Many feminists describe the history of humanity as a male tyranny, oppressing and maltreating women at every opportunity. Their name for this is the “patriarchy;” a name intended to send a shudder down the spines of all who hear it; the mother of all conspiracy theories.
This doctrine is believed as a matter of faith, its holders brooking no dissent, and divides the world into “true believers” and the damned: “woman, good,” “man, bad.”
Meryl Streep, that model of political correctness, recently proved to be an apostate by stating:
“Sometimes, I think we’re hurt. We hurt our boys by calling something toxic masculinity. I do. And I don’t find [that] putting those two words together . . . because women can be pretty f—ing toxic . . . It’s toxic people. We have our good angles and we have our bad ones. I think the labels are less helpful than what we’re trying to get to, which is a communication, direct, between human beings. We’re all on the boat together. We’ve got to make it work.” This sums up much of the point of this article.
Believers in “patriarchy” look at the existence of successful men as evidence that the system is set up for the benefit of males. Never mind that men make up over 92% of prisoners, die younger, do much worse in the education system, get sent off to die in wars in numbers far exceeding women, are overrepresented among the homeless, and do most of the dirty body-destroying jobs the rest of us do not want to do. Men are represented in greater numbers both at the top and the bottom of various hierarchies.
The notion of “patriarchy” is a subset of “social justice” conspiracy theories that divide the world into oppressors and victims. Success and achievement are evidence that a group belongs among the “oppressors,” in the same way that the first group the Russian communists shot were the “kulaks;” Russian peasants who had done well enough to be able to hire other peasants to work for them. The fact that Asian Americans do the very best as a group educationally and vocationally, despite being a small minority with no particular political power, is a quite uncomfortable fact for the social justice believers. They have no possible way to explain this using their ideas.
One might ask too, where women dominate, e.g., education departments, social work, and nursing, are they too participants in “patriarchy?” If not, why not?
Women are the primary drivers of sexual selection, determining which men get to reproduce, and, strangely enough, they have had a tendency to choose the stronger and more capable of the bunch. Men’s historical contribution of provider/protector gets represented as a conspiracy against women, producing a horrifying Catch-22 for men. If you are a successful man in a leadership position you are an evil tyrant filled with toxic masculinity. If you are a miserable failure, then you are a contemptible wretch. It seems the only good man is a dead man.
Having suggested that a male tyranny characterizes the totality of human existence all that is needed is evidence. Then, in an instance of what is called “confirmation bias,” a selective search is made for unpleasant things ever done to women, not worrying about similarly horrible things perpetrated against men, nice things about men, or nice things men have done for women.
The result is an ugly and repellent account of the way men and women are connected to each other. A necessary part of a response to this is to rehabilitate the image of men – otherwise, why would women want to reconcile with moral monsters?
A list of male contributions in architecture, art, music, literature, philosophy, poetry, theater, medicine, math, biology, chemistry, physics, engineering – the provision of the water coming out of the kitchen tap and showerhead, plumbing, roads, hospitals, the phone in your pocket, you name it, would present a more positive picture of the male input to humanity.
But, thanks to anti-male propaganda, it is possible to read Facebook posts where one woman casually comments to the other that “men suck,” and is met by bigoted bland agreement by a married woman in a way that is entirely socially sanctioned.
Again, men are who built your house, designed, built and installed your heating system and AC, mined the coal and uranium for the power plants driving these systems at great risk to their lives, are responsible for making those power plants and powerlines, mined the metals used in the products you buy, designed and built your cars, radically reduced mortality during childbirth, invented contraception and tampons, collect your garbage, fix the roads, your leaking roof, invented glasses and contact lenses, the stereo you listen to, the TV you watch. The invention of the alphabet, both Latin and Cyrillic, the printing press, the internet and airplanes are pretty handy too. That is pretty good for a class of people all of whom suck.
Most, possibly all, of these contributions are good and beautiful. To object to these lists is to object to the good and the beautiful. Who cares about the sex of those who provided these things? These things should be celebrated. Then why is sex being mentioned? Because of the tendency of some feminists to regard men as a blight upon the planet and the oppressor of women with few, if any, redeeming features. Remarking on the good points of one group of people is not to denigrate another group. Every praise of a woman or women is not a slap in the face of men, and vice versa.
I know one person who indeed behaves in this manner. If someone’s intelligence or good looks, male or female, is praised, she narcissistically regards this as a negative comment concerning her own looks and/or intelligence – making everything about her. To praise Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Shakespeare, Bach, Mozart, etc., is not to insult anyone else. And their works should not be rejected based on the race and sex of their makers, although this is indeed happening at many colleges.
For those who claim that the word “patriarchy” is a neutral description of society and in no way any form of criticism of men, then these remarks are not addressed to them. However, as soon as the next step is taken and the “patriarchy” is held to represent the oppression of women, then there is nothing neutral about it!
Resentment, when not directed at an actual specific harm perpetrated against you, and hot showers, and a non-leaking roof are not instances of harm, is a perverse combination of love and hatred to which all human beings are prone. The qualities and achievements of another person or group of people in this case, is loved and admired. You want to possess them. Unfortunately, someone else possesses these good qualities and they are hated for it. That is part of the human condition and it is pathological. The healthy response to such a situation is to aspire to be like the admired person or group of people and to use their achievements as inspiration as to what is possible. Train to be a plumber, roof repairer, airplane designer yourself. Generally plumbing and general contracting are not in fact areas that feminists are particularly clamoring for.
It has been observed that men, unable to give birth to children, find other areas in which to be productive, such as in cultural contributions. Male achievement could then be regarded as compensatory. And, it should not be forgotten, that male achievement is frequently made possible by women’s contribution to home life and child care, with male achievement being related to helping all members of a family. Some women executives have commented that what they need is a wife at home if they are to work sixteen hour days – but most are reluctant to be regarded as a meal ticket for a man; to be the breadwinner. Their leeriness of role reversal should at least give pause for thought.
Anyone who trivializes the beauty, goodness and worthwhileness of giving birth to children and taking the lion share of raising them has not had children, I hope. Cultural and other achievements pale by comparison. We can plausibly imagine that Nick Cave, one of whose sons died while still a teenager, or John Travolta, who had a child die, would give up their fame and fortune in a heartbeat at the prospect of getting his child back. Writing a book does not compare to the meaning that having children introduces into a person’s life.
Warren Farrell comments that feminists tend to focus on the shadow side of men – as the major perpetrators of violent crime, which they are indeed are – while overlooking man as savior, which they also are; the fact that if you are to be cut out of your car after a car accident, to be the recipient of the help of paramedics, or to be physically dragged out of a burning building in a fireman’s lift, it is also most likely to be a man doing that. Unremitting praise of men would be ludicrous, as is relentless criticism and focus on their dark side.
In Jungian terms, there is the Tyrant King and the Good King. There is the Evil Queen and the Good Queen. The notion of the “patriarchal tyranny” makes room for the Tyrant King but omits the Good King. The Good King is wise and just and deserves to rule because he is competent. Men dominate the world of plumbing and aircraft maintenance because they have demonstrated the most competence and interest in those areas. We know from empirical studies that men as a group tend to be more interested in things than women, and women as a group tend to be more interested in people.
We know that tyrannical behavior is a losing proposition in the long run. Dominant male chimpanzees turn out to be excellent at empathy. They are careful to make friendly alliances with other chimps and not to behave unreasonably lest they provoke a desire for revenge. Tyrannical chimps find themselves being ganged up on by lower ranking males and literally torn to pieces, starting with having their genitals bitten off. Tyrannical behavior generates justified resentment in the dominated, and paranoia and fear in the tyrant. Unfortunately, even a position of power generated through hard work and competence can produce unwarranted resentment in the form of envy. This is the kind of resentment to avoid. The fact of male achievement and prominence in positions of responsibility is not evidence of a conspiracy or of tyrannical behavior.
The Evil Queen in this Jungian terminology is the emasculating woman who sees all strong, masculine, competent men as bad. In Snow White the Evil Queen, the shadow queen, “could not endure that anyone should surpass her in beauty.” The mere presence of a man at a top of a hierarchy is equated with power and thus oppression. Competence is removed from the equation. Men are not to strive for competence in case they “oppress” anyone. Thus the only good man is an incompetent, non-threatening, emasculated and thus harmless man. The relative failure of men in high school and college is either seen as a good thing or simply not a problem. The Good Queen is compassionate and wants everyone, regardless of sex, to achieve their very best.
There is also the bad mother who figuratively devours her children instead of granting them their freedom and helping them become independent; who guilt trips them into doing what she wants. The good mother is the one dying soldiers cry out to on battlefields as they lie in pain.
It might be possible to go so far as to say that no woman wants to be judged by her sex and to have her options limited by stereotypes. And neither should she be. What is true as a generality, of a group, is not necessarily true of an individual.
Generalities are useful in explaining different outcomes between groups. If women are complaining about discrimination against them as a group, contending that the relative dearth of women in STEM, for instance, is due to sexism, then groups are the topic.
