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NCJ Number: 162767 Find in a Library
Title: Victims or Villains? Women Who Physically Abuse Their Children (From Violence and Gender Relations: Theories and Interventions, P 178-189, 1996, Barbara Fawcett, Brid Featherstone, et al., eds. -- See NCJ-162754)
Author(s): B Featherstone
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 12
Sponsoring Agency: Sage Publications Ltd
London, EC2A 4PU, England
Sale Source: Sage Publications Ltd
6 Bonhill Street
London, EC2A 4PU,
United Kingdom
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: As an area of study, women's violence toward children occupies a paradoxical position in that it is simultaneously overscrutinized and neglected.
Abstract: Attempts to understand women's violence toward children reflect methodological and definitional difficulties. Definitions range from those stressing what happens to individual children to those emphasizing gaps between optimum living conditions and actual living conditions. Unlike sexual abuse, questions about the relationship between gender and definition have not been central in the study of women's violence toward children. The possibility of female involvement in violence toward their own or other children opens up painful and difficult issues, particularly for feminists. The fear that debate over these issues may allow men to abdicate responsibility for their disproportionate share in violence may have partially contributed to the relative silence in this area. At the same time, there has been a tendency to overidentify and scrutinize women in child abuse cases and to ignore men. The study of violent women is related to fundamental questions about the role of mothers and family power relations. The literature on mothering and child abuse is reviewed, and the issue of power is discussed as a central theme in feminist thought and practice. Controversy associated with relational dynamics and responsibility is examined, with gender explored as a social relationship. 48 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile victims
Index Term(s): Abused children; Abusing parents; Behavioral science research; Child abuse; Child victims; Female offenders; Female sex roles; Feminism; Gender issues; Victims of violent crime; Violent women
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