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Sarah Currie is a medical copy editor on CMAJ

 
Whether or not you’re a fan of the NFL or the Minnesota Vikings, chances are you’ve heard of Adrian Peterson and the debate over corporal punishment that has been reignited as a result of his . Mr. Peterson used a “switch” to discipline his four-year-old son. In text messages to his son’s mother, he admitted that he may have gone too far in doing so. The child’s skin was broken in several places across the backs of his thighs and buttocks. At least once, the switch hit the child’s scrotum.

“It doesn’t matter where you’re from, right is right and wrong is wrong,” said , when interviewing Charles Barkley, who appeared to defend corporal punishment in some cultural contexts. Is he right? Is there no room for moral relativism in some debates?

Professor Britney Cooper, PhD, author of a , commenting on the Adrian Peterson case and exploring the intersection of parenting and race, provides some perspective on the differences between how white and black parents discipline their children ...continue reading