As just mentioned, men tend to prefer things, women to prefer people. Thus it should be expected that there be a predominance of men in certain occupations like engineering, contracting, plumbing, surgeons, mechanics and for women to tend be the majority in psychology, social work, teaching, and nursing. This is in fact the case. Large numbers of women in engineering would then indicate that women’s preferences are being ignored, as is the case in Iran and India where 50% of engineers are women.
Of course, that does not mean that the relatively few women who are interested in engineering should be prevented or discouraged from following their interests. It certainly would not indicate that women engineers should be expected to be inferior to male engineers – just as male psychologists or nurses should not be expected to be any worse than women.
When it comes to moral judgments no one should be judged by his group membership where the group is determined by immutable characteristics like sex. This can be contrasted with choosing to join the Nazi or Communist parties.
Morally, no one should be despised due to race, sex, or ethnic origin. All people should be judged, if at all, by their achievements and the quality of their own actions.
Recently, the actor Liam Neeson commented that quite some time ago a female friend of his was raped by a black man. In a state of moral derangement he claims that he walked down the street with a baseball bat looking for the first black man who gave him an excuse to beat him up. Holding one person morally responsible for the actions of someone else in this manner makes no sense. One black man should not be punished for the crimes of another. The idea of “group blame” is morally unintelligible. What is true of black men is true of men and women in general.
Even if “men” (an abstraction) had been oppressing “women,” (another abstraction), no individual man is responsible for this. Hating one particular man, or all men, for what some men might have done, is evil and irrational. Holding one man or all men responsible for what some other men might have done is no more rational or moral than Neeson’s racist derangement: intent on punishing an innocent black man for the crime of another black man.
Morality requires that the individual Person be regarded as sacred and of infinite worth; as made in the image of God with an immortal soul and thus connected to Divinity. All other considerations are to be subordinated to the intrinsic value of every single Person regardless of sex, race, or any other characteristic. While unequal in all human characteristics such as abilities and interests, each Person constitutes a world or universe of his own and must be cherished equally.
The characteristic of an ideology is that it places some other value above the Person. Examples include feminism, nationalism, humanity as a group, the social good, communism, fascism, social justice, utilitarianism, equality, progress, happiness, science and well-being. All ideologies are sacrificial cults that promise to exterminate and scapegoat as many victims as it sees fit in the name of the “cause.” Stalin murdered party members as readily as actual ideological opponents. Under the sway of ideology, the Person is nothing; the imaginary greater good is all. Ideologies are evil because they reduce the Person to a nullity – an expendable nothing of no intrinsic worth whatsoever, to be sacrificed to the cause at any moment. No man or woman is safe when confronted with an ideology, including the ideology’s most arch proponents.
To announce one’s devotion to regarding the individual concrete Person alone as of infinite worth; to be protected against the bloodthirsty demands of the mob in all circumstances, is to abandon all ideologies. Groups have no real existence; just concrete individuals. The group is an abstraction. To categorize someone as a member of a group and then to anathematize that group is to obliterate the Person from view. Dehumanization is the precursor to the gas chamber. The scapegoated represent something to the mob; pure evil, the face of patriarchy, the oppressor. What the scapegoated is actually is a Person whose Personhood is about to be ignored by the mob that joins together in shared hatred and relishes that hatred; revels in it. The temporary bond that results is like a diabolical parody of love and meets the same need for connection that most people feel.
Stoning is the perfect mob method of immolating the victim because all participate in the murder. Jesus’ response to a mob intent on stoning an adulterous woman? “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.”
Ideologies have no time for facts and truth and are in fact hostile to any facts that contradict their aims. Scapegoating requires that the innocence of the victim be ignored. Only the truth that witches do not exist and that they did not cause social turmoil could have prevented the Salem witch trials. Evil requires lies.
Ideologies are valued as a means to an end by their adherents, e.g., the supposed betterment of women as a group. However, extrinsic values are dependent on intrinsic values. A means to a worthless end has no value. If women as a group is the end with intrinsic worth, any individual woman can and should be sacrificed anytime it is decided to be in the interest of the group. But concrete individual women are the only kind of women who actually exist and the only kind of women who can be benefited. Actual concrete Persons are sacrificed in the name of an abstraction with no feelings, and no real existence – the group.
Without the truth of the infinite intrinsic worth of each Person, regardless of sex and race, there is nihilism. Any woman or man at any time is fair game to be murdered, doxed and ostracized whenever convenient without this truth. Feminists, for instance, can and do at times anathematize feminine women who “conform to gender stereotypes,” thereby hindering “the cause.”
Truer and More Beautiful Descriptions of How Men and Women are Related to Each Other
Feminism can often seem like the jaded cynicism of a divorced woman in her fifties who wants nothing more to do with men. Or the same divorced woman’s inability to say anything nice to her children about their father; a bitter, one-sided and inaccurate character assassination. This is the last thing a loving parent should want to inflict on their children; or a teacher on her students.
The meme of “patriarchy” is one, recent, ideologically driven account. It characterizes the sexes as at war with each other. The Bible, in Genesis, has a far more benign origin story:
But for Adam no suitable helper was found. 21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
23 The man said,
“This is now bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman,’
for she was taken out of man.”
24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.
Woman was to be a helper and companion for man, not a slave and object of maltreatment. Since man and wife are to be of one flesh, such a malignant relationship would be quite masochistic.
A myth depicts truths that cannot be expressed in prosaic or syllogistic form. The story element makes it more accessible than philosophy. Stories show; philosophy theorizes. Myth can more easily address the emotional side of the human condition than theory since theory is restricted to rational analysis. And “patriarchy” is a theory and interpretation used to beat men over the head.
The feminist “patriarchy” story is a glum slander on men and a mischaracterization of the nature of the relation between the sexes. A better alternative would be the Maori creation myth – something similar to which can be found throughout world cultures. In it reality as we know it is created by the separation of Mother Earth and Father Sky. In the story, rain is the tears Father Sky cries due to his longing for his beloved, which is really rather touching and even beautiful.
In Plato’s Symposium, Plato has his character Aristophanes, named after the famous comedic playwright, tell a myth explaining the nature of romantic love. In the myth human beings started off as globular beings with two faces and four arms and legs. The faces were on either side of their spherical heads pointing in opposite directions. These early people were so mighty and hubristic that they challenged the gods. Zeus, in punishment and perhaps a little fear, cut the humans in two. The two halves found this so traumatic that they clung to each other, trying to merge into one, until they would drop dead from thirst and hunger. Zeus, taking pity on them, invented sex so that the two halves could unite in a temporary ecstasy and then part for a while before coming together once again.
Romantic love is thus characterized as a desire for unity and being made whole. There is a dependence on another person and a longing to be with them. This is a much truer and more beautiful description of the actual relationship between men and women than invocations of “patriarchy.” Reducing male/female relations to a competitive power struggle is taking a single tiny element and representing it as the whole; the defining characteristic of ideology.
Women hold sway over men with sexual allure and the promise of companionship, the blessings of children, and domesticity. Femininity can add a touch of delicacy and softness to the rough journey of life where men are often in competition with each other partly to win affection and admiration from women.
Both men and women are interesting mixtures of masculine and feminine tendencies that can fit together like a jigsaw puzzle.
In reality, each sex fascinates the other and represents something of a mystery to the other. And often they make up for each other’s deficiencies; for instance, women often play the major role in a couple maintaining an active social life.
In the distant past, men and women had to cooperate in the interests of mutual survival. Competition between men and women was simply not feasible. Male foragers and hunters between the ages of 25 and 45 were the only ones generating more calories than they consumed and then shared the food they got with women of all ages, the children they were looking after, and younger and older men. If men were relentlessly self-serving and selfish humanity would have died out before we ever got beyond the hunter-gatherer stage.
In the recent past, within my father’s living memory (b. 1928), wash day took all day. Kerosene heaters were put under a large tub to boil the clothes for two hours, the clothes were then put in bluing liquid added to the water to make the whites whiter, rung through a wringer, put on a clothes line to dry, then ironed. Each iron was heated on a wood-burning stove and replaced with the next one once it got cold. To make breakfast it was necessary to chop wood, start a fire in the stove and wait an hour until it got hot enough before cooking could begin. There was no contraception and so a wife could have a myriad of children while doing all this, with not much chance of an education and no work outside the home. While the wife did all this, it was the man’s job to earn a living as best he could.
Such factors meant that a division of labor between men and women was necessary. It was not a matter of one sex violently suppressing the other.
It’s All About Power, Right?
Power is an element in all human relationships, for instance, between parents and children. If power and the abuse of power starts to predominate in this relationship, something has gone horribly wrong. The parent/child relationship should be primarily one of care, concern, love, and minimal supervision; shaping and socializing the young child, teaching him self-restraint, discipline and respect for others. Tyrannical parents exist, unfortunately, but this represents a pathological exception, not the norm.
Post-modernism has a tendency to emphasize power above all else. This is partly the result of rejecting the notion of objective truth and there being a supposedly infinite number of interpretations possible with no way to select between them. This turns things into a fight for dominance rather than a search for the truth. This perverse truth-rejecting view has combined with modern feminism at times to focus on power for political propagandistic purposes. Russian communists in the 1920s argued that the “cause” should take precedence over truth. But this view is self-contradictory. Is it true that the cause should take precedence over truth? If this is not true, then the cause should be subordinate to truth. If it is true, and the truth is to be followed, then it is also not true that the cause should eclipse truth.
