Writing Assignment #4

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Jenna Willis
Argumentative Paper
English 101
4 December 2012
“Corporal punishment remains a widely used discipline technique in most American families, but it has also been a subject of controversy within the child development and psychological communities.” (Gershoff) Corporal punishment is not only spanking your child but it is the effects that hitting your child can have. Studies have shown multiple outcomes of corporal punishment, some which have not resulted to be positive. There is so much behind disciplining a child stemming from emotions, force, and frequency. A child should not be disciplined to the severity where it will in turn affect them for the rest of their lives. Corporal punishment is severely damaging physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially to children and should not be allowed in any home.

Some will argue that corporal punishment is okay because it teaches your child right from wrong. An interview done a parent stated that they used the action of spanking their children and they believe that is taught them right from wrong. The parents explained that when they would lie, they would get spanked so the next time they thought about lying they would remember of the hurt from the spanking. I then interviewed the children of this family who are now a 12 year old girl and a 16 year old boy. They both stated that they knew right from wrong even when they did the wrong action and would still get consequences for it. The daughter told me a story of her not making her bed one morning. She explained that it is a big deal in their household and the children always are to clean their rooms and make their beds. However, they never had consequences from the action not being done until one day when the dad came home to find her bed unmade, she was beaten pretty severely. This happened 3 years ago and she stated that she remember it as though it happened yesterday. They both then went on to share that their parents expected them to live perfect lives and in front of their parents they did. Away from their parents was a whole different story they both shared. They both said that on a regular basis they would sneak out of the house at night, go to parties every weekend and get drunk, sleep around but always make sure their life at home is in order, including their grades. I went on to ask why they did such actions and they both agreed that the discipline in their home and the expectancy to live a so called perfect life leads them to figure out life outside their “bubble.”

Studies have proven the severity of corporal punishment that have affected the lives of many. “The more often or more harshly a child was hit, the more likely they are to be aggressive or to have mental health problems.” (Gershoff) Emotional trauma affects the American population more than those even speak about. Corporal punishment involves a lot of actions. It is not just spanking your child but also emotionally abusing them, verbally abusing them, and the most noticed is the physical abuse. The results of corporal punishment also involve children using drugs, hanging out with “the wrong crowd”, early sexual relationships, getting involved with gangs or even prostitution.

Physical aggression towards a child results in nothing positive for the children. Children who have had mild to severe physical aggression towards them usually wind up that way as adults. There is a domino effect that is happening in today’s society with homes who stand for corporal punishment. Laying your hands on your children is not the only way for discipline and when doing so, you are then affecting your child and generations to come with permanent damage psychologically, emotionally, and even physically.

Many studies have shown negative effects with children who experienced corporal punishment. “Over 90% of parents of toddlers spank or use other forms of corporal punishment. Although the rate declines each year from about age five, this study of a large...
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