LITERATURE REVIEW: CORPORAL PUNISHMENT 2
According to Donald Greydanus, Professor of Pediatrics and Human Development at
Michigan State University (2010), corporal punishment refers to the intentional application of
physical pain as a method of behavior change. “Corporal punishment includes various methods
of pain infliction not limited to but including hitting, slapping, spanking, punching, kicking,
pinching, shaking, shoving, choking, use of various objects (wooden paddles, belts, sticks, pins,
etc.), painful body postures (such as placing in closed spaces), use of electric shock, use of
excessive exercise drills, or prevention of urine or stool elimination.” Many children have
experienced some type of corporal punishment by the time they reach adolescence.
The prevalence of corporal punishment in schools within the United States remains high
although many states and schools districts have condemned its practice. The United States
remains one of the few industrialized countries allowing corporal punishment in 30 states.
According to the Office of Civil Rights, school officials, as well as teachers, administered
corporal punishment to approximately 223,190 across the country during the 2006-2007 school
year alone. Experts note that the number of cases in regards to corporal punishment is about 1.5
million. The actual number was calculated to be at least 2-3 million. The punishment inflicted
resulted in 10,000-20,000 students requesting subsequent medical treatment. The top ten states in
the country to administer corporal punishment are Mississippi, Arkansas, Alabama, Oklahoma,
Louisiana, Tennessee, Texas, Georgia, Missouri, and Florida. According to research, physical
punishment is more common in kindergarten through eighth grade than in high school, in rural
schools than in urban, in boys than in girls, and in disadvantaged as well as non Caucasian than
in middle class and upper class Caucasians (Greydanus, 2010).