Why does our society think it is okay to hit children? Almost everyone thinks it is wrong to abuse a child. But many parents and teachers believe it is okay to spank children, rap their knuckles, slap their faces, pull their hair and yank their arms, as long as the punishment does not result in serious injury or death, and is intended to improve a child's behaviour. Susan M. Turner explores the historical, psychological, sociological and legal foundations of this belief from a philosophical perspective and argues why it should be abandoned. Something to Cry About presents evidence from recent studies showing that all forms of corporal punishment pose significant risks for children and that none improves behaviour in the long term. Dr. Turner also examines Section 43 of the Canadian Criminal Code -- a law that protects those who punish children in their care by allowing them to hit the children as long as such punishment is "reasonable," even though Canadian case law shows that "reasonable" has included breaking a child's fingers. Turner presents a comprehensive argument in favour of repeal.
In Something to Cry About, Turner takes a definite stand, but does so in a way that invites critical dialogue. Her work is the first to set out the debate over corporal punishment in multidisciplinary terms pertinent to Canadian society. She brings together in one place a wide variety of thought and data which can be consulted by all Canadians concerned with the welfare of children.