So, it is a mistake to focus too much on the balance of power between the sexes because it runs the risk of characterizing the lives of men and women throughout history as a power struggle and then producing a competition to see who has had it tougher. Something similar can happen when it is pointed out that the number one consideration for men, regarding the choice of a romantic partner, is female beauty and the most salient consideration for women choosing men is the man’s social status and income. Men compete with each other, generating hierarchies of competence, and women then select from among the winners, typically choosing men of equal or higher status than themselves (hypergamy). Though these are important truths of which everyone should be aware, they obscure the bonds of love and dependence that actually connect the sexes.
But, if we are focusing on power, women exert sexual power among other things. Acting like a jerk and expressing contempt for women is going to be counterproductive to winning the favor of women. When TV shows present 1960s advertising industry men, for instance, as behaving like boors towards women this is sometimes thought to represent reality as though it were a documentary. In reality, such men are likely to remain childless losers. Social status and employment might be the most important consideration, but it is not the only one. Similarly, female beauty might be the number one drawcard, but if a woman has a nasty personality, a sense of self-preservation will minimize the chance of a marriage proposal.
All it will take is a high social status man to act like a gentleman towards women for him to be more successful in sexual selection by women.
Love involves respect, admiration and trust. Contempt is more hurtful, repulsive and counterproductive than anger. Any man or woman who has any choice in the matter, with any whit of common sense and with a minimum of self-destructive impulse, will not consciously choose a jerk to marry.
It is the male losers in the game of sexual selection who might tend towards bitterness, and this will just further exacerbate their chances of being rejected. Much of feminism exhibits a similar bitterness from the other side – but it is a preemptive anger, encouraging cynicism and a focus on power before romantic experiences have even begun for the individual woman.
When in groups of only men, or only women, occasionally the sexes will poke fun at the opposite sex; finding their own perspectives and emphases to seem more “natural” and understandable. A kind of “Men! (Women!) What are you going to do?” This kind of good-natured ribbing is consistent with the two sexes behaving in a sociable and friendly manner when in mixed company, with a degree of humoring the proclivities of either sex.
Countering the “Victim” Narrative
Because gender relations are typically only presented from an ideologically distorted and female perspective, it is necessary to present an alternative view, otherwise the list of unanswered questions and unrebutted assertions is likely to predominate in someone’s mind. Many people will never have encountered any alternative to the woman as victim idea. There is the risk that in offering an alternative narrative, and thus introducing choice into the equation, what will result is a game of victim-claiming one-upmanship. This is a game that for biological and cultural reasons, women will almost necessarily win. Thus the reader is asked to bracket his or her agonistic (competitive) tendencies and to try see things from another perspective – a perspective intended to reduce, not encourage, a sense of outrage.
To begin, recourse to myth is again necessary. In Genesis, again, Adam and Eve eat from the tree of knowledge. The knowledge they gain is of good and evil. This marks the transition from an animal existence and moral innocence, to the human. What follows describes a key part of the human condition.
“I will greatly increase your pangs in childbearing;
in pain you shall bring forth children,
yet your desire shall be for your husband,
and he shall rule over you.”
The giant brains and thus heads of humans mean that contractions for women are much more severe and painful than for other creatures. The idea of the husband ruling over his wife can be explained after reading what God had in store for men:
“Cursed is the ground because of you;
through painful toil you will eat food from it
all the days of your life.
It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
and you will eat the plants of the field.
By the sweat of your brow
you will eat your food
until you return to the ground,
since from it you were taken;
for dust you are
and to dust you will return.”
One thing is immediately obvious – neither sex has it easy. Historically, men and women have worked together in a shared effort for survival with marriage centering around the well-being of children. The image of a cigar-smoking man sitting around lording it over women as any kind of norm is not supported by the facts.
It is possible to read long interactions between feminists about gender relations where children are never mentioned, and yet it is childcare and biological evolution that has contributed the lion’s share to dimorphism, and male and female roles. The extreme helplessness of human children, the fact of pregnancy, and how long it takes for children to become independent are crucially salient to this discussion.
Sex role divisions in human beings resemble penguins where one parent (the father) looks after the eggs and chicks, while the mother fishes. Or, more closely, owls, where the mother looks after the babies while the father hunts and keeps up a constant supply of food.
Camille Paglia notes “women have rarely worked side by side with men in the way they now do in the modern workplace, whose competitive operational systems were devised by men for maximum productivity. Despite their general affluence, professional women of the Western world have been chronically unhappy for decades, and I conjecture that it is partly because they have been led to expect happiness from a mechanical work environment that doesn’t make men happy either.”
Most work is not idyllic or particularly fulfilling. Most men will be subordinate to some other man. The number of men at the top of any competence hierarchy will be, by its very nature, tiny.
With agriculture, described in the Genesis passage, men become the primary providers of food as they were in hunter/gatherer societies. Childcare responsibilities will also have contributed to women’s economic dependence on men. With the exigencies of necessity, the question of whether this is a good or bad thing does not really come into it.
Thanks to agriculture, men leave the home to work in the public realm. Women’s energy is focused more on the private realm. With the man gone for much of the day, women will tend to rule at home and to socialize with other women. Men will tend to associate with men outside the home. Camille Paglia comments, “the sexes throughout human history actually had very little to do with each other. There was the world of men and the world of women, each with its own spheres of influence and activity. Women didn’t take men that seriously, and vice versa.”
Women’s economic dependence on men is the result of a necessary division of labor. It might give men a slight edge in terms of certain kinds of decision-making – hence the “ruling over” comment. However, since for a man a wife is the main source of love and affection in his life, he is emotionally and sexually dependent on her, on her taking care of the children, cooking and weaving. And of course, all people, man or woman, emerge from the womb of woman and are nursed by her as babies.
Thus, the sexes are mutually dependent. The practice of gift-giving from husband to wife can be seen in multiple cultures as payback for affection. A loving husband wants to curry the favor of his wife.
Having the role of provider has often meant that men have been responsible for property and economic transactions in public life. Thus a house or car might in the past have been in the husband’s name. He would more usually be the one signing the contract and negotiating the price. This has changed in tandem with women entering more into public life.
Modern American women typically have more sources of moral and emotional support than men, tending to retain closer relationships with other adult women and with their family of origin than men. This, coupled with the fact that when a woman leaves, she also often takes the children with her, means that divorced men, losing all their sources of love and affection are 8.3 times more likely to kill themselves than women. In this regard, men are the weaker, more vulnerable sex.
Women have the lion’s share of sexual selection and they tend to gravitate to those men who are successful in a hierarchy of money, status and social prestige. Power, it is said, is the great aphrodisiac. This is something well-known to celebrities. Currently, this fact is presented as a nefarious abuse of power – but it is a power that is derived from the attraction such men hold for women. A very beautiful woman or a socially prominent man might choose to exploit their appeal to the opposite sex for mercenary purposes and in both cases it can be unsavory.
When the power a man has is the ability to offer a role in a movie to an actress the whole thing becomes a seedy, ugly business; turning sex into a quid pro quo instead of having anything to do with love.
A woman might be economically dependent on a man if she is a stay-at-home mom, but a man will be emotionally dependent on his wife. Acting in a tyrannical manner will generate an angry resentful wife. Living with someone who hates you is no fun at all. If a man wants things to go well for himself, he also wants a happy wife – hence the phrase “happy wife, happy life.” Belittling comments and expressions of contempt can and do come from either sex and both are toxic for a relationship. Any failure to perform the male role well, to maintain employment, to get a promotion, or some other failure to achieve, can draw sarcastic comments from a wife. And an underperforming man can be regarded as a wife as just another child she has to look after.
It is not in a man’s interest to throw his weight around. In fact, women have more spending power than men, suggesting that most men are generous and freely share their earnings. The extreme can be seen in Japan where traditionally women are given the man’s pay check and then give him an allowance.
Prior to agriculture was horticulture: making holes in the ground, inserting a seed and then covering it up – maybe with some rotten fish as fertilizer. Men and women could do this equally well and the resulting power dynamic was 50/50. These societies are called “matriarchal,” but really political power was shared equally. In the case of the Iroquois, male chiefs were selected by the women, slanting power in women’s favor.
Sometimes these pre-agricultural societies are eulogized, but they also engaged in human sacrifice, in many cases with baby girls viewed as the most valuable offering. Since horticulture is so much less efficient than agriculture, returning to that period would also mean significantly compromising food production.
By the time Genesis was written, agriculture was the dominant form of farming. The physical strength advantage that men have over women is relevant to agriculture and the oxen-powered plowing of fields. Agriculture, pregnancy and childcare do not mix well. A division of labor between the sexes in this context simply made the most sense. Historically, a lot of work outside the home will have been hard scrabble. In fact, in the US, first class slaves worked in the home as “house slaves,” and second class slaves in the fields as “field slaves.” Dirty jobs involving hard physical labor and exposure to danger are still a largely male domain – deep sea fishing, coal-mining, or working on an oil rig would be great examples.
