We have adequate research informing us about the adverse effects of corporal punishment on children and yet there many schools in the U.S that unabashedly resort to it.
A study conducted by researchers from the University of Toronto, McGill University in Montreal and the University of Minnesota has shown that the basic purpose of corporal punishment -correcting children and helping them discern between right and wrong- is defeated when they are beaten or abused physically.
The research conducted by scientists compared the cognitive abilities of kindergarten and grade 1 children from West African private schools. Some of these schools adopted corporal punishment as a form of disciplining children while others followed non-physical methods.
"Executive functioning tests" were administered to children to check their ability to plan and to think out of the box. The grade 1 students who were at the receiving end of corporal punishment did not perform well. The kindergarten kids performed in a similar manner irrespective of whether they were subject to physical or non-physical forms of punishment.
Researchers concluded that corporal punishment in the long term can affect children's problem-solving skills and impair their ability to discern right and wrong. Non-physical form of punishment like time-outs or cancelling privileges works better in reinforcing good behavior.