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60% of Chinese children suffer corporal punishment
Updated: 2004-12-07 09:42

More than 60 percent of Chinese children have suffered from corporal punishment, with most of the victims girls, according to a study by a quasi-governmental association, state media said Monday.

The China Legal Studies Association found two-thirds of the urban residents they surveyed in three provinces and nine counties had endured some form of domestic violence, the Beijing Morning Post reported.

The survey said girls represented 95 percent of the children affected by domestic violence.

Among the college students questioned, 54 percent of 498 respondents said they had suffered from corporal punishment when they were in elementary or middle school, the study found.

The discipline included being badly scolded and being forced to kneel ¡ª a common way for Chinese parents to punish their children as kneeling is considered a way of contemplating onee¡¯s wrongdoings ¡ª showing remorse and seeking forgiveness..

Students said they were also sometimes thrown out of their home. Two of the students recalled being tied up.

A third of them said corporal punishment negatively affected their personalities, causing them to become introverted and depressed.

Legal experts cited by the paper said China should ban corporal punishment in its marriage laws to protect children from physical and psychological harm and to protect the rights of minors.

They blamed the common occurrence of corporal punishment in China on the traditional belief that children were a part of their parents, not individuals.

To reduce harsh treatment of children, experts said society must foster the sense that family members were equal and should treat each other with respect regardless of age. The study also found that one third of married couples had experienced domestic violence, with most of the victims being women.

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