Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Canada should remove section of Criminal Code that permits physical punishment of children, expert argues

Date:
September 4, 2012
Source:
Canadian Medical Association Journal
Summary:
To promote good parenting, Canada should remove section 43 of its Criminal Code because it sends the wrong message that using physical punishment to discipline children is acceptable, argues Dr. John Fletcher, Editor-in-Chief, Canadian Medical Association Journal, in an editorial.

To promote good parenting, Canada should remove section 43 of its Criminal Code because it sends the wrong message that using physical punishment to discipline children is acceptable, argues Dr. John Fletcher, Editor-in-Chief, CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) in an editorial.

Related Articles


Section 43 of the Criminal Code of Canada states "…a parent is justified in using force by way of correction…if the force does not exceed what is reasonable under the circumstances."

The debate over whether spanking children is acceptable as a disciplinary tool for parents or whether it is violence against children is heated and ongoing. Although spanking was an accepted form of discipline for past generations, attitudes have shifted.

"So heated is this debate, and so long-running, that the question of whether spanking is morally 'right or wrong' is probably intractable," writes Dr. Fletcher. "A more promising line of enquiry, however, is whether the physical punishment of children is effective."

A recently published analysis in CMAJ that summarizes 20 years' of research on the topic suggests that physical punishment of children can result in increased childhood aggression and mental health issues in adulthood.

Rather than making spanking of children a crime, emphasis should be placed on educating parents on alternative forms of discipline. This could be done through parenting programs, which have been successful in teaching positive parenting and helping improve children's behaviour, offering them in the early years and when children enter school.

"Surely any bias should be toward protecting children, who are the most vulnerable," Dr. Fletcher writes. "To have a specific code excusing parents is to suggest that assault by a parent is a normal and accepted part of bringing up children. It is not. While section 43 stands, it is a constant excuse for parents to cling to an ineffective method of child discipline when better approaches are available. It is time for Canada to remove this anachronistic excuse for poor parenting from the statute book."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Canadian Medical Association Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. J. Fletcher. Positive parenting, not physical punishment. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 2012; 184 (12): 1339 DOI: 10.1503/cmaj.121070
  2. J. Durrant, R. Ensom. Physical punishment of children: lessons from 20 years of research. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 2012; 184 (12): 1373 DOI: 10.1503/cmaj.101314

Cite This Page:

Canadian Medical Association Journal. "Canada should remove section of Criminal Code that permits physical punishment of children, expert argues." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 September 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120904121434.htm>.
Canadian Medical Association Journal. (2012, September 4). Canada should remove section of Criminal Code that permits physical punishment of children, expert argues. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 6, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120904121434.htm
Canadian Medical Association Journal. "Canada should remove section of Criminal Code that permits physical punishment of children, expert argues." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120904121434.htm (accessed March 6, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, March 6, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Bupa Eyes India Healthcare Opportunities

Bupa Eyes India Healthcare Opportunities

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 5, 2015) Bupa is hoping to expand in India&apos;s fast-growing health insurance market, once a rule change on foreign investment is implemented. The British private healthcare group&apos;s CEO tells Grace Pascoe why it&apos;s so keen on the new opportunity. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in Your Pocket Is Getting Smarter

Doctor in Your Pocket Is Getting Smarter

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 5, 2015) Mobile apps are turning smartphones into a personal doctors, with users able to measure heart rate, blood pressure and even blood sugar. But will it change our behaviour? Ivor Bennett reports from the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
AbbVie Inks $21B Deal To Buy Cancer Drugmaker Pharmacyclics

AbbVie Inks $21B Deal To Buy Cancer Drugmaker Pharmacyclics

Newsy (Mar. 5, 2015) AbbVie announced Wednesday it will buy cancer drugmaker Pharmacyclics in a $21 billion deal. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Toddlers Drinking Coffee? Why You Shouldn't Share Your Joe

Toddlers Drinking Coffee? Why You Shouldn't Share Your Joe

Newsy (Mar. 5, 2015) A survey of Boston mothers and toddlers found that 15 percent of two-year-olds drink coffee and 2.5 percent of 1-year-olds. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins