Gendered Violence: How ChildhoodExposure to ViolenceAffects Adolescent Dating ViolenceHolly A. BrennanTiffin University
Why this topic was chosen• As young adults we can relate to intimaterelationships• Personal experience with Mom and Dad• Little data available, want to find out more ondating violence and its possible causes
Definition of “Dating Violence”• Variations of the definition within the researchfound, so needed to decide on one basicoperational definition: physical threats or physicalcontact.• The definition of violence parallels that presentedby Reiss and Ross (1993), “behaviors byindividuals that intentionally threaten, attempt orinflict physical harm on others” (as cited in Lichter& McCloskey, 2004, p. 344).
Thesis• The researcher believes thatchildren, specifically boys who are exposed toviolence, are disposed to repeating violencelater on in their own romantic relationships.This issue needs to be assessed and possiblesolutions will be discussed.
Possible Causes of Dating Violence• Gender• Modeling behavior• Witnessing violence in household as a child• Motivation and reinforcement• Traditional gender stereotypes• Identification of gender roles• Socially acceptable and even expected insome cultures
Gender• According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (2007) andTjaden & Thoeness, (2000), “Women and girls are morelikely to be killed by male partners than any other class ofindividuals- a finding consistent across every study inevery national context” (as cited in Reed, 2010, p. 349).• In a study conducted by Tolman (1998) on gender andcontextual factors in heterosexual adolescent datingviolence, “Girls reported their dating partners were theones who started the abuse 70% of the time” (p. 187).• Hyde (2005) validates that “men are more generallyaggressive than women” (p.591).
Gender (continued)• Denno’s (1994) research reveals the following: Genderis among the strongest predictors of crime, particularlyviolent crime. Arrest, self-report, and victimizationdata consistently show that men and boys commitsignificantly more crime, both serious and not, thanwomen and girls. This pattern persists despite dataindicating that crimes committed by females may berising. Evidence also suggests that males are generallymore aggressive than females, even before preschoolyears. Yet most theories and explanations of crime aregender blind. They either bypass the gender issueentirely or focus solely on why females fail to resemblemales in their behavior. (p.1)
Modeling Behavior• Equal violence between boys & girls? No.• Studies have shown that “the relationshipbetween exposure to violence during childhoodand dating violence tends to vary by gender”(Lichter & McCloskey, 2004, p. 345).• The Bureau of Justice Statistics (2007) and Tjaden& Thoennes (2000) have found that “Women andgirls are more likely to be injured than men andboys due to violence from a partner” (as cited inReed, 2010, p.349).
Witnessing violence in household as a child• Children who observe aggressive behavior in the household learn toact aggressively and are more prone to violence Since boys aremore aggressive to begin with, the fact that they are witnessingsuch violence as a child may contribute to dating violence amongteenage boys• According to Foo & Margolin (1995) and Jaffe, Wolfe, & Wilson(1990), “Several studies have found that witnessing or experiencingviolence as a child increases one’s risk of having attitudes justifyingintimate violence during adolescence” (as cited in Lichter &McCloskey, 2004, p. 345).• O’Leary (1988) states, “children exposed to marital violence areprone to repeating violence in their own romantic relationships” (ascited in Lichter & McCloskey, 2004, p. 345).• Main point, parents are influential
Motivation and reinforcement• If a child witnesses violence as a way to endan argument, they may be motivated tobehave violently in an intimate relationshipbecause it shows control and resolution.• The problem with that is the positiveresult, which is that the argument ended andwith that tension is reduced.
Traditional gender stereotypes• Linder (2001) notes that “men who holdtraditional gender stereotypes are more likelythan men who do not hold such stereotypes touse partner violence” (p. 130).• “It appears that gendered perceptions of violenceare based in real-world knowledge of genderdifferences” (Hamby, 2010, p. 324). Becausemen are larger and stronger, they are more likelyto control or dominate their partner.
Identification of Gender Roles• Boys are more masculine and young girls aremore feminine• Linder (2001) validates, “gender-role conceptsprovide a framework for selecting appropriatefuture behaviors” (p. 130). If boys aretaught to be tough then they are more likelyto act that way in relationships
Socially acceptable and even expectedin some cultures• People tend to gravitate toward friends ofsimilar values, morals, and ethics If a boyhas friends who mistreat their partners, thenhe will most likely behave similarly.• Some cultures expect men to dominate andcontrol women May relate to financialstability and “bread-winning”?
Opposition Girls are violent too• Linder’s study: girls commit dating violencetoo Could be self-defense?
Solutions• Educate young people• Adequate counseling• Allocate money to train teachers, parents, andhealth care professionals
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