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NCJ Number: 50467 Find in a Library
Title: FAMILY AS CRADLE OF VIOLENCE
Journal: SOCIETY  Volume:10  Issue:6  Dated:(SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 1973)  Pages:50-56
Author(s): S K STEINMETZ; M A STRAUS
Corporate Author: Transaction Periodical Consortium
United States of America
Date Published: 1973
Page Count: 7
Sponsoring Agency: Transaction Periodical Consortium
Piscataway, NJ 08854
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE PREVALENCE OF INTRAFAMILY VIOLENCE MAY BE THE REASON THAT SOME FORM OF VIOLENCE WILL OCCUR IN ALMOST EVERY FAMILY.
Abstract: THE MOST UNIVERSAL TYPE OF PHYSICAL VIOLENCE IS CORPORAL PUNISHMENT BY PARENTS. STUDIES IN ENGLAND AND THE U.S. SHOW THAT BETWEEN 84 AND 97 PERCENT OF ALL PARENTS USE PHYSICAL PUNISHMENT AT SOME POINT IN THEIR CHILD'S LIFE. MOREOVER, SUCH VIOLENCE IS NOT CONFINED TO EARLY CHILDHOOD. DATA ON STUDENTS IN THREE DIFFERENT REGIONS OF THE U.S. SHOW THAT HALF OF THE PARENTS SAMPLED EITHER USED OR THREATENED THEIR HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS WITH PHYSICAL PUNISHMENT. HOWEVER, MURDER, THOUGH RELATIVELY RARE, GETS FAR MORE ATTENTION THAN LESS VIOLENT ABUSE. STILL, RELATIVES REMAIN THE SINGLE LARGEST CATEGORY OF MURDER VICTIM -- ABOUT AS MANY PEOPLE WERE MURDERED BY THEIR RELATIVES IN A 6-MONTH PERIOD IN NEW YORK CITY AS HAD BEEN KILLED IN OVER 3 YEARS OF FIGHTING IN NORTHERN IRELAND. FAMILY VIOLENCE IS THE LEADING CAUSE OF CALLS FOR POLICE ASSISTANCE, PERHAPS BECAUSE OF SOME OF THE UNDERLYING ATTITUDES ON MARITAL CONFLICT REVEALED BY A SURVEY CONDUCTED BY THE NATIONAL COMMISSION ON THE CAUSES AND PREVENTION OF VIOLENCE. THE DATA SHOWED THAT ONE OUT OF FOUR MEN AND ONE OUT OF SIX WOMEN APPROVE OF A HUSBAND STRIKING A WIFE UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES. THE SURVEY ALSO REVEALED THAT 26 PERCENT OF THE MEN AND 19 PERCENT OF THE WOMEN APPROVE. SIBLINGS VIOLENCE IS ALSO WIDESPREAD AND ALTHOUGH MOST OF THE EVERYDAY SORTS OF INTRAFAMILY VIOLENCE IS CARRIED OUT BY NORMAL AMERICANS RATHER THAN DERANGED INDIVIDUALS, RESEARCH ON THE PHENOMENON IS CONTRADICTORY. WHILE SURVEYS REGARDING CLASS DIFFERENCES INDICATE NO DIFFERENCES IN ATTITUDES TOWARD CORPORAL PUNISHMENT, STATISTICS REVEAL THAT LESS EDUCATED PARENTS SPANK OR SLAP THEIR CHILDREN MORE FREQUENTLY THAN MORE EDUCATED PARENTS. WHILE THERE IS LITTLE EVIDENCE TO SHOW A DIRECT LINKAGE BETWEEN SEXUAL REPRESSION AND FAMILY VIOLENCE, THE ROLE OF COMPENSATORY VIOLENCE -- VIOLENT ACTS RESULTING FROM A LACK OF ADEQUATE RESOURCES AND FRUSTRATING LIFE EXPERIENCES -- IS GENERALLY ACKNOWLEDGED. FINALLY, ALTHOUGH THERE ARE NEGATIVE EVIDENCES AND THEORETICAL CRITICISMS ABOUT THE CATHARSIS MYTH, SEVERAL FACTORS, SUCH AS THE PRESTIGE AND INFLUENCE OF PSYCHOANALYTICAL THEORY AND THE CONFUSION OF IMMEDIATE WITH LONG-TERM EFFECTS, SEEM TO UNDERLIE ITS PRESISTENCE. NO REFERENCES ARE CITED. (KBL)
Index Term(s): Battered husbands; Battered wives; Family offenses; Homicide; Marital problems; Public Attitudes/Opinion; Theory; Violence
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=50467

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