Please let me know any question you might have.
I need a one sided debate on the attached Research Paper.
It needs to have a thesis, supporting points, and a conclusion. Use the research journal articles(at the end of this text) to provide support for the controversial issue.
These are not moral absolute topics, with one right answer; you should be able to present arguments on either side of the issue, regardless of your personal opinion, because you are a Formal Operational thinker. It is often wise to debate the opposing side, just to test or to strengthen your opinion.
The Debate assignment should be different from the Research Paper, although it covers some of the same information and uses the same research sources. The Debate still uses formal language, but is more personal or persuasive since it is intended for an audience of your classmates. It also has some graded categories that are not necessary for the Research Paper. Write the Debate as if you were orally presenting it to an audience. Your classmates will watch your Power Point presentation and read your Debate as if they were watching and listening to you.
There is perhaps no more inflammatory a topic within the subject of childrearing than the topic of corporal punishment. This is an issue that people tend to feel very strongly about one way or the other ? strength of feeling that is most usually based in moral and ethical beliefs rather than purely empirical ones. This paper attempts to examine the issue from a more empirical perspective, considering the nature of the research on this issue more than simple emotional responses to the topic. Nevertheless, this paper does take as an initial hypothesis the assumption that corporal punishment is a not an appropriate method by which to discipline a child. This position is actually twofold: This paper seeks to prove whether or not it is true that corporal punishment is harmful to children not only from a moral or ethical point of view but also from a purely pragmatic one.
A question of definition should be addressed first. The range of behavior that is included here under ?corporal punishment? includes spanking and slapping. It does not include more severe forms of physical punishment (from punching to beating with any sort of implement.) This latter range of behaviors are considered under law to be child abuse, and we shall for the purpose of this paper set those aside.
Many people ? those who are opponents of all forms of corporal punishment ? believe that even such relatively mild forms of physical punishment as spanking are in fact forms of child abuse. The strongest opponents of corporal punishment consider the use of physical force to be not only morally wrong but also counterproductive. Opponents of corporal punishment tend to believe that spanking and other forms of physical punishment make children more aggressive as well as less well adjusted socially ? conditions that tend to exacerbate whatever behavior it was that prompted the spanking or slapping to begin with. This means that this unwanted behavior is likely to reoccur in an even more exaggerated form and be even harder to stop.
Classical Learning Theories and the Pragmatics of Corporal Punishment
There is, in fact, not a small amount of psychological research to support at least the pragmatic arguments against corporal punishment ? setting the moral ones aside for a moment. The reasons for the limited usefulness of corporal punishment lie in the way in which humans learn. To understand this, we will turn briefly to two classical psychological models of human behavior.
Pavlovian conditioning is in fact a type of learning. Indeed, it is perhaps the most famously documented type of learning that there is. It is difficult indeed to imagine that there exists a college student anywhere in the Western Hemisphere who has not heard the story of how Ivan Pavlov
came up with the idea of teaching his dog to associate the sound of a ringing bell with the introduction of food. (We all know the ending of this story: Pavlov
was able to make his dog salivate in anticipation of being fed whenever he heard the meal-time bell ? and even after Pavlov
no longer followed up the bell with food the dog continued to salivate for a number of repetitions of the experiment.)
Pavlovian Learning makes use of various types of stimuli and responses to those stimuli. A conditioned stimulus is one that initially has no connection to the response to be learned (a ringing bell means food is on its way = a conditioned response). An unconditioned stimuli is a stimulus that produces the response you want without the animal having to learn it (moving your hand away from fire = an unconditioned response).
Although Pavlovian conditioning as a form of learning is usually contrasted with operant conditioning as a form of learning, for the purposes of this paper (and the experiment that it describes) I shall argue that operant conditioning as a way of learning is in fact closely related to Pavlovian conditioning.
It is true that there are differences between Pavlovian and operant conditioning, primarily the fact that in the latter a response is not connected to a stimulus but rather to a a reward or a punishment. However, I would argue that while it is true that the rewards and punishment that are usually used in experiments involving operant learning are more abstract than the stimuli that are generally associated with Pavlovian learning, this greater degree of abstraction does not mean that the two forms of learning are not in fact fundamentally the same.
Operant conditioning is a model in which a subject learns to increase the frequency of a behavior because that behavior is followed by a reward or ? the converse ? a subject learns to decrease the frequency of a behavior because he or she has learned to associate the activity with a punishment. It seems clear to me that there is a fundamental epistemological similarity between a subject?s learning to do something because he or she hears a bell ringing and a subject?s learning to do something (or learning not to do something) because he or she will be given a toffee sundae for complying.
An essential point about experiments involving both operant and Pavlovian conditioning is that psychologists have consistently found through positive reinforcements (what we might in lay language call rewards) tend to be highly effective, negative reinforcements (what we usually call punishments) are in fact unlikely to produce substantial behavioral changes.
Those parents ? and teachers ? who believe that corporal punishment is not only effective but also necessary in general argue that physical discipline is in fact the only kind of response that children truly understand. They argue that the less well-developed cognitive skills of children make it impossible to reason with them in the same way that those parents or teachers could reason with other adults.
Physical punishment, proponents of it conclude, is the only way to ensure not only will the children be well behaved but that they will grow up to be disciplined and productive teenagers and adults. They argue against the psychological research by pointing to their own experiences both as children and as adults.
Intercultural and Intracultural Variation
It should noted that ideas about the appropriateness and effectiveness of corporal punishment vary widely from one cultural group to the next as well as from individual to individual within each group. Many European nations now have laws forbidding the use of any corporal punishment, which children (and their attorneys) have successfully argued violates the European convention on human rights.
