Saturday, April 16, 2011

Adolescent Corporal Punishment and Morality

This post may be controversial but I have to get this off of my chest. I have over the past few years come upon some some strange opinions regarding the punishment of young men, and these have disturbed me. I have decided I must finally discuss these things.

Corporal punishment can take variety of forms, and I do not think there is necessarily anything wrong with it, even on adults. But it can take very strange forms, especially when applied to a young mans buttocks. The first acquaintance with this strangeness came from the correspondence of several parenting websites. A few commenters advised that spanking should be used throughout the teenage years. That may be defendable for young women in some contexts, and their even used to be some advertisements joking about husbands spanking their wives. However, this becomes slightly stranger when it is the spanking of young men that is being defended. This was taken to the next level when the issue of teenage boys and their erections came up. It is at that point when things become truly strange. There are disturbing signs of immorality to be found amongst many who spank young men.

Some of the following posts may be fantasy, but they are good examples of why I would feel discomfort with the use of spanking or paddling on a young man:
(WARNING: Not for Children or the Very Sensitive!)
Allowing the boy to extend
Erections Normal
Helen's Explanation

I would point out that Suzie Peters is still posting on other websites, although she now gives advice only on the parenting of girls, because the site she is posting on is devoted towards advice on raising girls. She seems to think that what she is doing can be defended in the context of Evangelical Christianity.

But even when a reference is not explicitly made to a physical reaction, one can still feel a certain oddity in the point of view, which can be seen in the following links from a different website:
Home Schooling

(Perspective slightly different from ours because he resides in Japan now. That is obviously the only difference. Of course. Nothing to do with an empty and content free moral code.)
How Old?
Their Banner
Their Second to last magazine Issue
(One wonders what in tarnation is coming next)

And it is interesting how it is presented as "Traditional Discipline" To what extent is this traditional? It seems incredibly fetishistic. But then again, what are the alternatives? Our whole society has been dedicated to making children out of the young men of the middle classes, and this is simply one more extension of that tendency. One example showing the specificity of this practice to the lower middle class can be found in George Orwell's
Road to Wigan Pier:
"
To the working class, the
notion of staying at school till you are nearly grown-up seems merely
contemptible and unmanly. The idea of a great big boy of eighteen, who
ought to be bringing a pound a week home to his parents, going to school in
a ridiculous uniform and even being caned for not doing his lessons! Just
fancy a working-class boy of eighteen allowing himself to be caned! He is a
man when the other is still a baby.
"
I will not criticize these people too much. A great many men here in the U.S. clearly agree with the views of Bottom Line magazine, and a great many of these are ordinary townspeople who attend church, believe in some concept of god, and have a reasonably large family. As the magazine points out, there are many high schools that use paddling in this country. Nevertheless, I find these things to be not something traditional, but a sign of moral and social degeneracy. The way in which these images depart from a coherent conception of our traditional culture is astounding. I believe they ultimately lead us down the road of moral degeneracy and liberalism, and a family bound only by a phony sentimentalism and legal limitations. But they are just one of the many perversions of "Tradition" that pervade our culture.
In a future post, I will attempt to provide some genuinely traditional ways of dealing with this issue, as well as others presented by modern adolescence.

Note: My follow up is linked below:
http://traditionandindividualism.blogspot.com/2011/04/dealing-with-modern-adolesence.html

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