Physical Punishment - Illegal for Adults, Discipline for Children

Most of the acts administered in spanking a child are illegal when used on an adult. Slapping can be considered battery and depending on where the slap is administered it can even be considered sexual harassment. This is even true in criminal proceedings. If it is considered too cruel of punishment for criminals, should it be used on children?

Physical punishment, which includes spanking, slapping, and any other type of physical reprimand, is still legal when it comes to disciplining a child.  Most of the actions involved in spanking a child are illegal to do to an adult, even by authorities in prisons.

If an adult slaps another adult in the face, it is considered battery.  Although it is not considered a major crime, it is still considered illegal.  When a parent slaps a child in the face, it is considered discipline.  Although usually a slap to the face is given when a child is sassing the parent, it can be even just for being annoying.  If you slap an adult in the face for being annoying or sassing you however, it can be considered battery.  There is a constant debate on whether or not spanking causes children to be violent.  I would have to agree that it could.  The child is being taught that when someone sasses them or annoys them the best approach is to slap the person.  But actually, if this is done as an adult it is illegal.  The fact that it is illegal to slap an adult in the face should make slapping a child in the face more illegal.  It can be argued that it is fine because the parent is an authority figure.  But if this were true, it would be legal for police to use physical punishment against a criminal.  If a police officer slaps a criminal, it is illegal and the police officer can be punished for it.  Therefore, the argument that it is fine because the parent is an authority figure can be ruled out.

            If you slap an adult on the buttocks, it can be considered sexual harassment.  This is normally only true for people of opposite genders, but can sometimes be toward any gender, as in homosexuality.  There have been debates and concerns for decades that spanking could cause children to act out sexually and that spanking can have an erotic effect even when used on children as a punishment.  The basis of this argument is that because a boy usually becomes semi-erect during a spanking, the body must involuntarily think of it as something sexual.  If spanking an adult can be considered a sexual crime and there is proof that children at times get involuntarily sexually excited from spanking, why is it not considered a sex crime?  One argument, which an online friend of mine brought up, was that the child didn’t know they were even getting sexually excited, which is true in most cases.  But sexual abuse actually consists of any sexual act that the child does not consent to or does not understand.  This rules out his argument.

            Corporal punishment was, at one time, used in prisons but has now been outlawed as cruel punishment.  This, in my view, is the best argument against physical punishment.  If it is considered cruel punishment for a criminal, why is it not considered a cruel punishment and deemed illegal against children?  Why are children treated with what is considered cruel punishment and illegal for adults? 

            Most of the actions used in administering physical punishment are considered battery and/or sexual harassment when used on an adult, even in prison.  Physical punishment, however, still is perfectly legal for children.  Children should not be punished more harshly than is illegal for an adult.

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