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NCJ Number: 198005 Find in a Library
Title: Framework for Understanding Women's Use of Nonlethal Violence in Intimate Heterosexual Relationships
Journal: Violence Against Women  Volume:8  Issue:11  Dated:November 2002  Pages:1364-1389
Author(s): Shamita Das Dasgupta
Date Published: November 2002
Page Count: 26
Type: Literature Review
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article reviews current research on domestic violence by women, with attention to two questions: Are women who assault their heterosexual partners different from male batterers? If so, how are they different from male batterers?
Abstract: This review does not include studies of lethal violence by women. The research reviewed is placed into three categories based on similarities of theory and theme: research that promotes "gender symmetry" in the abuse of intimate partners; research that claims women's violence toward male partners as self-defense and/or retaliatory actions; and research that focuses on multiple corollaries of women's violence. The author concludes that research clearly shows that women who assault their heterosexual partners are distinct from men who engage in battering behaviors, since most of the women are victims of ongoing abuse from their male partners. Furthermore, the research suggests that men's and women's violence toward their heterosexual partners is historically, culturally, motivationally, and situationally dissimilar. The consequences of these actions differ as well. Women tend to recognize such behavior as a violation of their socially prescribed gender role and readily confess to their transgression of the norm for their behavior; men, on the other hand, tend to minimize their violence against female partners and/or blame the victim, which reflects a greater sense of entitlement to such behavior compared with women. Although both genders use violence to achieve control, women attempt to secure short-term command over immediate situations; whereas, men tend to establish comprehensive authority over a much longer period. The majority of research findings indicate that women who use violence are themselves battered by male partners and use physical aggression to escape or stop this abuse. Studies indicate, however, that generally women are unsuccessful in achieving their objectives through violence. Suggestions are offered for future research in this field. 9 notes and 40 references
Main Term(s): Female victims
Index Term(s): Domestic assault; Domestic violence causes; Male female offender comparisons; Self defense; Violence causes; Violent females; Violent men
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