Research and Analysis

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April Bittenbender
Research Paper Final Draft
November 29, 2012
Gender and Crime

Domestic Violence, Does Gender Matter?

Domestic violence has been a topic debated for decades now as one of the leading causes of crime against women, but in fact men are victims of this crime as well. The difference between domestic violence and domestic abuse is defined as, one is the physical aspect, and one is more emotional or financially based. Both men and women can be affected by both of these definitions in the right circumstances. Victimization affects both men and women regarding domestic violence, but what makes a victim, and does it differ depending on the gender? In this paper, it will discuss the studies and statistics to be found relevant to my topic. It will discuss law enforcement’s role they play in society involving this issue, along with the services attached to victimization of this crime for both genders. It will highlight the differences in types of victims of such a crime into categories. It will also give the feminist perspective and the role it plays in the criminal justice system, and a discussion as to whether it should no longer be a feminist issue as portrayed. In the research performed it has come to the attention of the researcher that domestic violence is well studied on the affects of women associated with this crime, but that men have not been afforded the same consistency. According to statistics, 85% of domestic violence happens against women in the United States (Rennison & Welchans, 2002). In a 1975 survey, information contained herein stated that wives batter their spouses on an equal scale as men (Staus, Gelles & Steinmetz, 1980). Much less is known to the public about rates against men due to the popular belief that it’s only a crime against women. It is difficult to render any concrete numbers as to how many male victims there are since most do not report. Intimate partner abuse is the common variable between males and females. Experiences of domestic violence are similar for both genders. Those reported are shame, fear, isolation, guilt, and confusion of loss of self worth. Dewar (2008) reported that males were less likely to report due to threats of arrest to themselves, using the blame the victim scenario. Males also can be subjected to reverse discrimination by the police in these circumstances. Female violence perpetrated on males is largely ignored by society and in the media due to it being an uncomfortable subject, and it happens in more than the United States (Lewis, Sarantakos, 2001). Since men are perceived as physically and emotionally stronger than women people have a hard time in seeing them as potential victims (Hidden Hurt, undated). In the article, Comparing Demographic Characteristics of Male Victims of Domestic Violence studied and investigated one hundred and twenty males in regards to age, education, and level of income. (attached graph of findings pg, 16). These men were selected from a list of men seeking divorce after domestic violence had occurred in their marriage. It reported physical violence in alarming amounts was being committed. The level of income was the only variable that seemed to make no difference in the findings. This study can contribute findings that can shed some light on what characteristics make men victims, and the level and variety of instances that this occurs. In an article written by Suzanne Steinmetz on battered husbands we have been told that women are just as likely to commit domestic violence, and that gender should not be the main issue taken into account. We should broaden out analysis to include female perpetrators with males as the victims to prove or disprove that mutual aggression is taking place in intimate partner relationships(Domestic Violence: It’s not about Gender or is it?, pg. 1116). In a study by Hines, Browning, and Dunning (2007), they found that 90% of...
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