Marriage was invented by most cultures and the main beneficiaries of marriage are children, not men. Occasionally, non-monogamous marriage arrangements have existed. In that case, the Middle Eastern Sultan or Chinese emperor had to be wealthy enough to provide for and protect all his wives and children.
Both sexes have sacrificed personal pleasure and preferences for the benefit of the next generation of both boys and girls, and men in particular have sacrificed their lives in war. This has a basis in biology. Males are more expendable than females when it comes to maintaining a population. One man can impregnate several women if necessary, but a woman cannot have multiple pregnancies at the same time. Thus, it is easier to recover from male decimation than female.
Of course, women used to frequently die in childbirth, but this was not the result of any human decisions. Sending men off to die in battle has an element of human agency missing from childbirth – hence the horror of the Spartan mother who told her son to come back victorious or on his shield, i.e. dead. Maternal feelings of protectiveness of offspring are eclipsed by the necessities of communal survival.
Coming to value the individual at all, man or woman, is arguably a fairly recent Western cultural development. In the context of a community, e.g., a tribe, just trying to survive against threats from other human communities and from the possibility of starvation, child mortality, plagues, floods, drought, pestilence, what is good for the group is regarded as paramount and individuals will be killed in human sacrifice or sent off to die in battle as a matter of course. Individual preferences about exactly how someone wants to live will be given short shrift in such a context.
Valuing children is really about group survival. Failing to maintain population size is terminal. Again, it is not about the well-being of any one person and certainly not of any one sex.
There have been a few prison/surveillance cultures for women – much of Ancient Greece was, and many modern Middle Eastern countries continue to exclude women from being able to casually participate in social life outside the home without male chaperones. It is hard to say how much this is driven by an excessive desire to protect and how much it is straight up fear of female promiscuity. Men, but not women, always have the danger that they may end up raising someone else’s progeny – making female adultery of greater significance than male. Like many other elements of life such behaviors have largely been eliminated in the West at least, and life has improved in many respects for both sexes.
Regarding Ancient Greece, restrictions on freedom of movement can be contrasted with the attitude towards women in the Greek tragedies and myth which is generally very impressive. Goddesses are powerful and effective figures. Hecuba, wife of Priam, Penelope, the wife of Odysseus, Iphigenia, Electra, Clytemnestra, Pentheus’ mother Agave, Medea, and more, are also thoughtful, well-developed, with the full range of human characteristics, with admirable qualities and capable of vengeful resentment. The Greeks knew not to underestimate the intelligence and capacity for vindictiveness of women.
One thing that has not changed is the male-only duty to fight in wars. All Ancient Greek men were expected to fight as soldiers when needed, which was often. Today, American men, but not women, must sign up for selective service (the draft) with very onerous punishments for failing to do so. Men can face five years in prison or a 250,000 dollar fine, though rarely enforced. More concretely, those who fail to sign up are ineligible for financial aid, federal grants and loans, certain government benefits, eligibility for most federal employment, and eligibility for citizenship if the man is an immigrant. Most states make registration a condition of getting a driver’s license or ID card, state-funded higher education benefits and state government jobs.
The greater value given to women’s lives continues. Even today, despite communal survival not really being in question anymore in Western countries, in the US, two male construction workers die every day on the job, down from 38 a day in 1970. Male coal miners die of black lung disease from coal dust inhalation around the world and the US has one million volunteer fire fighters, 96% male, who risk their lives to protect complete strangers. Many of these men are destined to die young thanks to inhaling smoke from the burning of modern building materials like PVC piping. Football players are expected to demonstrate their manliness by disregarding personal wellbeing and suffer repeated concussions with disastrous effect – oftentimes leading to mental illness (depression) and suicide. At the very least, trauma to their bodies will generate arthritis for many. There are no equivalent female statistics.
The Department of Health and Human Services has ten regional offices for women’s health, and none for men. The US Department of Agriculture has a Women, Infants, and Children Program. If fathers cannot provide more money than the government, the government takes over and the father is excluded. The US Dept. of Justice has an Office on Violence Against Women – though domestic abuse is 50/50. Only one shelter out of thousands will admit men and there are no shelters just for men. There is the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Research on Women’s Health, Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Office of Women’s Health, Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Women’s Health, Health Resources and Services Administration’s Office of Women’s Health. There are no male equivalents.
The chivalrous “women and children first” idea can seem a bit bleak from a male point of view too.
In The Myth of Male Power from which many of these points are taken or inspired by, Warren Farrell points out that things that are true about black men are also often true of men in general. Men are twenty times more likely to be incarcerated than women, 2.4 times more likely to be among the unsheltered homeless, to die younger, not to attend college, not to graduate from college, to suffer from heart disease and hypertension, to expose themselves to the repeated head and body trauma of boxing and other contact sports.
When Warren Farrell is invited to speak on college campuses these days he gets protested as a purveyor of “hate speech.” Apparently, hate speech is anything that differs from the feminist account of patriarchy – the fact that the “hate speech” is crammed full of facts for which evidence is provided is not considered pertinent; an instance of the “cause” being considered more important than truth.
To continue, men are far more likely to be the subjects of medical experiments. An unintended side-effect of more commonly treating men as guinea pigs is that the effect of medicines on women is less well-known. It is common these days to claim that not doing as many drug tests on women reflects sexism against women! Part of the concern appears to be the possible consequences of drug experiments on women who may be pregnant – again, not a conspiracy by men to neglect women’s health. Half to those vulnerable fetuses will be female.
Men traditionally defer to women; standing when a woman enters the room, pulling out her chair for her to sit in, giving up his seat for her, letting her through a door first, helping her on with her coat, and serving her first at meal times. These are the same behaviors expected of slaves. These are signs of deference.
If there were something wonderful about being male, adult men would not commit suicide at three and half times the rate of women, they would not die seven years younger than women, they would not always be the majority of victims of violent crime in the US (the 1990s were the apogee with men being three times more likely to be victimized) and men would not earn the most while spending the least. Department stores and shopping malls devote perhaps seven times the amount of space to items for women versus for men. Women are the only “oppressed” group as likely as the “oppressors” to be born into a wealthy and privileged family.
Women cast more than 50% of the vote. There are more male politicians, but women have more of a say in who gets elected. Men earn more, women spend more. In both cases, who has more power?
Despite suicide being a much greater risk for men than women, when the National Association of Social Workers studies suicide, they study only female suicide. In fact, the funding for suicide research only allows the study of girls. The director of the American Association of Suicidology has said that he would love to find out why boys killed themselves but he too can get no funding for it.
The Affordable Care Act offers Well-Woman Visit for students (possibly all women). A counselor offers birth control advice and how best to avoid STDs, and takes an entire health history. If, for instance, a grandparent suffered from depression and breast cancer, the student is given information about breast cancer genetic tests (BRCA tests) and the latest research on mammography screenings. She will get comprehensive screening every year and pap smears, all of it for free. There is no such thing as a Well-Man Visit, no family history, no comprehensive family history, no screenings. “The Affordable Care Act provides all these provisions for women, and none of those provisions for men. And all of those provisions for women are free.” By engaging in gender discrimination the ACA violates its own law.
The US Department of Justice has web links and PDFs for violence against women, but there is no such thing for violence against men. The Google search engine is skewed to favor searches for harm against women, but not against men. Together, this is a clear indication of which sex we actually care about in this regard. Thirty-two pages of references for studies, with brief descriptions, are included at the end of this article showing that men and women are about equally likely to be the victims of domestic abuse. It is estimated that more men than women are raped every year due to men being raped in prisons and elsewhere. About 279,758 men are raped or sexually assaulted in prisons and jails, while 120,000 women are subjects of rape or attempted rape outside prison. If this number of women prisoners were being raped there would be an outcry. There is no reason to think that this impacts men emotionally any less than it does women. Since it violates sex role expectations, the humiliation and loss of dignity might be even worse for men. However, it is still regarded as acceptable to joke about this.
Of the fictional portrayals of people being killed in movies, about 95% are men. Try imagining it being the other way around and what would be said about that.
So, no, patriarchal society has not been set up for the sole benefit of men and the oppression of women.
Is the Fact that Women Got the Vote Later than Some Men Evidence of Oppression?
Voting in the US began by mirroring the male/female division of roles; women bearing primary responsibility for home life and the private realm, and men for the public sphere. At the time, agriculture was still the main driver of the economy.
The first presidential election was in 1789 when George Washington was elected. The ability to register to vote was dependent in many states on proof of payment of a poll tax: thus on property and wealth. Poor white men were ineligible to vote. What followed historically was a tendency towards gradually extending suffrage, with women gaining the vote in 1920 thanks to the Nineteenth Amendment before many black, Native American and poorer white men. Women asked and men responded positively. Many men who fought in WWI (1914-1918) were ineligible to vote.
The 1848 Seneca Falls Convention in New York is traditionally held as the start of the women’s rights movement. Suffrage was not the focus of the convention. A push for women’s suffrage became more prominent after the Civil War. Areas like Wyoming, Utah and Washington granted women voting rights prior to 1920.
If someone were to be angry that the vote was not extended sooner to women, what should be the response? Sorry?
