It’s Getting Better all the Time

                In terms of what is punishment and what is abuse, the line has been drawn in a number of places through the years and across cultures. Of course it’s not so simple, but can be useful to say that there has been a progression towards humanism over the last few hundred years in European and western culture, during which time punishments have been moving toward gentler means, as well as some movement in that direction for the punishment of children, for not quite so long. It has probably been something less than one hundred years that at least in the West, children have seen their status change from something like property to something like personhood and this is a positive change for everyone, because of course, we all begin as children. Our societies are trying to move away from the corporal punishment of children, and we’re groping a little, trying to find better ways.

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