Singaporean parents split on corporal punishment in schools

Kim HoPR Manager
September 19, 2019, 8:10 AM GMT+0

Eight in ten use corporal punishment on their own children

While corporal punishment remains legal in Singapore schools, Singaporean parents are divided on whether this should be the case, latest YouGov research finds.

Over a third (35%) of parents think physical punishment should be allowed in schools, and a similar amount (37%) think that it shouldn’t. The remaining quarter (27%) are undecided. Fathers are more in favour of schools carrying out physical punishment than mothers (41% vs. 28%). Similarly, those who use corporal punishment at home are more likely to be in favour of it being carried out in schools than those who don’t (39% vs. 20%).

Although not all parents agree on corporal punishment in schools, the majority (78%) carry out physical discipline at home. One in eleven (9%) do this often, while a third (34%) does so sometimes, and the remaining third (34%) does so rarely. One in five (21%) never physically punish their children.

Eight in ten (81%) Singaporean parents were subject to corporal punishment growing up. Data shows that those who grew up being physically punished are far more likely to conduct the same punishment on their own children, compared to those who did not (84% vs. 54%).

Though it is not illegal for parents to physically discipline their children in Singapore, one in five (20%) parents think this should be. A quarter (24%) think that physical punishment amounts to child abuse, and those who were subject to corporal punishment as children are less likely to think it is than those who weren’t (21% vs. 39%).

Overall the majority (70%) of parents think that physical punishment is sometimes necessary. The behaviour that Singaporean parents think most warrants physical discipline is stealing (57%), followed by violence (54%) and bullying (45%).

Jake Gammon, Head of Omnibus APAC at YouGov Omnibus commented: “Parenting styles vary, and the question of whether a child should be subject to corporal punishment is one that tends to spark debate. While it appears most Singaporean parents are comfortable with physically disciplining their children at home, they have split opinions as to whether this should be carried out by schools.”

***Results based on 596 Singaporean parents surveyed by YouGov Omnibus