punish their child, other than corporal punishment.

2. Corporal punishment is quick.

Con takes this the school punishment way, by stating that other forms of punishment such as detention or suspension in schools can hurt the student because they can miss school and waste time.

Sure, maybe while they are serving their punishments... but have you forgotten that the students will be then given all of the homework AND lessons when they come back to school? Teachers are not required but are heavily recommended to evaluate what they have learned. They can even have times before or after school so that the child can be privately taught what they have missed and must know. Therefore, resulting in the child gaining back their miss knowledge during detentions or suspensions. Therefore, non-corporal punishments are not a waste of time and can teach their child a lesson. It would only be a waste of time if the school gives detentions or suspensions for absurd reasons, which seems to be increasing over the years.

3. A study shows that kids who have corporal punishment misbehave less.

While my own arguments in Round 2 refute this claim, I must add something that this argument has made me remembered. Corporal punishment is child abuse and can cause trauma.

In some cases—depending on the number of reports made, the severity of the abuse, and the available community resources—children may be separated from their parents and grow up in group homes or foster care situations, where further abuse can happen either at the hands of other abused children who are simply perpetuating a familiar patterns or the foster parents themselves. In 2004, 517,000 children were living in foster homes, and in 2005, a fifth of reported child abuse victims was taken out of their homes after child maltreatment investigations. [2] Sometimes, children do go back to their parents after being taken away, but these statistics are slim. It's easy to imagine that foster care and group home situations, while they may ease the incidence of abuse in a child's life, can lead to further types of alienation and trauma.

For children that have suffered from abuse, it can be complex getting to the root of childhood trauma in order to alleviate later symptoms as adults. The question is, how does child abuse turn into Post Traumatic Stress Disorder later in life? What are the circumstances that cause this to happen in some cases and not others? [3] Therefore, the reason those have corporal punishment misbehave less is that of damaged family relationships and trauma.

4. Young children learn the dangers if you give them the pain of those dangers.

The child will only learn the true way of those dangers if they experience it. If the child almost dies, why in any way would you want to hurt your child because they legitimately almost died? If you love them that much, you should be more or so having a heart attack than actually hurting your own child so they understand the pain of those dangers. It's best to keep them fully safe than experience any pain at all. It may cause trauma as well, they can be incredibly scared of those situations and can be bad if adults can do it themselves, not children.

5. As corporal punishment decreased in schools, misbehavior has not decreased.

I will not be refuting this argument fully if you do not show the proof (or the FULL link to the source) of where you find the proof.

Those are my rebuttals for Round 3. I take the floor to Con.
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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Autistic_Spider 2 years ago
Some azz whoopins can help (whether grown/child or peer/peer) but most are just destructive. i guess the biggest difference probably has to do with some of those factors mentioned in pro's 1st argument. Intent to correct, motive to protect, purpose/goal to prevent while understanding matures and perhaps keeping the size of pain dispersed appropriately in perspective with the magnitude of misbehavior being corrected are the most important factors in 'dishing out' a valuable and helpful azz whoopin. Though in most common practice corporal punishment is shown to cause more neuropsychological problems and behavior issues this is likely due to the manner, frequency and intensity of azz whoopin rather than azz whoopin itself and as pro mentioned, those giving azz whoopin often are motivated by self interest, frustration or other motives that do not primarily consider what is 'good for' the whooped which is probably more to blame than the act of whoopin azz for empirical data showing overwhelmingly that corporal punishment is damaging to development.

As far as correcting dangerous or problem decision making, like it or not, azz whoopin can be and is both effective and efficient to this end and if given thoughtfully rather than selfishly and impulsive can be a useful aid to 'proper home trainin'. Also, don't ignore that in much of the animal world parents inflict pain as part of how they teach their pups and peers use it to establish and maintain personal boundaries in group settings.
Posted by RichardCarter 2 years ago
Okay, so... different mistake. I forgot to recite my sources for Round 3. Uh... here.



Posted by RichardCarter 2 years ago
Okay, so I made a mistake. Fixable.
Posted by ethandude9 2 years ago
lol "corporate punishment" i'm sure you know what you're talking about
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