Corporal Punishment

corporal punishment, physical chastisement of an offender. At one extreme it includes the death penalty (see capital punishment), but the term usually refers to punishments like flogging, caning, mutilation, and branding. Until c.1800, in many parts of the world, most crimes were punished thus, or by such practices as confinement in the pillory or stocks, which combined physical chastisement with the humiliation of an individual possible in a relatively small, cohesive society. Flogging was especially prevalent, being used also to keep order among the institutionalized insane and in schools and the armed forces.

In America, a movement against the use of corporal punishment was led in the late 17th cent. by Quakers who achieved local reforms in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The 18th cent. saw a general reaction against violent punishment, and with the emergence of the modern concept of rehabilitating an offender, confinement has been accompanied more by forms of moral, rather than physical, coercion. Nonetheless, the use of the whipping post survived in the United States into the 20th cent., and was last used in 1952 in Delaware.

The effectiveness of corporal punishment has been questioned by criminologists and educators, but it is still widely used. Flogging, for instance, was not banned in South Africa until 1995, and caning is employed in Singapore and Malaysia. Within British and American prisons flogging and beatings are still used, unofficially, to maintain order. Mutilation, including amputation of fingers and hands, is also used in some countries, especially in those whose legal system is based on Islamic law. Caning and spanking remain common in schools in some areas of the United States and Britain. Movements to restore or encourage corporal punishment of children recur periodically, as in rural and Southern parts of the United States.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Corporal Punishment: Selected full-text books and articles

Crimes of Punishment: America's Culture of Violence
Theodore L. Dorpat.
Algora, 2007
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 3 "The Effects of Corporal Punishment on Children"
Issue of Corporal Punishment: Re-Examined
Andero, Abraham A.; Stewart, Allen.
Journal of Instructional Psychology, Vol. 29, No. 2, June 2002
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Prevalence, Societal Causes, and Trends in Corporal Punishment by Parents in World Perspective
Straus, Murray A.
Law and Contemporary Problems, Vol. 73, No. 2, Spring 2010
More Harm Than Good: A Summary of Scientific Research on the Intended and Unintended Effects of Corporal Punishment on Children
Gershoff, Elizabeth T.
Law and Contemporary Problems, Vol. 73, No. 2, Spring 2010
Corporal Punishment in the Educational System versus Corporal Punishment by Parents: A Comparative View
Shmueli, Benjamin.
Law and Contemporary Problems, Vol. 73, No. 2, Spring 2010
The Effect of Corporal Punishment on Antisocial Behavior in Children
Grogan-Kaylor, Andrew.
Social Work Research, Vol. 28, No. 3, September 2004
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Corporal Punishment of Adolescents by Parents: A Risk Factor in the Epidemiology of Depression, Suicide, Alcohol Abuse, Child Abuse, and Wife Beating
Straus, Murray A.; Kantor, Glenda Kaufman.
Adolescence, Vol. 29, No. 115, Fall 1994
Effect of Corporal Punishment on Students' Motivation and Classroom Learning
Ahmad, Iqbal; Said, Hamdan; Khan, Faisal.
Review of European Studies, Vol. 5, No. 4, September 2013
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
The Special Problem of Cultural Differences in Effects of Corporal Punishment
Lansford, Jennifer E.
Law and Contemporary Problems, Vol. 73, No. 2, Spring 2010
Alternative Methods to Corporal Punishment and Their Efficacy
Busienei, Agnes J.
Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies, Vol. 3, No. 2, April 2012
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Where and How to Draw the Line between Reasonable Corporal Punishment and Abuse
Coleman, Doriane Lambelet; Dodge, Kenneth A.; Campbell, Sarah Keeton.
Law and Contemporary Problems, Vol. 73, No. 2, Spring 2010
Schooling as Violence: How Schools Harm Pupils and Societies
Clive Harber.
RoutledgeFalmer, 2004
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 5 "Schooling as Terrorism: Physical Punishment"
The Psychology of Parental Control: How Well-Meant Parenting Backfires
Wendy S. Grolnick.
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2003
Librarian’s tip: "Corporal Punishment" begins on p. 35
African American Family Life: Ecological and Cultural Diversity
Vonnie C. McLoyd; Nancy E. Hill; Kenneth A. Dodge.
Guilford Press, 2005
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 12 "The Cultural Context of Physically Disciplining Children"
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