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The Dark Side of the Family. What is the Dark Side of the Family? The Dark Side of the Family Family life is by no means always a picture of harmony and.

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Presentation on theme: "The Dark Side of the Family. What is the Dark Side of the Family? The Dark Side of the Family Family life is by no means always a picture of harmony and."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Dark Side of the Family

2 What is the Dark Side of the Family? The Dark Side of the Family Family life is by no means always a picture of harmony and happiness. Family violence (child abuse and spousal abuse) is the dark side of the family. Spousal abuse is more common among low-income couples. Goode (1971) suggested that low-income men may be more prone to violence because they have few other means to control their wives. Moreover, the high levels of stress induced by poverty and unemployment may lead to more violence within families. Gelles and Cornell (1990) found that unemployed men are nearly twice as likely as employed men to assault their wives.

3 Examples of The Dark Side of the Family Domestic Violence Divorce Single/lone parent families Teenage pregnancy

4 Domestic Violence Domestic violence was simply not defined as a problem area. Violence was not defined in such a way that it was cause for concern The control of women by men was accepted. (Both patriarch Jewish and Christian theological tradition supported male dominance of women. What we presently call domestic violence in the past was seen as an unremarkable aspect of conjugal relationships. *In other words our values are not the same as the values of past generations.

5 Until recently most sociologists were in fact male. So many researchers were easily mislead by the idealised myth of the family. There was a blurred gap between ideology and reality. Research is now spearheaded by female sociologists. Domestic violence (contd)

6 Statistics In total is is estimated that their were about 6.6 million incidents of domestic physical assault in million of these involved serious injury Furthermore there were about 7 million frightening threats Women were twice more likely than men to be injured by a partner in the last year. Women are also more likely to be assaulted three or more times. At least 12% of women and 5% of men had been assaulted on three or more occasions. They were termed Chronic Victims Data from 1996 British Crime Surevey (Self-Completion Questionnaire)

7 Men are more likely to be the victims of violent crime than women. Over 5 per cent of men and just under 3 per cent of women aged 16 and over in England and Wales were the victims of some sort of violence in the twelve months prior to interview in 2002/03. Men and women aged 16 to 24 are the most at risk age group. Around 15 per cent of men and 7 per cent women of this age reporting that some sort of violence had been used against them. Domestic violence is the only category of violence where the risks for women are higher than for men. Risks of stranger violence remain substantially greater for men than for women, with men four times more likely than women to suffer this form of attack. Source: Criminal Statistics, England and Wales 2001, Home Office Crime in England and Wales, 2002/2003, Home Office More Recent research

8 Psychological researchers have found that the frequently asked question ….. Why doesnt the victim just leave the violent relationship? ….. does not have a simple answer. Why do women stay in an abusive relationship?

9 Many victims of domestic violence have: Dependent children and family responsibilities A belief that it's a woman's job to keep peace in the family and to keep the family unit together A belief that violence in the family is normal No family or social support network of people who are in a position to help them No money, car, or property in their own name No job skills with which to support themselves and their children Why do women stay in an abusive relationship?

10 No money or appropriate clothes for job search No access to transportation, day care, or job skills training A fear that their abuser will get custody of their children if they leave No knowledge of their legal right to safety or of legal services available to them No knowledge of safe havens such as battered shelters for women and their children or other support systems such as Women's Resource Centers

11 Of papers in the psychology literature, 92 (81%) presented new research or data. Forty three (47%) of these were concerned only with the man as perpetrator and woman as victim paradigm and did not in any way mention or consider other types of domestic violence among adults. Two studies (2%) were concerned with woman as perpetrator and man as victim paradigm. Twenty five (27%) were concerned with both man on woman and woman on man violence. Man on man violence in gay domestic relationships were mentioned in only one study (1%). Woman on woman violence also merited one study.

12 Twenty studies (22%) examined domestic violence as a dyadic phenomenon in which both the man and the woman could simultaneously be both victim and perpetrator. When combined with studies that examined both man on woman and woman on man violence, those studies that examined both sides of the coin in domestic violence outnumbered those that examined only the woman-as-victim/man-as- perpetrator paradigm in this sample of the psychological literature.

13 Twenty one papers (19% of the total) were reviews or opinion papers that did not present new data. Of these, 9 (43%) examined the man on woman paradigm exclusive of all other forms of domestic violence among adults. One review examined woman on man violence. Four reviews examined both woman on man and man on woman violence (19%). No reviews considered either female or male gay domestic violence. Four reviews examined domestic violence as a dyadic phenomenon (19%). Of the total of 114 papers, only 3 (2%) professed to be from a feminist perspective. All of the feminist papers were reviews. None of the papers reviewed could be said to be of a political advocacy nature, although political advocacy and its possible detrimental effects on the study of domestic violence was discussed in some reviews.

14 INHIBITORS OF ASSAULT BY WOMEN OUTSIDE THE FAMILY FACILITATORS OF ASSAULT BY WOMEN WITHIN THE FAMILY A. CULTURAL NORMS: "Unfeminine" for women to hit, but "manly" for men A. CULTURAL NORMS: An indignant women slapping a man's face epitomizes femininity to many ·"if he gets fresh, slap him" ·survey data "ok for a wife to slap" ·examples in media B. LESSER SIZE AND STRENGTH: Makes women fearful of retaliation and injury by someone who is not committed to them B. LESSER SIZE AND STRENGTH: "I knew I wouldn't hurt him" C. SELF DEFENSE OR RETALIATION: Low because women assaulted less often (Except for rape) C. SELF DEFENSE OR RETALIATION: High because women assaulted frequently by partners D. GENDER NORMS FOR CONFLICT: Outside the family, women interact more with women and men more with men and male culture is more Pro violence as a means of conflict resolution D. GENDER NORMS FOR CONFLICT: In couple relations, male partners may be less reachable with non-violent problem solving that works in woman- to-woman relationships. This increases probability of violence to force attention to the problem E. SOURCE OF IDENTITY: Women's identity is not as strongly based on extra family interests. Therefore less need to defend interests and reputation by violence E. SOURCE OF IDENTITY: Women's identity is as strongly or more strongly based on family than men's. Therefore equal need to defend interests and reputation F. VIOLENCE LEVEL OF SETTING: Women are less often in high violence occupations: those requiring violence (police, military, some sports) and jobs with high violence rates such as heavy physical labor jobs F. VIOLENCE LEVEL OF SETTING: Women spend more time at home, and 90% hit toddlers. Mothers get five to 14 years of practice in hitting as morally correct through corporal punishment of their own children G. CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM INVOLVEMENT Police involvement not greatly different for men & women G. CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM INVOLVEMENT ·Men not likely to call the police ·Police not likely to arrest women So women can get away with it even more than men

15 Bibliography Data from 1996 British Crime Surevey (Self-Completion Questionnaire)


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