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Does Corporal Punishment do more Bad than Good?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/2/2015 Category: People
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 511 times Debate No: 80453
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)




There are four rounds, each argument with a limitation of 10,000 characters. You have 72 hours for each argument, and I want to see good points. For each argument you may start by responding to the previous points made, then a new argument (only make 1-3 arguments each round, but responses are unlimited.)
I will be arguing that corporal punishment is mostly negative, and that it isn't a practical way to discipline a child.Corporal punishment includes (but is not limited to) spanking, slapping any part of the body, pinching, etc.
I personally believe that Corporal Punishment is not only unnecessary, but also detrimental to a child's growth. There are better ways of dealing with a child and I feel that by punishing children this way it causes damage to them mentally and creates negatively affects their growth socially and in general. It should be banned in all schools so that children won't have to deal with something so unecessary and useless.
Corporal punishment has only been banned in the United States in only 31 of our states. The states which allow corporal punishment are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wyoming. The first state to ban corporal punishment was the state of New Jersey, which is doing extremely well in education.

Argument 1: It does NOT help a child do better in school.
By searching for the states with the best education, it becomes clear that the states that allow corporal punishment are not on the list. In fact, several of them appear on the worst educated lists (1)(2)(3) It does nothing to assist in the child's learning ability, and in fact could worsen it.(4)
When a child gets hit they become more withdrawn, they become fearful of coming back to school and become uninterested and disconnected from learning. School needs to be a safe and caring place for children, especially for children coming from broken homes or that have mental/physical disorders. This creates a greatly negative environment for children to learn, and they will feel humiliated from the punishment.

Argument 2: Minorities and children with disabilities become main targets.
It should be fairly self-evident that students with disabilities are generally more unruly, especially Autistic children. The problem with this is the fact that this is mostly due to their own mental disability, which is out of their control and causes teachers to target them more for corporal punishment.
The worst of it all is that this will due heavier damage to mentally disabled children than mentally healthy children, which ruins their chances of going home without being bruised by an impatient teacher.
Another self-evident point is that the United States is a racist country, and that is reflected in the people's thoughts and actions. Many states with corporal punshment are Southern, and racism is openly prevelant (just saying.) This is an open opprotunity for teachers to take out their bigotry (towards any group, really) and overall agression on a student, epsecially since there are no consequences for doing so.
Argument 3: Would you allow this to happen to you?
If a husband hits his wife its abuse, if an adult hits another adult its assault, but if anyone hits a child its "discipline?" People would never accept "I hit my wife because she refused to this" or "I hit my co-worker because he was acting unruly" so why is there a sudden acception with children?
Children most of the time don't even understand the consequences of their actions, so they should be treated better than a full grown adult who understood what they were doing.
I personally feel that the only way to recieve a child's full respect is to treat them as an equal. If they wouldn't act that unruly with their friends, then why does it have to be different with you? There are better ways of dealing with children, and there are so many parents who succeded in making their children considerate and respectful without hitting them.
Also don't misunderstand me, I am fully opposed to spoiling a child, but saying "I won't slap you across the face today" isn't spoiling, its being a decent human being.

I hope to see some good counter-claims and thorough evidence, but I also hope that by the end of this you realize that everyone needs to be treated with respect and love for them to even give a sh*t about what you have to say.
Thank you.

(Check VII. Impact of Corporal Punishment)


Corporal punishment has been a method of effective discipline in many cultures worldwide. It can help shape attitude and discipline of children worldwide, and help shape the person they will be when they mature. Before I begin my constructive arguments, I would just like to point out that corporal punishment also includes punishment at home, or anywhere outside of a school setting.

Argument 1: Children who have not been punished enough, have a high chance of redoing that action. Children will notice that consequences of misbehaving are light, and they will not be afraid of authority because they know authority will punish them lightly, and thus are likely to reoffend. Therefore, a low amount of punishment would equal a higher rate of recidivism. Heavy punishment drives young people away from misbehaving and therefore would shape their future actions.

Argument 2: Children should be punished for their actions, to instill into them the consequences of various actions in the real world.

Side opposition believes that by school age, children should be able to possess, to a certain degree, of reasoning. Many schools teach about empathy, and as well to know how others feel when you do something. Side opposition firmly believes that a child misbehaving is misbehaving after all, and should be punished in proportion to their actions, instead of receiving a "talk" or a timeout.

Argument 3:Children punished withcorporal punishment generally possess good values, and are generally more civilized and mature compared to those who have not.

Corporal punishment often makes children fear of authority. In the real world, that "authority" is the police and government. As an example, children in previous years when corporal punishment was allowed, no student would dare to use vulgar language in front of teachers. However, in our current society, when corporal punishment is outlawed, students freely use obscenities, insult teachers and other beings, and all we can do to punish them is to tell them to not to do it again.

