Parental Use of Corporal Punishment on Children: a Literature Review

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Parental Use of Corporal Punishment on Children: A Literature Review

Abstract
In this paper I intend to compare and contrast the views of four scholars on the issue of parental use of corporal punishment on children in terms of the evidence they utilize to substantiate their arguments, their purposes for producing theses four scholarships, and the conclusions they reach. All four sources agree that the corporal punishment may contribute to the violence in a society, but the cause and effect relationship cannot be established due to lack of extensive research. The eventual aim of this paper is to locate one aspect of this topic that researchers have not yet adequately addressed. The conclusion that I reach is that researchers in this branch of scholarship do not seem to focus much of their attention on the socioeconomic aspect of corporal punishment, which presumably plays an important role in a child’s upbringing.

In this paper I will examine four pieces of scholarship that endeavour to increase our knowledge of the parental use of corporal punishment on children. The four pieces of scholarship examined here are David Bentar’s “Corporal Punishment,” Joan McCord’s “Questioning the Value of Punishment,” Murray A. Straus’ “Spanking and the Making of a Violent Society,” and Murray A. Straus and Denise A. Donnelly’s “Corporal Punishment of Adolescents by American Parents.” Here I will compare and contrast the evidence they utilize to substantiate their arguments, their purposes for producing theses four scholarships, and the conclusions they reach. I conclude this analysis by isolating issues that have not been sufficiently addressed by these scholars and by recommending, on the basis of this limited study, some productive directions scholar in this field of research might pursue.

My four sources utilize different kinds of evidence to substantiate their arguments: while Bentar relies heavily on logical persuasion to demonstrate that corporal punishment should...
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