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During feudal times royal families would have what were called ‘whipping boys’. A whipping boy was a boy of the same age but not the same class in society as the prince or nobleman. For when a child was of high enough class he was too important to be beaten by anyone other than his father. Fathers of noble families were frequently unavailable in the raising of their children so something had to be done to punish the misbehaved child. Thus the concept of the whipping boy was developed. The whipping boy would be a playmate to the young nobleman they would grow up together, and likely be close friends. When the nobleman acted out of turn or slacked in his studies the whipping boy would be beaten in place of the young nobleman. This was a form of psychological ‘indirect punishment’. The whipping boy would serve as a sort of scapegoat for the young prince or nobleman. When the noble boy did wrong the whipping boy was punished in his place.

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