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Arguments Against Corporal Punishment

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“The right of corporal punishment is one that plagues this society” -Fyodor Dostoevsky. Corporal punishment is a method to inflict physical pain on a child in order to attempt to discipline them. The most common methods include spanking and paddling. Corporal punishment is a cruel and unjust way to teach kids a lesson, and should without a doubt, be prohibited, as it causes physical and mental damage and even reduces cognitive abilities within a minor.

Being abused can be a traumatizing event, especially to children under the age of 12. A study done by Harvard students show corporal punishment does not in fact improve behavior in the long run, but only seems to cause mental and physical distress. About 60% of minors who have been abused still suffer from the trauma of their childhood punishments. For example, a child named Joshua, a sixth-grader at Alvarado Intermediate School in Alvarado, Texas, had a terrible decision to make; whether to accept a five-day in-school suspension or be struck three times with a paddle. Sadly, he chose to be hit with a paddle. But following his punishment, Joshua had nightmares for over a year, and pleaded for his parents to homeschool him. In addition, he had bruises that lasted months on end. Rendering him unable to lay down without excruciating pain, all for the simple mistake of talking back. Corporal punishment has been associated with behavioral disorders, anxiety disorders, depression, suicide attempts, low self-esteem, and finally emotional instability. Research done by the Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School In, Boston, MA, USA shows that youngsters' brains are altered when frequently abused. These children have less grey matter, which in return can cause numerous mental disorders. Grey matter is what is considered as the intelligence of the brain. And with a lack of grey matter comes less intelligence, thus causing these health issues.

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Mental disorders aren’t the only response to having a decrease in grey matter, and it can also reduce the child’s cognitive ability, known commonly by its alias IQ (Intelligence Quotient). With reduced IQ comes bad decision making, the ability to reason and solve problems, and finally self-control. Because of this, many kids who went through corporal punishment often react to things with a violent manner and do not tend to make the correct decisions. This often leads to drug abuse and criminal records. An article written by Molly S. Castelloe, who holds a doctorate from New York University in theater and psychology shows that 86% of criminals have experienced a form of Corporal punishment during their childhood. Additionally, children who receive frequent Corporal punishment are much more likely to drop out of high school than their fellow peers. This is caused by the mental instability in the child’s life, especially the stress levels.

Many parents today still believe that punishing their own child with physical harm will immediately fix their behavioral problems. While it may be true that spanking can correct behavior in the short term, there are a number of long-term effects, including mental and physical harm, along with reduced cognitive abilities. Unless you want to suffer from anxiety or have a limited IQ, you should join the fight, to once and for all abolish corporal punishment from the world.

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Arguments Against Corporal Punishment. (2022, March 18). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 4, 2023, from
“Arguments Against Corporal Punishment.” Edubirdie, 18 Mar. 2022,
Arguments Against Corporal Punishment. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 4 Dec. 2023].
Arguments Against Corporal Punishment [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Mar 18 [cited 2023 Dec 4]. Available from:
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