There is a high degree of variation amongst American populations as to the efficiency and value of corporal punishment. Poorer parents (who are more likely to be minorities) tend to be more inclined to approve of corporal punishment ? in large measure because they feel that it is their responsibility in a world in which they have power over little else.
One of the reasons that Americans at least ? if not Europeans ? have such mixed ideas about the appropriateness and effectiveness of corporal punishment is that many of the experts for whom they rely on for advice about childrearing are themselves rather conflicted over the issue.
For example, if we look at a survey conducted in 1998, we find that pediatricians reflect the range of opinions held by Americans in general about corporal punishment. This survey, which asked opinions of members of the American Academy of Pediatrics, defined corporal punishment to be ?the use of spanking as a form of discipline ? not include hitting, beating or other actions that might be considered child abuse.?
While pediatricians always recommended against the use of spanking as the initial form of punishment to be used, some did believe that it was appropriate some of the time.
Pediatricians' Opinions on Use of Corporal Punishment
(percent of pediatricians reporting)
Generally oppose the use of corporal punishment by parents,
but an occasional spanking under certain circumstances can
be an effective form of discipline
Completely oppose the use of corporal punishment by parents
under any circumstances
Support, in principle, the limited use of corporal punishment
Unsure of opinion on the use of corporal punishment by parents 53.4%
Source: AAP Periodic Survey #38, Division of Child Health Research
However, just four years later, this past month the American Academy of Pediatrics ? in association with the National Education Association ? came out with a much stronger statement against corporal punishment.
All children need discipline on hundreds of occasions but there are alternatives to spanking, such as redirecting (distracting) the child, taking away a privilege, or sending a child to his or her room. We can raise children to be agreeable, disciplined, responsible, productive adults without ever spanking them.
There are several good arguments for not using corporal punishment at all. Spanking carries the risk of triggering the unrelated pent-up anger that many adults carry inside them. This anger could escalate a well-intentioned spanking and result in child abuse. Parents who turn to spanking as a last resort for ?breaking their child?s will? may find that they have underestimated their child's determination. In addition, physical punishment worsens aggressive behavior because it teaches a child to lash out when he or she is angry. Other forms of discipline can be more constructive, leaving a child with some sense of guilt and contributing to the formation of a conscience.
The range of beliefs and practices concerning corporal punishment are as much due to personal ? and personality ? differences as to such structural differences as class and ethnicity. This article in the American Psychological Association's Journal of Family Psychology argued that class is often the best predictor of how adults are likely to feel about the efficacy and ethics of using corporal punishment.
Low-income parents tend to endorse much harsher discipline, according to a new study, in part because they hold stronger beliefs about the value of spanking and experience higher levels of stress. And even though a parent's ethnicity didn't have a direct affect on discipline responses, African American parents did report higher levels of stress and used harsher discipline when their children misbehaved.
Adult attitudes about corporal punishment are important for two distinct reasons. The first of these is the more obvious: Adults are the ones who administer corporal punishment, and so if they do not believe in it they will not administer it. But adult attitudes are also important because they create a psychological context within which children (both those who are hit and those who are not) understand the nature of their punishment.
Children growing up in communities in which corporal punishment is commonplace tend to be less psychologically damaged by being spanked or hit than those children who grow up with friends who are not subjected to corporal punishment.
Marjorie Gunnoe, a psychologist, verified this rather commonsense finding. In a study that she performed with 1,110 children (who ranged in age from 4 to 11) found first of all that overall the children in her study who were spanked or slapped by their parents did in fact became more antisocial.
However, she also found a statistically significant association between spanking and increased aggression (which she operationalized in terms of the number of fights that the boys got into at school) only among one group ? white boys aged 8 to 11 years old living in single-parent households.
Even more surprising than this, Gunnoe found that there was a statistically significant association between spanking and less aggression among all black children (boys and girls of all ages and in a variety of household structures) as well as among all of the four- to seven-year-olds ? regardless of gender, race, or family structure.
She argues that these statistically significant findings can be best explained in terms of the differential ways in which groups of children understand the meaning of being spanked or slapped.
Her theory is that children under 8 tend to regard spanking as a parent's rightful exercise of authority, while older children are more likely to see it as aggressive because they are less willing to accept parental authority.
In addition, Dr. Gunnoe proposes that black children are more inclined than white children to think spanking is acceptable because it is favored in the black community. "In therapy, some black mothers say, 'Timeouts are for white people,' " Dr. Gunnoe said, referring to a method advocated in many child-care books of isolating a child briefly as punishment for misbehavior.
When parents use corporal punishment to reduce ASB, the long-term effect tends to be the opposite. The findings suggest that if parents replace corporal punishment by nonviolent modes of discipline, it could reduce the risk of ASB among children and reduce the level of violence in American society.
This study, by Mary Spurgeon, did find effects of corporal punishment to be differentiated by group of children, but found an overall increase in aggression in all children who were hit.
It should be noted in concluding this paper that the issue of aggression and anti-social behavior is a highly complex one, in no small part because the range of aggressive behavior that exists in humans cannot be entirely explained by references to any single aspect of their lives, and certainly not to the use of corporal punishment alone. Certainly it has often been confirmed that those who are violent as teens or adults are more likely to have been hit when they were children.
However ? and this is one of the reasons that corporal punishment remains such a difficult issue for so many people ? this fact does not mean that it was the corporal punishment that caused them to be violent when they grew up. It is entirely possible that children who are more aggressive when young are spanked more precisely because they were already more aggressive. There is also the real possibility that that parents who spank or hit their children may be more aggressive on average than other parents ? perhaps because of their own genetic make-up, which they will have passed on to their children.
Lessin, R. (1979). Spanking: Why, when, how. Dallas: Bethany House.
Surratt, C. (1999). Netaholics? : The creation of a pathology. Boston: Nova.
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