Advantages And Disadvantages of Corporal Punishment: Laws are rules and regulations which are made to control the affairs of people in a society and to improve Law and Order for peace to reign in the society. There are two major types of Law, namely: Civil and Criminal Law. The later Criminal Law prescribes offences in a state and when it is breached by the citizens in any way, punishment shall be meted to such a person guilty of it’s breach.
Notably, there are various forms of punishment, and one form of punishment which has been subject to debate over the years due to the perceived cruelty of such form of punishment is Corporal Punishment. This Article shall therefore examine the meaning of Corporal punishment, it’s advantages as well as it’s disadvantages.
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What Is Corporal Punishment?
Corporal Punishment is the physical Punishment intended to inflict physical pain on a person who commits an offence. Corporal punishment could also be defined as an infliction of physical harm or pain to a person in response to an undesired behaviour or action displayed by such a person.
From the above definition, we can all agree that Corporal punishment takes place when a person who commits a crime or does not behave rightly is inflicted physical harm or pain through either Flogging, Slapping, Paddling, Knocking, Pinching, beating, Punching, Mutilation, Human branding, pulling, and hitting which are all forms of Corporal punishment.
I trust these forms of Corporal punishment are self explanatory, except Paddling which refers to the act of hitting or striking a person’s buttocks with a Paddle. Mutilation which means the cutting off a part of a person’s body as a sort of punishment to such a person, and Human Branding which means the process of burning a mark or symbol into the skin of a person.
All these are common forms of Corporal punishment and it is for this reason that there have been lots of debates against the continued existence of Corporal punishment and questions on whether it is lawful, whether it is effective, and why it must stop. Irrespective of the numerous literature which has pointed to the fact that Corporal punishment should be abolished, there are some great advantages of the continued existence of Corporal punishment.
Advantages (Merits) of Corporal Punishment
1. It is a Simple and quick form of punishment: Corporal punishment is the quickest and simplest form of punishment as it can be administered by anyone, and it doesn’t take time to execute compared to if you want to sentence a person to Prison or impose a fine on such a person as a sort of punishment, you have to take your time to hear from both parties before you decide to the preferable punishment best suited for such a situation, but Corporal punishment can be easily imposed the moment a wrong has been made.
2. Corporal punishment is often preferred by people: Corporal punishment is usually a preferred sort of punishment by people, especially Children as a Student will rather prefer to be flogged for committing a wrong than to be suspended or expelled from School.
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3. Corporal punishment serves as a deterrent: Corporal punishment inflicts pain on a person and such pain inflicted could help the person prevent the reoccurrence of an action he or she committed which led to the infliction of such corporal punishment.
Nothing serves a better way to deter a person from committing an act than pain, that’s why it is said ‘Once bitten, twice shy’ because once you experience a painful situation, you will try as much as possible to prevent the reoccurrence of such painful situation, as nobody likes pain.
4. It is Reformative: Corporal punishment serves as a means of reforming a person. Hence, it is Reformative in nature as it will make you realize your mistake and deter you from repeating such an act or a similar act again.
5. Corporal punishment instills Discipline: Corporal punishment instills discipline on a beneficiary of a Corporal punishment, especially Children and it will help produce well mannered and obedient Children.
6. Corporal punishment is cost effective: Corporal punishment unlike other sorts of punishment is cost effective as it is cheap to administer. Corporal punishment is literally the cheapest form of punishment and it’s efficiency will definitely make one adopt it rather than spending resources just to mete punishment upon a person.
While Corporal punishment has some good advantages as elaborated above, it equally has a good number of disadvantages.
Disadvantages (Demerits) Of Corporal Punishment
1. Corporal punishment breeds Child Abuse: Child abuse is the physical maltreatment of a Child and Corporal punishment definitely breeds Child abuse as it involves beating a child and inflicting physical harm and pain on that child.
2. Corporal punishment inflicts permanent harm on a person: Corporal punishment doesn’t only inflict physical harm on a person, it also inflicts permanent physical harm as Scars and injuries sustained from corporal punishment such as beating, flogging, paddling, mutilation, and branding remains on a person’s body till eternity.
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3. It is not often logical: According to the United States, Corporal punishment is a traditional means of enforcing discipline and it is not a logical one. This is why USA and over 58 other countries of the world has banned Corporal punishment in most circumstances.
Corporal Punishment is majorly not logical as it inflicts permanent physical harm on a person and it is counterproductive.
4. Corporal punishment is counterproductive: Corporal punishment is often ineffective and counterproductive as it does not compel obedience nor necessary bring about the desired deterrence, rather it hardens a person and increases their behavioural problem. For instance, if you are always flogged, you will get used to it, become harden and show that you are stubborn too. Thus, this sort of corporal punishment will breed more negativity rather than a positive outcome.
Corporal punishment also has negative effects such as Physical and Mental ill health, impaired Social/ emotional development, increased aggression, hardness and retaliation.
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5. It is Inhumane: Some forms of Corporal punishment is really inhumane,. Painful and Barbaric.
6. Corporal punishment is not fairly administered: Corporal punishment is often not fairly administered both in the society and in schools as boys are punished more than girls for the committing the same or similar offence. Also Corporal punishment administers fear on a Child either boy or girl.
7. It is unconstitutional: Some sort of corporal punishment is unconstitutional as it violates the basic fundamental rights of citizens enshrined in the Constitution, such as Right to Dignity of Human person which means the freedom of a person from torture and right not to be subject to any sort of inhumane and degrading treatment which is the order of the day imposed by Corporal punishment.
These are some of the major disadvantages of Corporal punishment, and this best explains why most countries of the world have banned it and the remaining countries still permitting Corporal punishment has been subject to intense debates and literature calling them to ban the continued existence of Corporal punishment.
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Based on the totality of the aforementioned Advantages and disadvantages of Corporal punishment, do you think Corporal punishment should be banned in countries still practicing it? Kindly share your opinion in the comment section below.
Edeh Samuel Chukwuemeka ACMC, is a Law Student and a Certified Mediator/Conciliator in Nigeria. He is also a Developer with knowledge in HTML, CSS, JS, PHP and React Native. Samuel is bent on changing the legal profession by building Web and Mobile Apps that will make legal research a lot easier.