Validity of the Argument Essay

Pages: 3 (987 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Children

SAMPLE EXCERPT . . .
The country did not institute the ban because corporal punishment was a problem necessarily; Sweden instituted the ban as an experiment and challenge to the parents of the culture to find more innovative and effective ways to discipline their children without the use of physical harm. The ban also was an attempt to curb physical abuse with even earlier interventions by the appropriate family or social service agencies.

In America, corporal punishment is considered by many parents to be culturally normative behavior. Furthermore, as Turner & Finkelhor will contend, the exercise of corporal punishment is critical to the perceptions of parents within parental culture. Meaning this is an issue that polarizes the parental community based on how each parent responds to the question of corporal punishment in the home on the children. It is interesting how in this particular country how corporal punishment is a defining characteristic of a parent within the overall parental culture.

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Straus (1991) found that 84% of a national sample of adults agreed that a "good, hard spanking is sometimes necessary." Parents who refuse to use corporal punishment on children are viewed as too lenient and ineffective -- in essence, "poor" parents (Carson, 1986). Consistent with these norms, almost all parents use corporal punishment on their toddlers (Straus, 1991, 1994). While the prevalence of corporal punishment declines with the age of the child, it still remains high even into adolescence. Recently, Straus and Donnelly (1993) found that almost half of the children in early adolescence experience corporal punishment by a parent. Moreover, adolescents report being physically punished at a median frequency of four times per year…A variety of negative health and behavioral outcomes suggests that acts involving physical punishment are stressful for children. (Turner & Finkelhor, 1996, 155)

Essay on Validity of the Argument and Assignment

Thus in the U.S.A., corporal punishment is more frequent and extends longer into life than relative to some other countries who practice corporal punishment on their children. This quotation provides insight as to how and what corporal punishment means to parents, and it also foreshadows what kinds of results parents may expect in the future because of corporal punishment. This would be interesting to consider in relation to general patterns in American culture overall. How can corporal punishment on the familial level be traced or connected to American behaviors on a societal level? The possibility is clear. For youth, corporal punishment may be an effective deterrent to some forms of behavior, but depending on the context and the intensity/frequency of its use, corporal punishment does more bad than good for the characters of young people.

References:

Durrant, Joan E. "Evaluating the Success of Sweden's Corporal Punishment Ban." Child Abuse & Neglect, Vol. 23, No. 5, 435 -- 448, 1999.

Straus, Murray A., & Stewart, Julie H. "Corporal Punishment by American Parents: National Data on Prevalence, Chronicity, Severity, and Duration, in Relation to Child and Family Characteristics. Clinical Child and Family Psychology, Vol. 2, No. 2, 1999.

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