Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Are Men Society's Scapegoats?

An article that gives us some neat factoids:

"Men are about 19 more times more likely than women to say they have been falsely accused of sexual abuse. About 85 percent of these abuse allegations are made by women during battles over parent time, during the throes of divorce, or when a live-in situation is failing. ... "(A) sex-abuse charge -- even if false -- often costs the father his job, his health, his friends, his reputation, and his relationship with his child." [Citing Warren Farrell]

[...] The U.S. Department of Health and Human Service's Administration for Children & Families says of the percentage of the 3.3 million referrals for child abuse and neglect in 2009 it investigated, "Two-thirds of reports found all allegations to be unsubstantiated or intentionally false (64.3% and 0.1%, respectively)."

[...] "As a society, we don't typically think of men in the role of a victim. We can't even recognize it when we're confronted by physical evidence," Palmatier writes. "On the other hand, we're inclined to believe accusations about men."

Not only is it unfair and dishonest, she says, but it's "damaging to boys and young men, gender relations, relationships, families and 'the best interests of the children.' And it gives the women who are predators a free pass."

Automatically assuming the worst of men is a form of discrimination, she, Farrell and others say. And they're right.

Some DV tidbits linked via that article:

Ongoing ASU research may create more understanding of female perpetrators of “intimate partner violence” and encourage services for both the perpetrators and male victims.
Kellie Palazzolo, an assistant professor in the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication, is the adviser for the research project that began fall 2009.
One goal of the research is to understand how college students perceive female and male perpetrators, she said.

[...] “It’s often been taken for granted that women can’t really do that much damage, so it’s OK to maybe slap your boyfriend or do something of that nature,” Palazzolo said.

[...W]hen the man or woman was violent against a victim but didn’t kill the victim, participants said the male perpetrator should be punished more than the female perpetrator.

“When a man hits a woman, society has a perception that a man should never hit a woman,” Scarduzio said. “That’s just kind of a cultural norm.”

Also, the results found that when a woman hits a man, there is another reaction.

“People try to explain that and say, ‘Well maybe she was acting in self-defense or maybe he did something to her to make her hit him or maybe it was an accident,’” Scarduzio said.

[...] “People don’t want to think that a female can be violent just on her own, without someone provoking her,” Scarduzio said.

She said this view can hinder services for women who are violent and need to be helped as well as for male victims.

[...] Katie Harris, a doctoral communications student working on the research, said male victims are portrayed negatively through stereotypes.

“When men are victims of intimate partner violence, people tend to say things like, ‘Oh, well, he’s a wimp for getting beat up by a girl. He isn’t a real man,’” Harris said.

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