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Use the carrot, not the stick: a view on corporal punishment - page 4 / 7





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performance.16 A more alarmist finding is from Hyman et al17 (1977), on the psychological disorder ‘Educationally Induced Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (EIPSID) drawing alarmist parallels with Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome. Further studies also suggest a racial link with corporal punishment, Harvard professor Alvin Poussaint indicating that over 80% of black prison inmates were severely punished or neglected as children and that the more children are beaten the more likely they are to use violence in responding to problems.18

To conclude, academic studies and sources find corporal punishment to be highly detrimental to child development, particularly cognitively and its implementation likely results in long-lasting psychological effects.

Another issue to be considered is the historical context of corporal punishment, or rather how corporal punishment became an issue considering it had been standard practice historically in education. Particularly in the post-war period, Human Rights have become a global standard for the treatment of human beings, particularly the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. An increased intensity of integrated human activity, has created the grounds for a more internationalised world, in particular international standards that have had positive effects on previously underrepresented groups. Racial and gender equality have certainly taken strides, as have those of the rights of children on the international scene. In this context corporal punishment has become an issue, and as such has been fully outlawed (including in the home) in over twenty countriesi, and as such it should be seen that as the rights of other groups have progressed and historical norms been overturned, so too should the issue of corporal punishment.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights19 article 5 states;

No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

The above research and definition of corporal punishment as the intentional application of physical pain as a method of changing behaviour fulfils the definition as a cruel and degrading punishment and as such corporal punishment is incompatible with the UDHR. Furthermore the 1989 Convention on the rights of the Child further focuses on child20 context, article 19.1 stating;

"States Parties shall take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child

from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or

i Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Japan, Latvia, Moldova, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Ukraine. It is illegal in schools (but not the home) in some US states, Russia, Belarus, China, United Kingdom etc

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