Thursday, April 1, 2010

Feminists’ myths about domestic violence being busted

Newer Perspectives on Domestic Violence

That domestic violence is a preserve of men is demolished by this data on lesbian couples:

Nor is the incidence of DV among lesbian cohorts minimal. In fact, abuse among lesbians occurs with far greater frequency than among heterosexuals (given as 24% by the study above), and far more frequently than male-on-female abuse. Estimates of abuse have ranged between 47% and 73% (Coleman, 1990; Bologna, Waterman, Dawson, 1987; Lie. et al. 1991) among lesbian subjects who responded to questionnaires assessing prevalence of some form of physical, sexual, or emotional-psychological abuse in at least one relationship. Estimates of verbal abuse in lesbian relationships have been as high as 95% (Kelly & Warshafsky, 1987). About half of lesbian subjects who participated in research surveys indicated they had experienced 10 or more abusive incidents during their relationships, and about three-quarters had experienced 6 or more (Renzetti 1992).

That men are more aggressive than women is probably only a convenient stereotype associated with physical aggression of men.  The study has to say this about differences in aggression behaviour between men and women:

In a paper from the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, Anne Conway6 summarizes her important study on “Girls, Aggression, and Emotion Regulation” as follows: “Many studies have demonstrated that boys are more aggressive than girls (see J.D. Cole & K. Dodge, 1997, for a review) and that emotion regulation difficulties are associated with problematic behaviours. However, recent findings indicate that gender differences in aggressive behaviour disappear when assessments are broadened to include relational aggression—behaviours designed to harm the relationship goals of others by spreading rumours, gossiping, and eliciting peer rejection of others (The author has heard the term “Soul Murder” given to such behaviours and the results can often be deadly.) Moreover, although difficulties regulating emotions have been reported for physically aggressive children, little research has examined these processes in relationally aggressive children.”

And goes on to demolish the myth of women being always peacemakers and men always being violent from point of view of anthropology:

In her seminal study, Male and Female, the renowned anthropologist Margaret Mead14 states the following: “There are even those who have argued that women are inherently more peaceful than men. On further examination, it would seem that there is little evolutionary basis for this argument. There seems very little ground for claiming that the mother of young children is more peaceful, more responsible, and more thoughtful for the welfare of the human race than is her husband and brother.”

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