It was the British who decided to end the international slave-trade at the cost of money, lives and effort. This occurred in the 19th century. Should we be angry at the British for not leaping into action sooner, or be happy that they took it on themselves to make this breakthrough? Maybe, in both cases, the reaction should be “Yay!”
The Behavior of Some Feminists is Consistent with Some Journalists’ Fears about Women’s Suffrage
Prior to women’s suffrage, some worried that women were too emotional, irrational, had a tendency to personalize disputes and were unable to separate themselves from the topic debated and thus could not be counted on to make decisions in an objective, unbiased manner or to make a healthy contribution to public debate.
Women should ensure that none of these worries come true. One consideration is the notion that women are especially empathic and often have a motherly concern for anyone who might be regarded as a victim. The downside of empathy is complete ferocity against the supposed perpetrators. A mother bear empathizes with her cub and will literally tear a threat to them to pieces in as gruesome an act of violence as can be imagined. Rules of evidence and calm consideration of facts and consequences must prevail over such “motherliness” or the innocent will suffer.
Janice Fiamengo in a Rubin Report podcast commented that some of these early concerns seem to be borne out by some modern feminists, by some recent changes on college campuses, and aspects of the MeToo movement.
Some feminists have claimed the scientific method and requirement of objectivity are evil – exemplifying patriarchal (i.e., male) tendencies – sometimes called “phallologocentrism.” Such comments are deeply irrational and even anti-rational. Following this train of thought, some Canadian universities have instituted “Indigenous Science” to be infused throughout the science curriculum. This will draw upon a post-modern notion of “narratives,” and “discourses,” rather than truth. How is the legitimacy of “Indigenous Science” to be evaluated if not via normal science? When objective standards are used, then there is no “indigenous” or “nonindigenous” science; just “science.”
The introduction of “Indigenous Science” seems part and parcel of the concern for “victims” and thus an expression of motherliness.
Many college campuses have instituted policies where a male student or professor accused of a sexual misbehavior cannot cross-examine his accuser, cannot hire a lawyer, and can be expelled/fired. Even the exact nature of his supposed crime and who is accuser is, is not necessary made known to him. This violation of due process is defended on the grounds that the student does not go to prison if convicted. He merely has his education ended, his life disrupted, his reputation ruined, and his chances of future employment impaired. Such accusations are put on a student’s record.
It is common for MeToo proponents to say that women who make accusations should be believed and that women do not lie about such matters. Examples of women lying about such things abound. Reasons include trying to explain to a parent, husband or boyfriend where you were all night. How you ended up pregnant though your husband has been away at sea or in the army when the baby was conceived. Revenge for a lover not calling and thus feeling ashamed and used. Regret at your own possibly drunken behavior and wanting to push the blame onto someone else. Sometimes divorce lawyers recommend making an accusation as a tool for leverage to gain property or custody of the children. The fact that women are almost never prosecuted for false accusations is very important. It means there are no consequences for lying. In China, if a woman is found to have made false accusations against a man she is sentenced to the length of time the man would have served if he had been convicted. “One [American] woman accused her newspaper delivery man of raping her at gunpoint when she needed an excuse to be late to work.” She had already made the same false accusation with no consequences. The second time she receive counselling. Another reason for false accusations is mental illness. This would seem like an instance.
A U.S. Air Force study found that 60% of all rape allegations were false. High rates of dishonesty in nonmilitary contexts were also found when the lead investigator checked. When The Washington Post got counties to open their files, two of the biggest counties had recorded accusations to be false or unfounded 30% (Prince George, Maryland) in one case and 40% (Fairfax, Virginia) in another.
In the Air Force study, many accusers withdrew their accusations and admitted they were lying when they learned they would be subjected to a lie detector test. Importantly, the determination that they were lying was not the result of administering the test – a test which can be unreliable and whose results are not generally admissible in court. The women confessed just at the prospect of such a test.
The idea that women never feel a desire for revenge or invent excuses unfortunately does not happen to be true.
The case of Tawana Brawley is one of the more notorious instances of a woman making a false accusation. A fifteen year old, she had not come home for four days and was found in a dumpster covered in feces with racial epithets written in charcoal on her body. She accused four white men, including a police officer and a prosecuting attorney, of having raped and attacked her. Her case became a cause célèbre with Al Sharpton and others publicizing the events. Thousands marched in rallies supporting her.
No part of her story was true. It now seems that she was scared of her rather strict father’s possible response to her staying out all night with her boyfriend and she concocted the story to get herself off the hook. She never intended that her made up excuse become a national scandal.
When it turned out she had lied, Al Sharpton and others said the truth did not matter – that “it was the principle” that counted.
Some MeToo proponents have similarly claimed that if a few innocent men are wrongfully smeared and their lives ruined that this is the price to be paid for taking women’s claims of sexual harassment, etc., seriously. The truth must be secondary to the cause.
Ignoring truth is a prerequisite for scapegoating.
Western civilization over two thousand years has slowly and painfully refined how evidence is presented in court and what kind of evidence there can be – determining that if the price for avoiding wrongful conviction is that some guilty people go free for lack of evidence, then this is worth it. Rumors are not admitted as evidence because anyone can start a false rumor. The accused must be able to face his accuser and the accuser must be able to be cross-examined. “Hearsay” which is “I heard Bob say that Susan did it” is not admissible. If that is true, we need to hear directly from Bob and cross-examine him too. Was he perhaps joking, lying, was it the same Susan, was he actually in a position to hear Susan, etc? Then we want to hear from Susan.
Most important is the presumption of innocence. It is generally not possible to prove innocence. An individual cannot prove that he has never killed or raped anyone. It cannot be done. Thus, it is absolutely crucial that the burden of proof always be placed on the person making a controversial claim – in this case, that a man has committed a sex-related crime. Evidence for the claim must then be presented and the accused have the opportunity to try to poke holes in this evidence. This is a matter of straight logic. Misplacing the burden of proof in an argument is an error absolutely fatal to the pursuit of truth and, in this case, justice.
Carol Gilligan claims in A Different Voice, a book embraced by many feminists, that men tend to favor the impartial application of the same rules to everyone while women tend to feel sorry for the “losers” and want to make an exception.
The motherly desire to protect the vulnerable that many women feel can get combined with utter brutality and a disregard for truth and logic. While men too can be irrational, it is not men for the most part who have questioned the value of objectivity, due process, innocence until proven guilty or science. However, men have proven themselves willing to go along with these things to stay in the good graces of women and to play savior.
Second Wave Feminism – the Rise of Misandry, Scapegoating Men and Male Self-Hatred
“Misandry,” is the hatred of men; an esoteric term compared to the much more prevalent “misogyny.” At this point, in many contexts, not embracing misandry is to be morally suspect.
Second wave feminism arising in the 1960s sought to help women gain access to work outside the home. Male legislators immediately rushed to pass laws to facilitate this such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlawing discrimination on the basis of sex, among other things. The Equal Pay Act of 1963 amended the Fair Labor Standards Act aimed at abolishing wage disparity on the basis of sex.
Betty Friedan, a prominent feminist, was enthusiastic about women entering the work force. However, she had some major caveats about how women ought to go about doing this. Friedan figured that if women wanted access to jobs traditionally done by men, they ought to emphasize that women are capable of exhibiting characteristics more traditionally associated with men and with doing jobs well. These would include such things as being strong, capable, competent, self-reliant and so on. Friedan was emphatic, that under no circumstances should women claim to be victims. Victimhood implies weakness, subjugation, inability to look after oneself, and the need to be saved and protected. None of that seemed compatible with being chosen for employment, especially in more traditionally male occupations, nor with the likelihood of gaining respect for a job well done. However, scapegoating men proved just too tempting and effective.
Women’s studies departments – as with most other “studies” departments – could not exist without the scapegoating of men.
In scapegoating, the mob bonds together in shared hatred of the victim(s). In total denial of reality, the mob claims to be victimized by the person or group of people the mob is actually victimizing. So, for instance, a lynch mob claims that a single individual is terrorizing the populace, putting say, white women, in danger of predation and generally sowing disorder and causing people to fear for their safety. The mob pretends to need saving from the perpetrator who is in fact the victim of the mob. The mob then lynches the victim considering itself to be the victim defending itself from the miscreant.
The scapegoating of men by women has a peculiarly evil dimension to it. Men are particularly prone to becoming willing accomplices in their own demonization thanks to their traditional biologically-derived role as the protector and provider for women. If women claim that they need protecting from men, many a confused male will incongruently try his best to save them; hoping all along to gain the love of women.
Men who have renounced hopes for personal well-being are called “heroes.” Self-hating men can hope to raise themselves in the eyes of women and they do not even need to die on the battlefield or rescue someone from a car wreck, or burning building, to do so.
Metaphorically, the man will engage in self-flagellation, beating his back with iron-hook laden leather strips and then want to show women his damaged back asking “is this good enough?”
Scapegoat victims are prone to believing the accusations against them anyway. Given the human tendency to conformity derived from mimesis, the propensity to imitate other people, if the mob comes to share a negative view of a victim, the victim may well come to agree with them. This is particularly likely if the victim is offered no moral support by anyone else.