The civilness of current modern day society has been declining ever since the beginning of the 90's. Children have become more rowdy and less mature. In many Asian cultures where corporal punishment is generally agreed to, and recommended, students are very mature and obedient, even in grade 1; whereas in American cultures where the schooling system is more liberal, students are out of control. Many misbehaving students later on turn into a life of crime, because they do not know how authority and punishment works. Many actions, like lying, may seem unimportant and are a habit for many children. However, if that has not been dealt with, then it becomes a habit, and in the real world, they would be incarcerated for making false statements. School is not only a place to educate, but also a place to prepare children for the real world, and the preparations include making children better people by instilling morals and ethics, as well as knowing the consequences of actions.

Response to argument 1: Side opposition believes that one act of disobedience is one act of disobedience, and should be punished accordingly. Side opposition believes that it doesn't matter if it makes them feel embarrassed, because they did something that may have hurt someone else.

Response to argument 2/3: Corporal punishment is not abuse.
There is a strict, well marked line between abuse and corporal punishment. Abuse is targeted at a certain group, and many times are strategically planned out. One or two strikes of a light to moderate force with a meter stick on the buttocks are not considered abuse, but contrariwise, several strikes of a high force is considered abuse. As well, side opposition believes that children are under the authority of their parents, or school staff, whereas the case in couples are under the authority of either spouse. Side opposition believes that our opponents are trying to compare apples to oranges here, they simply don't compare.

If a teacher is found to be only giving corporal punishment to a certain group of minorities or disabled students, then it should arise concern. In today's modern world, any sort of bigotry is already attacked quickly, and the world comes out to support them, as seen in the example of #IStandWithAhmed.

Closing statement: Side proposition is on the side of a liberal, modern train of thought. But however, in this modern day and age, modern ways of discipline do not simply work, and it is up to the good traditional methods of punishment, especially corporal punishment to discipline unruly behaviour in children. Side opposition proposes that the benefits of using corporal punishment will outweigh the cons greatly, and is in favour of using this form of punishment. Side opposition, again, does not see the correlation in between corporal punishment and doing better in school, because those two are separate things. Nor does third argument, as children are under the authority of either the school or their parents, whereas in a marriage for example, neither spouse is at the authority of the other. In this debate, side opposition would like to see more of the long-term effects of corporal punishment. Side opposition is proud to oppose.

Debate Round No. 1


(This part I will spend a lot of it explaining the alternative to corporal punishment, but please check out the sources for more information on the topic.)

First of all, where is your evidence to back up what you’re saying? I found several studies that has shown Corporal Punishment does more bad than good, but you did not show any opposing research.

“Physical punishment can work momentarily to stop problematic behavior because children are afraid of being hit, but it doesn’t work in the long term and can make children more aggressive, Graham-Bermann says.”(1)

Obviously if a parent does it once out of impulse then it won’t do anything, but you are encouraging corporal punishment as a regular form of controlling children.

Even when it comes to raising a pet such as a dog, most people would never lay their hands on them. They would just scold them, and eventually they learn to listen. Believe me, I have no experience with raising a child or pet. However I’d still consider myself to be a child, and I find that to be a better point of view to see that from. I am also heavily interested in psychology because it has improved my life greatly. Of course I haven’t solved all my problems, but I am well on my way and I can recognize what the problem actually is.


I also believe that children should feel bad for their actions, I just think physical punishment is a bad way to do it. Mental problems are heavily underrated especially in the U.S., and it causes a lot of problems in not only our country, but the world.

Children should be raised with the mentality that if they do something wrong, then they’ve hurt someone. If you show them that while they are very young, then they could feel more empathetic and sympathetic for others. With that mentality, then children won’t always need someone to tell them it’s wrong, and they can figure it out for themselves. In order to have a well-educated child, they would need to put the pieces together for themselves, then parents won’t have to continuously tell them what to do.

With corporal punishment it would not be nearly as effective. I like to compare it to giving rewards (such as candy) for doing homework. If you offer something if they do (or don’t do) something, then once you don’t offer it they will actually do it. Basically (for rewards) if you ran out of candy, then the child will refuse to do something because they expect the reward. (For punishment) If you don’t punish them for doing something and just yell at them, then they have a chance to disobey you. (I’ve done that before.)

Unless the child chooses to do something good on their own accord, then they will never effectively learn what to do and what not to do. I won’t be able to consider them a good person if they only do something under the threat of punishment, and no one else should either. It is this logical thinking that parents should use with their child.


You might ask: Well, how do you expect parents to punish their children then?

It isn’t necessarily about punishment (that one-track thinking will get you nowhere) but it is about the child learning that what they did was wrong. Also if you want to do it in the most effective way, I suggest studying psychology, because it can help you with almost any interaction, not just with your children.

By using alternative methods to raise a child, it can really benefit them. “These alternatives provide parents and other caregivers with a focus on child development. They present strategies which can lead to less violent behavior in children and adults, and they can help decrease the frustration and helplessness in parents which often lead to physical punishment.”(2)

(Please check link #2. It provides alternative methods to corporal punishment, and I’ve learned a lot from it.)

