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NCJ Number: 153353 Find in a Library
Title: Lesbian Battering: The Relationship Between Personality and the Perpetration of Violence
Journal: Violence and Victims  Volume:9  Issue:2  Dated:special issue (Summer 1994)  Pages:139-152
Author(s): V E Coleman
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 14
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The occurrence of violence in lesbian relationships challenges societal stereotypes of women and traditional domestic violence theories, and the author identifies the need for a multidimensional theory of partner abuse that emphasizes individual personality dynamics to more fully understand the heterogeneity of batterers.
Abstract: The recognition of lesbian battering counters traditional ways of conceptualizing and addressing domestic violence. There has been a tendency within the domestic violence movement to focus on patriarchal values and sociocultural institutions while excluding the importance of personality variables. Although both women and men internalize an ideology of domination and subordination, gender-based sociopolitical theories of domestic violence cannot adequately explain why lesbian battering occurs at rates comparable to those of heterosexual battering. Studies have shown that, regardless of sexual orientation, personality characteristics play a significant role in the perpetration of domestic violence. Battering by both women and men has been linked to feelings of powerlessness, low self-esteem, and fear of abandonment, but women and men tend to internally experience and deal with these struggles in different ways. Further research is needed to determine the extent to which factors such as child abuse, misogyny, and internalized homophobia influence lesbian battering. The relationship between psychopathology, sociocultural factors, and battering in lesbian relationships is examined, and dynamics related to borderline and narcissistic personality disorders are highlighted. 56 references
Main Term(s): Victims of violent crime
Index Term(s): Abused women; Criminology; Domestic assault; Female victims; Feminism; Gender issues; Homosexuality-crime relationships; Male female offender comparisons; Mental disorders; Personality assessment; Psychological research; Sociological analyses; Violent men; Violent women
Note: Article based in part on paper presented at the American Psychological Convention, 1992, Washington, DC
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