Women and children at risk: a feminist perspective on child abuse.
ABSTRACT Viewing child abuse through the prism of woman battering reveals that both problems originate in conflicts over gender identity and male authority. Data indicate that men, not women, typically commit serious child abuse. A study of the mothers of child abuse victims shows that battering is the most common context for child abuse, that the battering male is the typical child abuser, that the battered mothers have no distinctive pathology in their backgrounds, and that clinicians respond punitively to the battered mothers. The child abuse establishment assigns responsibility for abuse to mothers regardless of who assaults the child, and responds punitively to women, withholding vital resources and often removing the child to foster care, if women are battered or otherwise fail to meet expectations of "good mothering." The combination of male control, misleading psychological knowledge about women's propensity for "bonding," and sanctions used to enforce gender stereotypes of motherhood combine to increase the entrapment and inequality from which battering and child abuse originate, a process termed "patriarchal mothering." The best way to prevent child abuse is through "female empowerment."
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ABSTRACT: This paper scrutinizes the association between maternal practices to correct child behavior and the mothers' exposure to and attitudes towards intimate partner violence (IPV). Nationally representative data comprising 14 016 married women were retrieved from the Egyptian Demographic and Health Survey, 2005. Data on practices used to correct child behavior, exposure to IPV, attitudes towards IPV were our primary interest. Data were analyzed using Chi-square test and logistic regression. The majority of the mothers reported use of violent methods, like shouting (90.6%), striking (69.1%) and slapping (39.3%) to correct child behavior. Seven percent of the mothers used only the explanation option. Exposure to physical IPV and tolerant attitudes towards IPV were associated with an augmented risk of using violent methods (shouting, striking or slapping) to correct child behavior. On the other hand non-tolerant attitudes towards IPV were associated with increased likelihood of sole use of the explanation method. We thus recommend the implementation of local parental education programs focusing on communicative skills to reduce IPV and related child abuse. Journal of injury & violence research 01/2010; 2(1):25-33.
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ABSTRACT: This article employs a critical psycho-discursive approach to social identity processes and subjectivity in an important and under-researched area; the psychological impact of domestic violence on children. We use a case study of interview interaction with two teenage brothers talking about their father's past violent behaviour to show that a highly idealised, dominant form of hegemonic masculinity--'heroic protection discourse' (HPD)--was a major organising principle framing both brothers' understandings of events. However, significant differences occurred in how each boy identified and made sense of self and others within this discourse. We discuss our findings in terms of (1) the destructive power of HPD to position sons as responsible for a father's violent behaviour and (2) the utility of our approach for developing a better understanding of when, if or why psychological and behavioural problems associated with domestic violence are likely to develop in a particular child. In so doing, we hope to contribute to theoretical debates in social psychology on identity and subjectivity by showing how it is possible to make sense of the 'collision' between structure and agency through the study of social interaction.British Journal of Social Psychology 06/2009; 49(Pt 1):189-205. · 1.76 Impact Factor
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