skip navigation

PUBLICATIONS

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.

 

NCJ Number: 66942 Find in a Library
Title: VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN - THE MYTH OF MASOCHISM
Journal: AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHOTHERAPY  Volume:33  Issue:2  Dated:(APRIL 1979)  Pages:161-173
Author(s): A SYMONDS
Corporate Author: Assoc for the Advancement of Psychotherapy
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 13
Sponsoring Agency: Assoc for the Advancement of Psychotherapy
New York, NY 10021
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE TRADITIONAL THEORY AND NEW INSIGHTS CONCERNING WIFE BEATING, DIFFERENT TYPES OF VIOLENT MARRIAGES, AND THE PSYCHOLOGICAL STATE OF THE VICTIM ARE DESCRIBED.
Abstract: VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN, A LONGSTANDING SOCIAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL PHENOMENON, HAS BEEN BROUGHT TO THE ATTENTION OF THE MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSION BY THE WOMEN'S MOVEMENT. FOR MANY YEARS MOST PROFESSIONALS FAILED TO RECOGNIZE THE TRUE NATURE OF THE DYNAMICS INVOLVED. WHEN FACED WITH RELATIONSHIPS WHERE WOMEN WERE REPEATEDLY ASSAULTED BY HUSBANDS OR BOYFRIENDS, PSYCHIATRISTS TENDED TO FOCUS ON THE WOMAN AND LOOK FOR EVIDENCE OF PROVOCATION. FREUD'S THEORY OF THE MASOCHISM OF WOMEN WHICH STATES THAT WOMEN GAIN PLEASURE FROM SUFFERING ADDED WEIGHT TO THE UNIVERSAL HUMAN TENDENCY TO BLAME THE VICTIM FOR HER MISFORTUNE. FOR A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF THE DYNAMICS OF VIOLENT MARRIAGES, IT IS NECESSARY TO DIVIDE THEM INTO TWO MAJOR GROUPS. IN THE FIRST GROUP, VIOLENCE IS BROUGHT INTO THE MARRIAGE BY A MAN WHO HAS A HISTORY OF PREVIOUS VIOLENCE. HIS VIOLENT-PRONE CHARACTER STRUCTURE USUALLY ERUPTS EARLY IN THE COURTSHIP AND ESCALATES DURING THE MARRIAGE. ALTHOUGH ONE CAN VALIDLY ASK WHY THE WOMAN STAYS WITH HER HUSBAND, IT WOULD BE A GREAT INJUSTICE TO BLAME HER FOR THE HUSBAND'S BEHAVIOR. IN FACT, WOMEN, WHO FREQUENTLY WITNESSED THEIR OWN PARENTS' VIOLENCE DO THEIR BEST TO APPEASE THEIR PARTNERS. LIKE VICTIMS OF MAJOR CATASTROPHES (NATURAL DISASTERS, THE CONCENTRATION CAMPS), THEY ARE EITHER PARALYZED WITH TERROR OR BECOME WEAK AND APATHETIC 'ZOMBIES.' THE SECOND GROUP OF VIOLENT MARRIAGES USES VIOLENCE AS AN ULTIMATE RESORT FOR COMMUNICATION AFTER A PATTERN OF USELESS BICKERING. THE PARTNERS ARE NOT PRONE TO VIOLENCE BUT ESTABLISH A NEUROTIC INTERACTION (AS SHOWN IN ALBEE'S WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF), IN WHICH THE BEHAVIOR OF ONE THREATENS THE PSYCHOLOGICAL DEFENSES OF THE OTHER. THESE MARRIAGES USUALLY IMPROVE WITH THERAPY OR MARITAL COUNSELING. THE ARTICLE CONTAINS BIBLIOGRAPHICAL FOOTNOTES. (SAJ)
Index Term(s): Abusing spouses; Battered wives; Crime Causes; Interpersonal relations; Marital problems; Masochism; Self-help therapy
Note: PRESENTED AT THE 14TH NATIONAL SCIENTIFIC MEETING OF THE ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF PSYCHOTHERAPY, ATLANTA, GEORGIA, 1978
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=66942

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.