The Gender Paradigm in Family Violence Research

Session : Plenary 2: The Current State of Family Violence Research

  • Time : 12:15 pm PDT To 2:15 pm PDT on
  • Venue : The Gender Paradigm in Family Violence Research

Full Abstract

In the general population, sex (being male) remains the single best predictor of crime and violence. However, it is widely recognized that a considerable proportion of societal violence is undocumented and women’s violence is more likely to be inflicted against family members. Contrary to widely held beliefs, the assumption that Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) reflects a dyad involving a female victim and a male perpetrator of IPV or one-off events involving abnormal, extremely deviant women is not supported by large scale studies and systematic reviews. In fact, research demonstrates considerable gender parity in the rate, severity, and risk of injury of male/female perpetrators of IPV. Research further demonstrates that children in homes where IPV takes place are at greater risk of negative outcomes secondary to witnessing IPV compared to their peers. Compared to children in the general population, children growing up in homes with IPV are also more likely to also be the direct victims of abuse themselves, and that this involves both male and female caregivers. IPV is a pressing public health problem that is best understood to reflect psychopathology versus patriarchy. The implication is that decision-making should reflect structured, individualized assessments to identify risks and needs and direct evidence informed care.