‘Spanking perpetuates violence’
DRUG abuse, alcoholism, dysfunctional behaviour and bullying have been blamed on corporal punishment in the home, and yesterday stakeholders agreed that it was an evil that needed to be rooted out.
Participants in a dialogue on the prohibition of corporal punishment in the home yesterday agreed that corporal punishment perpetuated the cycle of violence.
They said it violated their rights as equal human beings, and that it ultimately created delinquency in adolescents, and aggression in adults.
“Studies have shown that harsh discipline like spanking is associated with depression in adulthood, and an increase in condoning violent behaviour,” said Patrick Burton, the executive director of the Centre for Justice and Crime Prevention.
During a discussion hosted by the Human Sciences Research Council, he said corporal punishment of children in the home reduces “moral regulation and reduces empathy”.
Children who have been spanked at home were twice as likely to use drugs, and have a positive attitude towards assault, revenge and using force to take goods.
The dialogue defined corpo- ral punishment as any punishment in which physical force was used with the intention of causing some degree of pain or discomfort.
Chantal Kissoon, from the South African Human Rights Commission, said society had the responsibility to set unequivocal standards on the rights of the child, and that they were non- negotiable. Children, she said, were inherent rights holders, and had to be treated as such.
Karabo Ngidi argued that introducing new laws was not enough and that the community had to be roped in if a change in respect of children’s rights was to be realised.