Corporal punishment has been used in many cultures in history, and it is still used in many countries today. Often, it is effective in reforming bad children. It has no permanent damage, but it sends a strong message to kids who do not listen to authority. If it worked in the past, it can still work today.
Corporal punishment should not be overused. However, in some circumstances, it is that only tool to discipline children. People generally do not comply with the established rules unless they face the threat of some type of negative sanction. This sanction might be a fine/ticket. It might be jail time. Or, for a child, the most serious negative sanction could be corporal punishment. Children are incredibly intuitive and intelligent. If they know that you will bring no serious consequences to bear on them, they will not obey the rules.
Having received corporal punishment at school from the age of 7 through to 17, I grew to fear and disrespect those teachers. At 7 and 8 years of age, I created countless somatic symptoms (pretended to be sick) to avoid going to school. When that no longer worked, I simmered and seethed with hatred towards those who inflicted pain on me. Fortunately, I had many other teachers who refrained from corporal punishment and lavished praise even for my most modest effort and achievements. These teachers, I adored and and I wanted to show them my best. They provided balance. This, and the passing of 30 years dissipated my hatred but I am still saddened by what those strap and cane wielding teachers did to my self esteem.
In the U.K Catholic priest teachers in all but one of elite Benedictine boarding schools have in recent years gone to jail for sexual offences linked with corporal punishment at school. Corporal punishment is a risky strategy with quite sinister possibilities, physical, sexual and psychological. Tradition can not justify it.
Depending on how administered, and by whom, corporal punishment can be linked to sexual abuse.
In the United Kingdom, Catholic priest teachers in all but one of the so-called elite Benedictine boys' boarding schools have in recent years gone to jail after being convicted of sexual abuse of students directly connected with corporal punishment.
Corporal punishment has little effect on behavior of children. Some children who misbehave a lot do so because they have mental health issues, such as bipolar disorder. Some argue that spanking is gone away, but it is very much alive. And yet today's children are indeed more rebellious. What gives? The answer is that the media is perpetuating a societal norm of "me, me, me" instead of concern for your fellow man. You see these "reality" shows. Kids see that, and believe it as what real life is like. It is not that kids aren't being spanked, but that there is a lack of good role models today, even in Washington. Parents can model good behavior for their kids, and limit what they watch on TV. I can tell you that as a kid I wanted to drink because I saw my grandparents drink.