Plus, since the male role is to devote his life to women and children, sacrificing his life if necessary, if men claim to be the innocent victim of scapegoating this flies in the face of what is considered manly and both men and women are disgusted by unmanly men. A man who needs to be saved is contemptible and anyway, who is going to save him? It is not the female role to save men.
Since men fulfill the male role partly to deserve the love, affection and admiration of women and the respect of other men, any attempt by men to protect themselves from scapegoating from women will produce all sorts of paradoxes and double-binds. Contempt from both sexes can be expected. For this reason, a male equivalent of a feminist movement is likely to remain a tiny niche phenomenon. The current tactic is to call men’s groups “hate” groups. All that is required to qualify is to challenge any element of feminist orthodoxy.
When women complain they are “a damsel in distress” and both men and women respond positively. 1980s feminists claimed to be disgusted by this dynamic and some of them rewrote fairy tales to depict women saving themselves. However, contradictorily, the 1980s feminists went right on demonizing men and claiming to be victims.
Feminists are likely to claim that biology is not destiny. Just because women give birth to babies and have the breasts to feed them, it does not mean that that should necessarily be women’s sole role in life. And yet, in pleading for male help, feminists have historically drawn from this biological well and continue to do so.
So women claimed to be victims in the 1960s. Men rushed to help by, for instance, passing laws as already mentioned, trying to be heroes and saviors. The twist of course was that this time the people men were trying to protect women from were men. Victims must have oppressors. There can be only one candidate – the other half of the human race.
This means women hate men and men hate men. Male self-hatred is a very real phenomenon – often it is driven by failing to live up to the male role e.g., by being unemployed. But it can also be the result of well-intentioned men trying to help women.
Men were scapegoated as the cause of women’s problems even though all that was happening was that women were calling for a change in their traditional sex role, a role there for the sake of children, and men rushed to help them. What was socially acceptable for women quickly changed. However, the male sex role has continued unabated; meaning lots of options for women, one acceptable option for men; being the breadwinner.
Women are free to work full-time, part-time or not all. They can look after children full-time, part-time or not at all. The male role has changed not at all – provide. For maximal respect and to be regarded as a desirable mate, work full-time or nothing. Unemployed but handsome men are not considered highly desirable husbands by most women, while being a beautiful but unemployed woman is no handicap at all to being viewed as marriage material. The dictates of biology remain just what they were in this regard.
Sometimes the relative dearth of female scientific and other cultural achievement is presented as evidence of oppression. Male intelligence has a wider dispersion than female. While the average intelligence of men and women is the same, there are more male geniuses and male sufferers of mental retardation and violent offenders. Just one of the top one hundred chess players in the world is a woman. Given this fact, there will never be the same number of supremely gifted women scientists, writers, painters, philosophers, etc., as men. But neither will there ever be as many female violent criminals or mentally challenged individuals. Resentment at the prominence of men at the top of many areas of achievement is misplaced. To a large degree, men competing in these hierarchical arenas are indirectly just trying to please women anyway. Being hugely successful as a woman often does nothing much for her desirableness as a mate.
The female chess champion in the above statistic claims that she views chess merely as a hobby and that she could be even better if she took it seriously. This indicates that her self-worth is not particularly tied up with achievement. Men are much more likely to be obsessive and hypercompetitive with their self-worth highly linked to their social status determined by their place in an achievement-based hierarchy – whether that is poetry-writing, or motocross. A reasonable expectation would be that the men in that top 100 list of chess players take the game deadly seriously, devoting oodles of time and effort to maintaining or improving their ranking.
Living with someone who hates you is no fun, so many a husband will try to play along to keep his wife happy, ironically, vocally confirming that men deserve to be hated, in order to be hated less! And then, if a man was not yet married, he would be eager to curry favor with women by adopting their perspective and whatever point of view they seemed to respond well to. So many men became willing contributors to their own scapegoating to the point that individual white men can be heard denouncing their own existence and blaming themselves for all that is wrong with the world. The fact that logically this position requires their own immediate suicide does not quite seem to dawn on them. It becomes an instance of so-called “virtue signaling.” An aspect of this behavior is that no actual sacrifice is required – just to mouth certain fashionable tropes.
The more the man wants to be the savior of women (think firemen and policemen), the traditional role, the more he has to hate everything he stands for including “paternalism,” the desire to protect women! Thus arise sexual harassment laws concerning “hostile working environments” aimed at protecting women, while men such as coal miners and construction workers literally die on the job with few such protections and little protest.
Arguably, this has resulted in a society in which many men have colluded in identifying the oppressor as themselves.
Warren Farrell points out that both sexes have a light and a dark side. Men are both rapists and murderers, and benevolent fathers and saviors. If someone needs rescuing from a burning building, or the nation needs defending from hostile enemies, it is most likely to be a man who is risking his life to save anonymous strangers. But this savior aspect of men has in recent decades tended to be ignored and hidden by such gender neutral language as “fire fighters” and “police officers” despite these professions being 97% to 98% male-dominated.
The dark side of women includes being the majority of child murderers. Their role in the sexual abuse of children is also glossed over. In anonymous telephone surveys when people are asked if they consider themselves to have been sexually abused as children, half of the abusers are women abusing boys. Women also make up half of the perpetrators of domestic abuse, using weapons and the prohibition on men hitting women to make up for their smaller size and strength.
In the 1980s “all men are rapists” was a popular refrain for a while. The phrase was uttered by a character in a novel by Marilyn French who commented that it was not her own sentiment and was never intended as a statement of reality. But what was until recently the nadir for men occurred in the 1990s with the scare about male pedophiles. Being male somehow became associated with pedophilia. The hysteria was so intense that it has changed most English-speaking cultures dramatically to the extent that children can no longer walk to school or play outdoors unsupervised. Or, if they do, the parents are likely to be regarded as irresponsible. This cultural change was not brought about by any actual changes in the risk of child abduction, murder and rape, only by a generalized fear of men. Air New Zealand and Qantas have a policy that no unaccompanied child can be seated next to a man.
Likewise, suspicion towards men was also evidenced in the 1990s by the fashion for psychiatrists convincing their female patients that their fathers had sexually abused them. Women would present with symptoms such as general anxiety and depression, and would be told that it was because of repressed memories of being abused by their fathers. Among other things, this had to do with Freudian psychology momentarily becoming popular again. It is known now that when people suffer from traumatic events, they do not typically repress them, instead, they cannot stop thinking about them. Most, possibly all, Vietnam War veterans suffering from PTSD do not repress their memories, they have nightmares about them and cannot get the memories out of their heads. Many fathers were wrongly demonized and grandfathers were often deprived of contact with their grandchildren until the time came when many women realized they had been duped by their well-meaning, but misguided, psychiatrists. Women have written books detailing the misery they have caused and the male lives ruined.
Male self-hatred is a cancer for men. In demonizing men, masculinity itself came under fire, as did traditionally masculine virtues with bad consequences for all. The new nadir for men is the phrase “toxic masculinity” – an idea that many colleges are teaching as though it were fact. Aimed at men who repress emotion in order to be manly (think surgeons, soldiers, athletes, fire fighters, first responders, paramedics), in fact the type of men most likely to play a savior role for women, no healthy version of masculinity is lionized. The implication is that “masculine” = “bad.”
This has arguably led to a culture in which the balance between masculine and feminine sensibility has shifted hugely in favor of the feminine; a kind of cultural withdrawal of masculinity. One of the most famous examples of this kind of thing is the “no child left behind” notion. This may sound good to some ears as an expression of compassion, but to an educator it is bizarre. The only way to achieve something like that would be to lower standards to such a degree that even the most hopeless case can “pass.” This, in fact, is the tendency. Things like grade inflation, getting higher and higher grades for the same mediocre work, seem to be over-determined, probably having an economic component too, but there is definitely a feel-good “compassionate,” no hurt feelings aspect to it too.
Certainly something bad has happened to male achievement in educational contexts. Boys are being out-performed by girls at all levels of education. This seems to be a combination of factors like the withdrawal of male teachers from the scene, particularly at the elementary level, apparently in response to the pedophilia scare and a change from high-stakes testing which tends to suit boys more, to low-stakes assessment requiring the constant handing in of work and thus consistent organizational abilities which tend to favor girls. In the past in New Zealand, girls tended to do better at primary school and the boys started to get serious during high school and to take home the school prizes as they prepared for their roles as bread winners, but no longer. Many women continue to be interested in marrying high-earning men, so they can work part-time while raising children and this desire is getting harder and harder to fulfill. This may be contributing to low birth rates there and elsewhere.
We know that married couples produce much better outcomes for their children. If masculinity really were toxic, single-mothers could be expected to have much happier, healthier children. This is not the case. Boys and girls suffer, but the absence of fathers affects boys much more than girls. 85% of violent offenders are fatherless. Educational and vocational performance is much worse for fatherless boys. Drug and alcohol abuse is higher among the fatherless as is the likelihood of ending up in prison.
Academic and vocational performance by race in the US is at its peak with Asians, then Jews, then Non-Jewish whites, Hispanics, Native Americans, then blacks. This corresponds to the racial distribution of married, two parent households. Only 2 in 10 Asians are born out of wedlock, 3 in 10 whites, 5 in 10 Hispanics, 6.6 in 10 Native Americans, and 7.7 in 10 blacks.
