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Corporal Punishment

Jane Ritchie

If you believe that hitting children is right and proper and probably good for them, that it stiffens the moral fibre, gives them a taste of what life is an about, and so on, then no amount of research will change your moral stand on this matter. Some research which showed that punishing children by hitting made them get better exam results might be welcome, but hardly to the point. If they have been naughty and hitting is the accepted punishment, then hit they should be. If you believe that hitting children is wrong, that it is an unacceptable form of punishment for any crime or naughtiness, then there is no need for research. No evidence about changes in behaviour, children's attitudes, or exam results will shake your conviction that hitting is wrong. However, if you are not sure, if you do not see the problem as one of black and white, absolutely good and absolutely bad, right and wrong, then research may be able to describe some of the reasons why children are hit,
some of the consequences of their being hit, and you may have the basis for deciding that hitting or not hitting is the more efficient way of getting what you want.

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