Thursday, July 14, 2011

On intimate terrorism

I found this article via google reader with at least 3 entries. And there was one thing about it that irked me the wrong way:

So-called “intimate terrorism,” overwhelmingly perpetrated by men, is embedded in a general pattern of power and control

Back in the days, when I wrote that large article about Deutsch's large DV article, there was a lot I was stumbling upon. There still is a big clustered article somewhere saved with links and stuff as I never finished that piece. It really got problematic. I read stuff and forgot where I read it and had to search and search on and on and did not finish it. I'll do it next week I thought and well, next week after next week after next week and still I won't touch that thing. So when I heard intimate terrorism, I recognized, there was something with it. A critique by Strauss I assume somewhere in a large pdf file not easily found. Luckily when this post came up on NSWATM someone did all the work for me. So Kudos for Tamen for pointing me to that resource(Again NSWATM proves that it is a great blog with great discussions taking place. The most pleasant surprise for me in 2k11 thus far):

Using Johnson’s domestic violence typology to classify men and women in a non-selected sample (2004)

These findings suggest that research that has used single-sex samples to provide information on their own and opposite-sex partner’s aggressive behaviors may have drawn conclusions about sex differences when in reality the effects were driven by self versus partner report bias. Johnson proposed, and found evidence for, the asymmetric nature of IT and VR (Johnson, 1999; Johnson & Leone, 2000), with men being perpetrators and women being victims of controlling physical aggression. However all previous analysis conducted by these researchers used only reports from women about their own perpetration and victimization, even when reports from men were available (Johnson & Leone, 2000). Research reported in previous analyses (Graham-Kevan & Archer, 2003b) suggested that the use of both men’s and women’s reports of perpetration and victimization may affect the distribution by sex within typology categories, although the non-selected sample used was too small to allow investigation of this. The present sample was large enough to allow a meaningful investigation of the distribution of men and women within the different categories of aggressive relationships. Here, contrary to Johnson’s predictions, it was found that IT and VR were essentially sex-symmetrical and that nonviolent victims, i.e. those who do not use any physical aggression towards a physically aggressive partner, of IT were more likely to be men than women.

If replicated in future studies, these findings have far-reaching implications. They provide support for researchers, such as Steinmetz (1978) and George (1994; 2003), who have claimed that not only can men as well as women be mutually victimized in intimate relationships, but also that men can be victims of ‘battering’ in the same way that women can. These conclusions are in direct contrast with feminist analyses, which have discounted such claims by asserting that men use controlling aggression and women use no (or more recently, self-defensive) aggression (R.P. Dobash & Dobash, 1979; R.P. Dobash et al., 1998; Giles-Sims, 1983; Okun, 1986; Pence & Paymar, 1993; Saunders, 1988; Stacy, Hazlewood & Shupe, 1994; Walker, 1979; Yllö, 1994). However, the present findings are supported by research that has investigated men’s victimization (George, 2003; Statistics Canada, 2000; McFarlane, Willson, Malecha, & Lemmey, 2000; Migliaccio, 2002; McLeod, 1984).

The invisibility of female victims of domestic abuse before the 1970s did not reflect a lack of such victims, only a lack of awareness. With that lack of awareness,perception of an absence of sanctions (both formal and informal) towards male perpetrators was fostered. One could propose then that, in its failure to address female victimization, society was implicitly supporting such abuse (although a lack of overt support had been evident for some time). This does not now appear to be the case, at least among western nations, where women have a measure of societal power (Archer, 2003).

Male victims may currently find themselves in a similar position to that of women victims pre-1970. The lack of a political advocacy and the strong resistance of many women’s groups may be obscuring the existence of male victims of women’s aggression. This invisibility is then used as evidence that such victimised men do not exist (R.P. Dobash, Dobash, Daly & Wilson, 1992; Semple, 2001).

Good stuff. I really have to finish that one post...

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