Egalitarianism – we are all equal – is also rampant and is a more typically feminine notion. It denotes the kind of love that requires nothing in return. It is unconditional. No one is better than anyone else. All little sheep are loved equally. No one is to be left out in the cold. Unconditional love is a good and beautiful thing, but in practice, it needs to be leavened by conditional love which can be earned. It is earned by achievement, getting better, developing and by being pushed and encouraged in a more traditionally masculine manner. Rather than raising self-esteem through self-esteem classes, self-esteem is raised by doing things or gaining skills of which one can be proud.
Egalitarianism proponents can also end up claiming that men and women are equal because they are the same. This leads to the contradiction that men and women are said to be so similar that any deviation from women being 50% of any traditionally male occupation is unfair, while also claiming that women are so different from men that having women on a job will contribute to a vital viewpoint diversity. Contradictions must be absolutely anathematized. Once even one is permitted rationality is over. Absolutely anything, including false things, can be “proven” if it is regarded as permissible to contradict yourself.
Egalitarianism also does not happen to be true. If almost any human characteristic is named, on person will be better or worse than another individual in that regard. There is equality before the law, as an ideal, and one person, one vote. This is legal and political equality in principle. Each person may also be equal as God’s creatures, as John Locke suggested. But, typically, egalitarianism is extended to criticizing or being uncomfortable with any demonstration or even suggestion of superiority. Hence, it is greatly attractive to the resentful.
Ironically, given the name, the logic of militant feminism has often ended up demonizing being feminine too. Women who choose to stay home and raise children are sometimes seen as sell outs and as failing to help the cause of women. Wearing dresses, putting on makeup, the painting of nails, and in any way conforming to traditional gender roles tends to be seen as bad. So in the end, the desire of some women in the 1960s and since, to make use of the damsel in distress trope to help the cause of women, has ended up demonizing men, generating a cultural and ideational vacuum filled by feminine values at great social and cultural cost, and, like the snake that eats its tail, even tending to produce a hatred of all that’s feminine.
Since feminists still want occupational success for women, they continue to push women to adopt more traditionally masculine tendencies to promote success in the workplace. However, in order to promote their cause, feminists continue to demonize men and to make use of victim power. This also is an inherent contradiction.
Since modern feminism cannot survive without an oppressor/victim dynamic, men and masculinity continue to be vilified and presented as the cause of all women’s problems. The only good man is a man who is like a woman – feminine, and the only good woman has to be more like a man, which is insane since men and masculinity are considered “toxic.”
Since women are likely to be more feminine than men, and both femininity and masculinity are bad, women are likely to end up being self-hating like men. They are likely to feel that it is men who are causing the problem rather than feminist ideology. In fact, female happiness has declined since the 1960s as self-reported by women and this dynamic could well be part of it. Women and men are simply left with nowhere to turn.
Martin S. Fiebert
Department of Psychology
California State University, Long Beach
Last updated: January 2007
SUMMARY: This bibliography examines 196 scholarly investigations: 53 empirical studies and 43 reviews and/or analyses, which demonstrate that women are as physically aggressive, or more aggressive, than men in their relationships with their spouses or male partners. The aggregate sample size in the reviewed studies exceeds 177,100.
Aizenman, M., & Kelley, G. (1988). The incidence of violence and acquaintance rape in dating relationships among college men and women. Journal of College Student Development, 29, 305-311. (A sample of actively dating college students <204 women and 140 men> responded to a survey examining courtship violence. Authors report that there were no significant differences between the sexes in self reported perpetration of physical abuse.)
Archer, J. (2000). Sex differences in aggression between heterosexual partners: A meta-analytic review. Psychological Bulletin, 126, 651-680. (Meta-analyses of sex differences in physical aggression indicate that women were more likely than men to “use one or more acts of physical aggression and to use such acts more frequently.” In terms of injuries, women were somewhat more likely to be injured, and analyses reveal that 62% of those injured were women.)
Archer, J. (2002). Sex differences in physically aggressive acts between heterosexual partners: A meta-analytic review. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 7, 213-351. (Analyzing responses to the Conflict Tactic Scale and using a data set somewhat different from the previous 2000 publication, the author reports that women are more likely than men to throw something at their partners, as well as slap, kick, bite, punch and hit with an object. Men were more likely than women to strangle, choke, or beat up their partners.)
Archer, J., & Ray, N. (1989). Dating violence in the United Kingdom: a preliminary study. Aggressive Behavior, 15, 337-343. (Twenty three dating couples completed the Conflict Tactics scale. Results indicate that women were significantly more likely than their male partners to express physical violence. Authors also report that, “measures of partner agreement were high” and that the correlation between past and present violence was low.)
Arias, I., Samios, M., & O’Leary, K. D. (1987). Prevalence and correlates of physical aggression during courtship. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 2, 82-90. (Used Conflict Tactics Scale with a sample of 270 undergraduates <95 men, 175 women> and found 30% of men and 49% of women reported using some form of aggression in their dating histories with a greater percentage of women engaging in severe physical aggression.)
Arias, I., & Johnson, P. (1989). Evaluations of physical aggression among intimate dyads. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 4, 298-307. (Used Conflict Tactics Scale-CTS- with a sample of 103 male and 99 female undergraduates. Both men and women had similar experience with dating violence, 19% of women and 18% of men admitted being physically aggressive. A significantly greater percentage of women thought self-defense was a legitimate reason for men to be aggressive, while a greater percentage of men thought slapping was a legitimate response for a man or woman if their partner was sexually unfaithful.)
Arriaga, X. B., & Foshee, V. A. (2004). Adolescent dating violence. Do adolescents follow in their friends’ or their parents’ footsteps? Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 19, 162-184. (A modified version of Conflict Tactics Scale was administered on two occasions, 6 months apart, to 526 adolescents, <280 girls, 246 boys> whose median age was 13. Results reveal that 28% of girls reported perpetrating violence with their partners <17% moderate, 11% severe> on occasion one, while 42% of girls reported perpetrating violence <25% moderate, 17% severe> on occasion two. For boys, 11% reported perpetrating violence <6% moderate, 5% severe> on occasion one, while 21% reported perpetrating violence <6% moderate, 15% severe> on occasion two. In terms of victimization, 33% of girls, and 38% of boys reported being victims of partner aggression on occasion one and 47% of girls and 49% of boys reported victimization on occasion two.
Basile, S. (2004). Comparison of abuse by same and opposite-gender litigants as cited in requests for abuse prevention orders. Journal of Family Violence, 19, 59-68. (Author examined court documents in Massachusetts for the year 1997 and found that, “male and female defendants, who were the subject of a complaint in domestic relations cases, while sometimes exhibiting different aggressive tendencies, measured almost equally abusive in terms of the overall level of psychological and physical aggression.)
Bernard, M. L., & Bernard, J. L. (1983). Violent intimacy: The family as a model for love relationships. Family Relations, 32, 283-286. (Surveyed 461 college students, 168 men, 293 women, with regard to dating violence. Found that 15% of the men admitted to physically abusing their partners, while 21% of women admitted to physically abusing their partners.)
Billingham, R. E., & Sack, A. R. (1986). Courtship violence and the interactive status of the relationship. Journal of Adolescent Research, 1, 315-325. (Using CTS with 526 university students <167 men, 359 women> found Similar rates of mutual violence but with women reporting higher rates of violence initiation when partner had not–9% vs 3%.)
Bland, R., & Orne, H. (1986). Family violence and psychiatric disorder. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 31, 129-137. (In interviews with 1,200 randomly selected Canadians <489 men, 711 women> found that women both engaged in and initiated violence at higher rates than their male partners.)
Bohannon, J. R., Dosser Jr., D. A., & Lindley, S. E. (1995). Using couple data to determine domestic violence rates: An attempt to replicate previous work. Violence and Victims, 10, 133-41. (Authors report that in a sample of 94 military couples 11% of wives and 7% of husbands were physically aggressive, as reported by the wives.)
Bookwala, J. (2002). The role of own and perceived partner attachment in relationship aggression. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 17, 84-100. (In a sample of 161 undergraduates, 34.3% of women <n=35> reported being victims of partner aggression compared to 55.9% <n=33> of men.)
Bookwala, J., Frieze, I. H., Smith, C., & Ryan, K. (1992). Predictors of dating violence: A multi variate analysis. Violence and Victims, 7, 297-311. (Used CTS with 305 college students <227 women, 78 men> and found that 133 women and 43 men experienced violence in a current or recent dating relationship. Authors reports that “women reported the expression of as much or more violence in their relationships as men.” While most violence in relationships appears to be mutual–36% reported by women, 38% by men– women report initiating violence with non violent partners more frequently than men <22% vs 17%>).
Brinkerhoff, M., & Lupri, E. (1988). Interspousal violence. Canadian Journal of Sociology, 13, 407-434. (Examined Interspousal violence in a representative sample of 562 couples in Calgary, Canada. Used Conflict Tactics Scale and found twice as much wife-to-husband as husband-to-wife severe violence <10.7% vs 4.8%>. The overall violence rate for husbands was 10.3% while the overall violence rate for wives was 13.2%. Violence was significantly higher in younger and childless couples. Results suggest that male violence decreased with higher educational attainment, while female violence increased.)
