The Bahamian Justification for Using Corporal Punishment Within the Home: A Christian Habit?




Corporal Punishment, Biblical reading, Violence


Corporal punishment is a common means of disciplining children in Bahamian homes. Previous studies in The Bahamas have linked the justification for its use with religious beliefs. An Internet survey employing a snowball sampling method resulted in 1,570 persons participating in a study designed to focus on the association between biblical influence and attitudes toward corporal punishment; namely, is there an association with biblical influence in the lives of participants and their attitudes towards corporal punishment of children? This study found that those most influenced by biblically-based teachings were most likely to support the use of corporal punishment on their children. The results show that while overall belief in the Lord God of the Bible is associated with the use of corporal punishment, there is divergence between Christians to the extent corporal punishment is justified by the biblical texts, as well as how much participants’ lives were modelled on biblical precepts (specifically, the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes). The divergence of opinions within the Christian population, which represents over 90% of the population of The Bahamas, indicates that attempts by the State to regulate the practice of corporal punishment will need to be promoted by pastors to make messages on nonviolent discipline of children acceptable to Christians in The Bahamas.


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