This past weekend a 15 year old boy was struck approximately 12 times with a metal pole on the back of the leg, which caused injuries. He was beaten because the parents found a lighter and suspected the boy had been smoking. The boy was brought to the house of Paul Kim, who also attended the same church as the boy’s family. Kim again questioned the boy and thought the teen was lying so he used corporal punishment after getting permission from the boy’s father. This isn’t the first time either. Investigators believed Kim has been used by other families to discipline their children as well. Paul Kim was arrested last Tuesday.
How can corporal punishment be defined in today’s society? According to the American Psychoanalytic Association, corporal punishment is “the use of physical force with the intention of causing a child to experience bodily pain or discomfort so as to correct or punish the child’s behavior.” Physical force includes spanking, hitting, pinching, squeezing, paddling, whipping, smacking, washing child’s mouth with soap, etc. And these types of punishment are defined as physical abuse if an injury is resulted from these punishments.
Studies have shown the adverse effects of corporal punishment on child development. Researchers at Tulane said that spanking children at a young age can make children to be more aggressive as they become older. In addition, physical punishment can also increase risk of sexual problems as adults. According to University of New Hampshire, child abuse is associated with increased chances of sexual problems as adults such as, “verbally and physically coercing a dating partner to have sex, risky sex such as premarital sex without a condom, and masochistic sex such as being aroused by getting spanked when having sex.”
Do Asian American parents also use physical punishment to rear their children? Previously, Tim wrote about how Asian Americans are less likely to use corporal punishment based on a study from University of Texas. And some of us were actually surprised by the results. Tim also talked about corporal punishment and racial identity. Indeed, many Asian American families are still using corporal punishment, but we never put in much thought as to what degree this punishment is. However, it is safe to say hitting a child with a metal pole is not deemed to be corporal punishment.
Today, some parents are even outsourcing their child beating. Well, this is something totally new and clever in an inappropriate way! The question is, why are the parents of the 15 year-old boy not arrested as well? Aren’t they just as accountable as the person who performed the beating?