Presentation on theme: "Young(er) People and Male Violence Against Women Dr. Nancy Lombard Social Policy and Sociology Lecturer, Glasgow Caledonian University."— Presentation transcript:
Young(er) People and Male Violence Against Women Dr. Nancy Lombard Social Policy and Sociology Lecturer, Glasgow Caledonian University
Research Questions How do young people aged 11 and 12 name and define male violence against women? How do they explain and account for male violence against women? How might research on this topic be conducted?
The fieldwork took place in five primary schools in Glasgow over a period of six months Total of 89 eleven and twelve year olds
Reasons for not taking part ‘although some children may have their own experience on which to form opinions, domestic violence in particular and violence against women in general are subjects which are not explored in any depth until secondary school…..you therefore might have difficulty in finding a primary school willing or able to help you with this research.’ Head Teacher, Glasgow Primary School
The Methods Exploratory Questionnaires Discussion Group Sessions Vignettes
Main Findings Young people subscribed to naturalised definitions of masculinity to explain (rather than question) why men were violent Young people defined ‘real’ violence as physical acts done by men that had legal consequences. As a consequence much of the violence experienced or perpetrated by themselves, as young people, was minimised, normalised and regarded as ‘unreal’
Young people justified men’s violence against women using gender stereotypes and a rigid understanding of adult relationships framed by heterosexuality and marriage Young girls had ambition and felt, presently, there were few restrictions to achieving their goals. They saw this as changing dramatically however when they were married and had children.
Men are ‘naturally’ violent Young people thought violence was a prerequisite of masculine identity These intrinsic attributes of ‘being a man’ were also drawn upon to explain girls’ violence (as unnatural or ‘non’ violence) because of their lack of masculinity
Violence is only perpetrated by adult men For an act to be considered ‘violent’ by the young people it typically had to fulfil certain criteria These criteria normally included acts performed by adult men, in an outside space, and involving physical actions. These acts would normally result in visible injury ending with police intervention and consequence such as an arrest.
Violence between young people isn’t real violence The young people were adverse to physical violence that resulted in pain or physical injury and their discussions in the groups reflected this stance. However, time and time again, the same young people told of violent interactions with their siblings, or among their peers. Such interactions were either regarded as dummy fighting or ‘unreal’ violence.
Violence as ‘justified’ Meera: In order to teach them a lesson you have to hit them Craig: Well she’s been cheating on him so she deserves it Daniel: Yeah, she deserves it Nancy: Okay, so what does everyone else think? Rachel: He should have pushed her, not hit her
Sandeep: You sometimes hit a girl if you get annoyed if they say something to you Nancy: So you hit a girl if they say something that annoys you? Sandeep: Yeah. Vikram: Sometimes you can hit hard and sometimes you can hit not very hard Nancy: Right okay, so you are saying its okay to hit a girl if the girl… Sandeep: No its not okay to hit a girl, but its okay if they annoy you Nancy: So if you have a reason? Both:Yeah
Lily: Because they’re a couple, she should do what he says. Craig: Well she’s been cheating on him so she deserves it. Daniel: Yeah, she deserves it. Maria: But like what he should have done, what he should do next time is not slap her but say, next time dinner should be ready. I’m giving you your last warning. Because slapping her just makes things worser [sic].
When I’m a woman…. Lucy: I mean now I have lots of friends, girls and boys. But when I’m older, like when I am married, I’ll probably just have one friend and it’ll be a woman. Sarah: At the moment I want to be a dancer or a doctor [ … ] When I grow up I’ll going to have two babies and work part time in the shop down the road.
Reflections on your own work and practice Think about your own constructions of gender – do these differ at home and in your workplace (and other areas of your life?) Do any of these attitudes surprise you? Are any confirmed by your own experiences of young people? What small changes can we make to challenge these normative attitudes?