Magazine article Herizons

Something to Cry About: An Argument against Corporal Punishment of Children in Canada

Magazine article Herizons

Something to Cry About: An Argument against Corporal Punishment of Children in Canada

Article excerpt

Susan M. Turner

WILFRED LAURIER UNIVERSITY PRESS, 2002

Review by Danette Dooley

The Supreme Court of Canada recently upheld a century-old law that allows parents, teachers and caregivers to spank children.

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For that reason, Something to Cry About takes on a whole new meaning. Well researched, the book documents evidence on the effects of spanking and other forms of corporal punishment on children.

Turner, a parent of three, analyzes the opinions of all involved in the well-being of a child: parents, social workers, psychologists and the entire judicial system. She opens her book by stating unequivocally that there is no moral justification for corporal punishment, and then offers hundreds of well written pages to support her belief.

Spanking is often used to teach a lesson, to improve or correct a child's behaviour, say corporal punishment's defenders. Turner's research, however, proves that such punishment weakens rather than strengthens a child's personal security and self-confidence.

Turner critiques Secton 43 of the Criminal Code, the section that allows caregivers to hit children as long as such punishment is "reasonable. …

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