Yours is a common view nowadays in the USA and I think has probably resulted in a higher percentage of girls being paddled in recent years than in the past, in the relatively few places where there is any school CP at all. Even so, it's still only 20% to 25% of the total, according to the federal statistics, and maybe this simply reflects the fact that adolescent boys have been on average naughtier than girls since the dawn of time. It's the testosterone that does it.I too was surprised by the statement by the superintendent in Tennessee that girls are explicitly excluded from CP in his school system. My impression is that that is rare now in the USA. Some would maintain that it could even constitute unlawful discrimination, though I am not aware that that proposition has ever been tested in a court of law.Here in the UK, up until when school CP was outlawed altogether, there were lots of mixed-sex schools where only boys received CP. Caning, especially, was always thought of as mainly "a guy thing". I think there was always some distaste about the idea of physical punishment for girls, perhaps stemming partly from traditional notions of chivalry ("no gentleman would strike a lady", etc.). On top of that, there was probably some unstated nervousness about caning girls on their bottoms because it was thought that it might be misconstrued as having sexual overtones and/or because teenage girls might have started menstruating and nobody really wanted to start thinking about the potential implications of all that. So in practice, with a few exceptions, when girls were caned at all, it was usually on their hands, even at schools where boys were caned on their bottoms.Personally I have no problem with making that gender distinction, or discrimination if you want to call it that, but then I was brought up in the UK in the 1950s and it never occurred to anyone in those days to claim that boys and girls belonged to the same species. This attitude was naturally also found in most of the former British Empire. The practice continues today in, for instance, Singapore, where but actually . Singaporeans practically never question the assumptions underlying that. It's just a cultural thing.I think if you inhabit a culture where the conventional wisdom is that males and females are not significantly different from each other (as seems to be the case in the USA at the moment), the best solution is probably to make it an optional choice, as is already the case in practice in quite a number of the relatively few US schools that use CP at all. Then boys will (I gather) nearly always choose it in preference to some more laborious punishment, and so will some but not all girls.

The answer is that nobody knows, because the records were never centrally collected. Clearly it would be after universal compulsory education in 1880. But after that the minimum school leaving age was still 12 or 13 for several decades, so most teenagers were working.The school leaving age was raised to 15 in 1947. From then on, there were suddenly a lot more fractious adolescent boys to be kept in order. Ditto when it was raised again to 16 in 1972 -- especially when you consider that 15 is typically the most rebellious age for a boy. I have a hunch that the amount of CP probably actually went up quite a lot at that point after, perhaps, a dip in the middle/late 1960s.So the year we are looking for might well be in the middle 1970s. I've always felt sure the incidence of CP in that decade was higher than most people realised at the time, and higher than most people seem to think in retrospect now. However, the use of CP was beginning to decline by the end of the 1970s -- see the , which was probably fairly representative of many other areas.

The English Vice


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