For example, the article states that you should teach a child to use words instead of physical punishment. When a child grows up with being spanked they tend to become more violent (see the link #4 from my last argument, it has a lot of information on the subject such as VII. Impact of Corporal Punishment) If you talk to a child every time something happens, they will be more willing to open up to you, learn to think before they act, and have a lower chance of growing up with a mental disease.

I personally have seen a great positive change in my life once I had gotten a psychotherapist, and I feel much better for it. When you know you have someone to talk to you can really start to look at yourself and finally begin to change all the parts of you that you had no idea that they were there (I have begun to speak more in class and participate in more activities. In addition, my mood has greatly improved.)


“If a teacher is found to be only giving corporal punishment to a certain group of minorities or disabled students, then it should arise concern.” They have done that before, but you never see it on the news. The news only focuses on what will people want to watch, which would be racist cops, mass shootings and anything related to Christianity or Islam. I am also sure that a lot people are not aware about how many states allow corporal punishment either (at least I didn’t know until I Googled it.)


I know that a lot of people might think that children will grow up to be hypersensitive or whatever, but that is obviously not true.

“Emotional intelligence (EQ) is the ability to identify, use, understand, and manage emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges, and defuse conflict.” (4)

EQ is extremely important in social interactions and especially in a work setting. By understanding people’s emotions you can be better liked in your community and become popular (which is vital in a work and social setting.) Using alternative methods to corporal punishment can allow you to increase your child’s EQ, overall benefitting their future.

Also, being raised to understand people’s emotions doesn’t necessarily make you hypersensitive (just in case you thought that would be the situation.) Angry outbursts and hypersensitivity come from suppressed emotions, so expressing them can make a child emotionally stronger.

Corporal punishment is not the answer to children not obeying. If you choose to give your child a better understanding of the situation then they will benefit from it. By giving them psychical punishment, you are acting as if they are inept and cannot understand without the threat of violence, which is the wrong answer. We need to start raising children in the most effective way, and to teach them to be understanding and think for themselves.








pilotharrison forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


I think I’ve already made thorough points against corporal punishment, and I don’t have any more arguments so…

I really encourage anyone who wants to know more about corporal punishment to check out the fourth source in my first argument. Pretty much all the sources in my second argument are for alternative methods of dealing with children.



pilotharrison forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


Corporal punishment is not effective, even though many choose to believe so. There is no evidence to suggest that it is able to discipline chidren, and in fact it has been proven to make them less ruly. Not only that, but it also can cause mental disorders and will lead them to believe that they could use violence to solve their problems.
I personally believe that while corporal punishment is not considered abuse, it should not be used at all, because it isn't useful for any situation. Parents may feel the stress of raising a child, but that gives them no excuse to lay a hand on their child (or a paddle.) If you don't need this discipline with people you regularly interact with, how can it suddenly be necessary with a child. Sometimes I think people treat children more like pets or property based on how much demeaning things children go through. They deserve to be treated like equals, not only because it will improve their behavior but also because they will learn to treat others the same way (don't be a hypocrite.) Parents need to find a positive way to teach their children not to do certain things, and to talk out situations with their children. They will learn to talk things out and become more patient as a result.
Pretty much, corporal punishment does nothing for anyone involved, and so it shouldn't be used anymore.


My apologies for forfeiting round 2 and 3, due to Canadian Thanksgiving and my email notifications not working.
You should read this article called "Making a case for Corporal Punishment". I can't find the link right now.
I go to a school where students are really rowdy, and modern formats of discipline, such as scolding and time-outs do not simply work. I myself in my younger years have been undergoing corporal punishment, and as a result I believe that I am way more civilized than if I had not been.

Corporal Punishment is effective, in ways where people are able to discipline people who cannot be controlled by regular methods of discipline. People need to be fearful of authority, and if control in the form of corporal punishment is not applied, then in our very liberal society of North America, they would do whatever they want. Kids do not want to do whatever they must do, like homework at all. For example for homework,they would not wantto do it. School will teach emotions to students, in grade school.

I gotta cut this short, and I know I probably lost, but good debate.
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Bluepaintcan123 1 year ago
TheDebater_101: Remember to check more than just the first definition.
corporal punishment

1: punishment applied to the body of an offender including the death penalty, whipping, and imprisonment
2: punishment administered by an adult (as a parent or a teacher) to the body of a child ranging in severity from a slap to a spanking

Posted by TheDebater_101 1 year ago
The Definition of Corporal Punishment is:
punishment applied to the body of an offender including the death penalty, whipping, and imprisonment
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by NothingSpecial99 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Con has forfeited multiple rounds. Pro was the only one to use sources. Pro's arguments are more convincing because she used data to back up her claims and Con didn't have any evidence to back up multiple claims.