We Must Put an End to Corporal Punishment

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There was an old woman who lived in a shoe

She had so many children she didn't know what to do

She gave them some broth,

Without any bread

Whipped them all soundly, and sent them to bed (Mother Goose).

All across American households, adults whip, spank, paddle, and swat children as a form of acceptable punishment and as deterrent to unwanted behaviors. These actions are considered corporal punishment, and can be defined numerous ways. The American Public Health Association defines corporal punishment as "the infliction of bodily pain as a penalty for behavior disapproved by the punisher"(American Public Health Association). Similarly, the American Medical Association describes it as "the use of force with the intention of causing a child to experience pain, but not injury, for the purpose of correction or control of the child's behavior"(American Medical Association). No matter how it is defined, spanking is a practice that is so widely accepted in American culture that it is even celebrated in this popular Mother Goose children's rhyme. Although many argue that this type of punishment has been effective ever since the "good old days" where kids learned forcefully how to behave, there is a plethora of evidence that shows emphatically that corporal punishment never was, is, or will be an effective means of discipline. In fact, various credible studies and researchers have concluded that corporal punishment causes many undesirable and negative effects on children. Consequently, numerous cases prove that reducing this type of punishment has measurable benefits.

Most research concludes that spanking does result in immediate compliance, but according to Jordan Riak, author and founder of the...

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