• Corporal punishment of children -- spanking
  • Corporal punishment/spanking of children: Legal status
  • Religious Attitudes on Corporal Punishment

It was not until 1998 that corporal punishment was outlawed for the few remaining independent schools that retained the practice.

Global Initiative - End All Corporal Punishment Of Children

Schools, Black Children, And Corporal Punishment | HuffPost

 Source: Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children – December 2011
It is, of course, a concern that some parents or teachers might derive sexual gratification from beating children, but is it a reason to eliminate or ban the practice? Someone might suggest that it is, if the anticipated sexual pleasure led to beatings that were inappropriate -- either because children were beaten when they should not have been, or if the punishment were administered in an improper manner. However, if this is the concern, surely the fitting response would be to place limitations on the use of the punishment and, at least in schools, to monitor and enforce compliance. Here we are not without examples to follow. For example, given the intimacy of a medical examination, the doctor-patient relationship is one that is prone to sexual undercurrents. Needless to say, it is a disturbing thought that doctors may be sexually aroused while examining patients, but we cannot (easily) monitor that. Our response then, is to lay down guidelines to curb any abuses that might ensue. I am aware that medical examinations are necessary in a way in which corporal punishment is not, but corporal punishment might nonetheless fulfill an important function.

Corporal punishment and children's externalizing …

Opponents of corporal punishment make regular reference to the frequency and severity of physical punishments that are inflicted upon children. They suggest that corporal punishment "escalates into battering,"5 or at least increases the risk that those who punish will "cross the line to physical abuse."6


19 states still allow corporal punishment in school - …

This is gradually being developed into an overview of the CP situation, past and present, for each country. There are many external and internal links to detailed corporal punishment information, including legal, procedural or practical aspects, from official documents or from reliable published reports.

The arguments raised by those who believe that corporal punishment should never be inflicted are that corporal punishment 1) leads to abuse; 2) is degrading; 3) is psychologically damaging; 4) stems from and causes sexual deviance; 5) teaches the wrong lesson; 6) arises from and causes poor relationships between teachers (or parents) and children; and 7) does not deter. I shall now consider each of these arguments in turn.4


Clearly there are instances of abuse and of abusive physical punishment. But that is insufficient to demonstrate even a correlation between corporal punishment and abuse, and a fortiori a causal relationship. Research into possible links between corporal punishment and abuse has proved inconclusive so far. Some studies have suggested that abusive parents use corporal punishment more than nonabusive parents, but other studies have shown this not to be the case.7 The findings of one study,8 conducted a year after corporal punishment by parents was abolished in Sweden, suggested that Swedish parents were as prone to serious abuse of their children as were parents in the United States, where corporal punishment was (and is) widespread. These findings are far from decisive, but they caution us against hasty conclusions about the abusive effects of corporal punishment.

Corporal punishment is derived from a Latin word meaning body

An offshoot of this section is the pages, organised alphabetically by country and, for the USA, by State. All these schools announce that they use corporal punishment and give varying amounts of detail. There are now about 1,800 of these handbook links, covering Australia (1), Bahamas (2), Barbados (5), Ghana (7), Grenada (1), Kenya (2), Malaysia (9), Nigeria (3), Northern Mariana Islands (2), Pakistan (2), Philippines (2), Singapore (106), South Africa (3), Tanzania (1), Zambia (2), Zimbabwe (4) and the USA (about 1,600).

In the past corporal punishment was by no means limited to children

The fact that there are some parents and teachers who inflict physical punishment in an abusive way does not entail the conclusion that corporal punishment should never be inflicted by anybody. If it did have this entailment, then, for example, the consumption of any alcohol by anybody prior to driving would have to be condemned on the grounds that some people cannot control how much alcohol they consume before driving. Just as we prohibit the excessive but not the moderate use of alcohol prior to driving, so should we condemn the abusive but not the nonabusive use of corporal punishment.