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Social Theory and Practice

Volume 38, Issue 4, October 2012

Patrick Lenta
Pages 689-716
DOI: 10.5840/soctheorpract201238437

Corporal Punishment of Children

In this paper I consider arguments advanced by supporters of corporal punishment and argue that they have failed to show that this practice is justified on either consequentialist or retributivist grounds. Not only are there alternative punishments that bring about as much (if not more) benefit at a lower cost, but corporal punishment poses a risk of psychological harm to children and violates children’s rights. I conclude that corporal punishment is morally impermissible and that it ought to be criminalized.

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