Beating family members is common practice in many societies where a husband's right to physically punish his wife and other relatives is considered to be a natural and legitimate means of maintaining order, which has a solid foundation in society and the legal system. The right of the family head to abandon disabled children, to expose and kill newborn children as a means of birth control is also upheld in many societies. Corporal punishment in the home serves to discipline domestic life and regulate excesses or laziness. It is considered essential practice in many subsistence cultures where all members of a family work must function in order for them all to survive.
In some traditional Somali tribal cultures, wife beating is expected by prospective brides and has been described by husbands as a form of love. 40% of USA men considered it normal to hit their partners.
The situation of physical punishment within the family must be relativized against family stability and and social order.
Family violence is cruelty exercised on those nearest, most vulnerable, least able or inclined to defend themselves; in short it is usually practised on women and children.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
Non-profit, apolitical, independent, and non-governmental in nature, the UIA has been a pioneer in the research, monitoring and provision of information on international organizations, international associations and their global challenges since 1907.