1. Abuse in its several forms damages people. The forms are these: physical, mental (cognitive), emotional and psychological. The damages have the same forms. This is well documented.
2. Corporal punishment also damages people, and the damages take the same forms: physical, mental, cognitive, emotional and psychological. This is well documented. The corporal punishment of children is being outlawed in much of the world, driven by the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child.
3. Non-corporal punishment cannot actually exist, it’s a logical fallacy – an oxymoron, in fact. The argument goes like this:
– punishments are unpleasantnesses, they are by definition, something the punished person would not want, and so they are necessarily imposed, forced upon the punished person, against his will. Anything forced, anything imposed, involves either direct physical means, or at least the threat of physical means.
– punishments are employed when reason and talk – non-physical methods – fail, or are presumed to fail. This is often true, that these non-physical means fail, babies and young toddlers can’t be reasoned with, and even for older children who can be, punishments are usually only considered when any child is being unreasonable in the first place. When non-physical methods have been attempted and then ruled out, then logically what remains is physical, either directly or in potential.
Therefore punishment is impossible except that it’s physical. The only possible exception to this logical proof is in the case of punishments that are purely mental, emotional, or psychological, and these sorts of punishments are also universally considered to be unacceptable and abusive.
When children submit to their non-corporal punishments, this is not a disproof. It is only that the child is making a choice, the child is either remembering his baby or toddlerhood punishments, the physical ones, or more likely the child knows that if he resists, that the punishments will escalate and become corporal punishments, or most likely both, some combination of the two.
4. Conclusion: there are no non-corporal punishments. All punishments require force and physicality. Therefore all punishment is corporal punishment, therefore all punishment cause the damages associated with corporal punishment.