Corporal Punishment - Anatomical Target

Anatomical Target

Different parts of the anatomy may be targeted:

  • The buttocks, whether clothed or bare, have often been targeted for punishment, particularly in Europe and the English-speaking world. Indeed, some languages have a specific word for their chastisement: spanking in English, fessée in French, nalgada in Spanish (both Romanesque words directly derived from the word for buttock), klaps in Polish (derived from the name of the sound produced by spanking). The advantage is that these fleshy body parts are robust and can be chastised accurately, without endangering any bodily functions; they heal well and relatively quickly; in some cultures punishment applied to the buttocks entails a degree of humiliation, which may or may not be intended as part of the punishment.
  • Chastising the back of the thighs and calves, as sometimes in South Korean schools, is at least as painful if not more so, but this can cause more damage in terms of scars and bruising.
  • The upper back and the shoulders have historically been a target for whipping, e.g. in the UK with the cat-o'-nine-tails in the Royal Navy and in some pre-1948 judicial punishments, and also today generally in the Middle East and the Islamic world.
  • The head is a very dangerous place to hit, especially "boxing the ears".
  • The hand is very sensitive and delicate, and use of an implement could cause excessive damage.
  • The soles of the feet are extremely sensitive, and flogging them (falaka), as has been sometimes done in the Middle East, is excruciating.

Read more about this topic:  Corporal Punishment

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