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NCJ Number: 201430 Find in a Library
Title: Theoretical Explanations for Violence Against Women (From Sourcebook on Violence Against Women, P 5-22, 2001, Claire M. Renzetti, Jeffrey L. Edleson, and Raquel K. Bergen, eds. -- See NCJ-201429)
Author(s): Jana L. Jasinski
Date Published: 2001
Page Count: 18
Sponsoring Agency: Sage Publications, Inc
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
Sale Source: Sage Publications, Inc
2455 Teller Road
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
United States of America
Type: Research (Theoretical)
Format: Book (Softbound)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This chapter introduces the major paradigms that researchers on violence against women use to frame their work and help them explain their findings.
Abstract: Explanations of violence against women that focus on characteristics of individuals use a micro-level or individual-level perspective. Theoretical explanations of violence against women that reflect the micro perspective include social learning theory; psychopathology, psychological, and physiological explanations; resource theory; and exchange theory. Social learning theory, one of the most popular explanatory frameworks for violence against women, suggests that individuals learn how to behave through both the experience of and exposure to violence. A psychopathological explanation of violence against women suggests that individuals who are violent toward women have some type of personality disorder or mental illness that might get in the way of otherwise normal inhibitions about violent behavior. Biological and physiological explanations suggest that violence against women is related to the process of natural selection, such that men, who are biologically driven to reproduce as much as possible, will resort to rape when they have difficulty finding consensual female partners. Alcohol has also been cited by researchers as a frequent factor in violent acts against women. Under exchange theory, individuals are viewed as engaging in certain behaviors either to earn reward or to escape punishment; under this theory, men's violence against women can be interpreted as a means for men to maintain their position in the social structure. Resource theory is situated within the framework of exchange theory, which views men as using violence within the family to establish power over women within family dynamics when other resources of persuasion are lacking. In contrast to micro theories, macro or sociocultural theories focus on the social and cultural conditions that make violence against women a likely occurrence. A number of explanations of violence against women can be classified as macro-oriented theories. These include the cultural acceptance of violence, patriarchy or feminist perspective, a subculture of violence, and structural stress. Sociocultural theories address the influence of social location (social class, education, and income) on violence against women and have attempted to integrate both social structural and family processes. More recently, the trend in theory development regarding violence against women has moved toward the development of multidimensional theories of violence that take into account both social structural factors and individual characteristics. 102 references
Main Term(s): Female victims
Index Term(s): Alcohol-crime relationship; Behavior under stress; Biological influences; Cultural influences; Feminism; Gender issues; Psychological influences on crime; Social conditions; Social Learning; Victims of violent crime; Violence causes
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