The Gulf Today - Panorama - - HAVE YOU HEARD? -

Bans on smack­ing chil­dren are linked to less vi­o­lence among teenagers, ac­cord­ing to a new re­view. Us­ing phys­i­cal force to cor­rect or con­trol a child’s be­hav­iour re­mains legally and so­cially per­mit­ted in many coun­tries. But cor­po­ral pun­ish­ment has been linked to neg­a­tive out­comes for chil­dren, in­clud­ing ag­gres­sive be­hav­iours, men­tal health prob­lems and aca­demic is­sues. In a new study, re­searchers as­sessed lev­els of youth vi­o­lence both in coun­tries which per­mit cor­po­ral pun­ish­ment and those which do not. The re­search ex­am­ined data on more than 400,000 young­sters from 88 coun­tries. Thirty coun­tries had im­ple­mented a full ban on cor­po­ral pun­ish­ment at school and at home; 38 had a par­tial ban and 20 had no bans in place.

In coun­tries where full bans were in force, the preva­lence of phys­i­cal fight­ing was 69 per cent lower among young men and 42 per cent lower among young women than it was in coun­tries with­out any ban, the au­thors found. Among coun­tries op­er­at­ing a par­tial ban, in­clud­ing the UK, there was no sig­nif­i­cantly re­duced rate of fre­quent fight­ing among males — the rate was only lower among younger women.

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