Brown, G. (2004). Gender as a factor in the response of the law-enforcement system to violence against partners. Sexuality and Culture, 8, (3-4), 3-139. (Summarizes partner violence data from the 1999 Canadian General Social Survey <GSS>. The GSS is based on a representative sample of 25,876 persons. Overall in the 12-month period preceding the survey, an estimated 3% Canadian women and 2% of Canadian men reported experiencing violence from their partners. During the 5 year period from 1995-1999, an estimated 8% of Canadian women and 7% of Canadian men reported violence from their partners. Reviewed police and legal responses to partner violence in Edmonton, Canada and concludes that “. . . men who are involved in disputes with their partners, whether as alleged victims or as alleged offenders or both, are disadvantaged and treated less favorably than women by the law-enforcement system at almost every step.”)
Brush, L. D. (1990). Violent Acts and injurious outcomes in married couples: Methodological issues in the National Survey of Families and Households. Gender & Society, 4, 56-67. (Used the Conflict Tactics scale in a large national survey, n=5,474, and found that women engage in same amount of spousal violence as men.)
Brutz, J., & Ingoldsby, B. B. (1984). Conflict resolution in Quaker families. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 46, 21-26. (Used Conflict Tactics Scale with a sample of 288 Quakers <130 men, 158 women> and found a slightly higher rate of female to male violence <15.2%> than male to female violence <14.6%>.)
Burke, P. J., Stets, J. E., & Pirog-Good, M. A. (1988). Gender identity, self-esteem, and physical and sexual abuse in dating relationships. Social Psychology Quarterly, 51, 272-285. (A sample of 505 college students <298 women, 207 men> completed the CTS. Authors reports that they found “no significant difference between men and women in reporting inflicting or sustaining physical abuse.” Specifically, within a one year period they found that 14% of the men and 18% of the women reported inflicting physical abuse, while 10% of the men and 14% of the women reported sustaining physical abuse.)
Caetano, R., Schafter, J., Field, C., & Nelson, S. M. (2002). Agreement on reports of intimate partner violence among white, Black, and Hispanic couples in the United States. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 17, 1308-1322. (A probability sample of 1635 couples was interviewed and assessed with the CTS. Agreement concerning intimate partner violence was about 40%, with no differences reported across ethnicities. Women significantly reported perpetrating more partner violence than men in all three ethnic groups.)
Callahan, M. R., Tolman, R. M., & Saunders, D. G. (2003). Adolescent dating violence victimization and psychological well-being. Journal of Adolescent Research, 18(6), 664-681. (Subjects were 190 high school students <53% male; 47% female; approximately 50% African-American> who completed a modified version of the CTS2. In terms of injuries, 22% of girls and 17% of boys reported being injured by their dating partners. Note this difference was nonsignificant.)
Capaldi, D. M. & Crosby, L. (1997). Observed and reported psychological and physical aggression in young, at-risk couples. Social Development, 6, 184-206. (A sample of 118 young men and their dating partners were surveyed regarding their own physical aggression as well as that of their partners. Findings reveal that 31% of men and 36% of women engaged “in an act of physical aggression against their current partner.”)
Capaldi, D. M, Kim, H. K., & Shortt, J. W. (2004). Women’s involvement in aggression in young adult romantic relationships. In M. Putallaz and K. L. Bierman (Eds.). Aggression, Antisocial Behavior, and Violence Among Girls (pp. 223-241). New York: Guildford Press. (A review chapter which reports on data obtained from Oregon Youth Study and Couples Study. Authors conclude that “Young women were observed to initiate physical aggression toward their partners more frequently than were the young men.” And “the relative prevalence of frequent physical aggression by women and of injury and fear for men was surprisingly high.”)
Capaldi, D. M. & Owen, L. D. (2001). Physical aggression in a community sample of at-risk young couples: Gender comparisons for high frequency, injury, and fear. Journal of Family Psychology, 15 (3), 425-440. Drawn from a community based at-risk sample, 159 young couples were assessed with the Conflict Tactics scale and measures of self reported injuries. Findings indicated that 9.4% of men and 13.2% of women perpetrated frequent physical aggression toward their partners. Contrary to expectations, 13% of men and 9% of women, indicated that they were physically injured at least once. Authors report “2% of the men and none of the women indicate that they had been hurt by their partners between five and nine times.”
Carlson, B. E. (1987). Dating violence: a research review and comparison with spouse abuse. Social Casework, 68, 16-23. (Reviews research on dating violence and finds that men and women are equally likely to aggress against their partners and that “the frequency of aggressive acts is inversely related to the likelihood of their causing physical injury.”)
Carney, M., Buttell, F., & Dutton, D. (in press). Women who perpetrate intimate partner violence: A review of the literature with recommendations for treatment. Aggression and Violent Behavior. (An excellent review of the literature on women who perpetrate violence in intimate relationships. Also summarizes intervention programs for such women.)
Carrado, M., George, M. J., Loxam, E., Jones, L., & Templar, D. (1996). Aggression in British heterosexual relationships: a descriptive analysis. Aggressive Behavior, 22, 401-415. (In a representative sample of British men <n=894> and women <n=971> it was found, using a modified version of the CTS, that 18% of the men and 13% of the women reported being victims of physical violence at some point in their heterosexual relationships. With regard to current relationships, 11% of men and 5% of women reported being victims of partner aggression.)
Cascardi, M., Langhinrichsen, J., & Vivian, D. (1992). Marital aggression: Impact, injury, and health correlates for husbands and wives. Archives of Internal Medicine, 152, 1178-1184. (Examined 93 couples seeking marital therapy. Found using the CTS and other information that 71% reported at least one incident of physical aggression in past year. While men and women were equally likely to perpetrate violence, women reported more severe injuries. Half of the wives and two thirds of the husbands reported no injuries as a result of all aggression, but wives sustained more injuries as a result of mild aggression.)
Caulfield, M. B., & Riggs, D. S. (1992). The assessment of dating aggression: Empirical evaluation of the Conflict Tactics Scale. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 4, 549-558. (Used CTS with a sample of 667 unmarried college students <268 men and 399 women> and found on a number of items significantly higher responses of physical violence on part of women. For example, 19% of women slapped their male partner while 7% of men slapped their partners, 13% of women kicked, bit, or hit their partners with a fist while only 3.1% of men engaged in this activity.)
Cercone, J. J., Beach, S. R. H., & Arias, I. (2005). Gender Symmetry in Dating Intimate Partner Violence: Does Behavior Imply Similar Constructs? Violence and Victims, 20 (2) 207-218. (A sample of 414 college students <189 men, 225 women> responded to the CTS2. Results reveal that male and female subjects were equally likely to be perpetrators of minor violence in intimate dating relationships, but women were twice as likely as men to perpetrate severe violence <15.11% vs 7.41%>).
Clark, M. L., Beckett, J., Wells, M., & Dungee-Anderson, D. (1994). Courtship Violence among African-American college students. Journal of Black Psychology, 20 (3), 264-281. (A sample of 311 African-American college students <76 men, 235 women> responded to the CTS. Findings reveal that 41% of men and 33% of women reported being physically abused by a dating partner.)
Claxton-Oldfield, S. & Arsenault, J. (1999). The initiation of physically aggressive behaviour by female university students toward their male partners: Prevalence and the reasons offered for such behaviors. Unpublished manuscript. (In a sample of 168 actively dating female undergraduates at a Canadian university, 26% indicated that they initiated physical aggression toward their male partners. Most common reason for such behavior was because partner was not listening to them.)
Cogan, R., & Ballinger III, B. C. (2006). Alcohol problems and the differentiation of partner, stranger, and general violence. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 21 (7), 924-935. (A sample of 457 college men and 958 college women completed the CTS. Results revealed that significantly more men than women <35.4% vs 26.0%> reported being victimized by their partners.)
Coney, N. S., & Mackey, W. C. (1999). The feminization of domestic violence in America: The woozle effect goes beyond rhetoric. Journal of Men’s Studies, 8 (1), 45-58. (Authors review the domestic violence literature and report that while society in general as well as the media portray women as “recipients of domestic violence…epidemiological surveys on the distribution of violent behavior between adult partners suggest gender parity.”)
Cook, P. W. (1997). Abused men. The hidden side of domestic violence. Westport, CN.: Praeger. (Presents the evidence, empirical and personal, for male spousal victimization. Examines resistance to acceptance of findings and offers solutions to reduce domestic violence.)
Corry, C. E., Fiebert, M. S., & Pizzy, E. (2002). Controlling domestic violence against men. Available: www.familytx.org/research/Control_DV_against_men.pdf Earlier version presented at Sixth International Conference on Family Violence, San Diego, CA. (A critical examination of men as victims of partner violence.)
Cui, M., Lorenz, F. O., Conger, R. D., Melby, J. N., & Bryant, C. M. (2005). Observer, Self-, and partner reports of hostile behaviors in romantic relationships. Journal of Marriage and Family, 67, 1169-1181. (Examined a sample of 236 young people <48% married, 52% dating; 56% women, 44% men> who completed questionnaires regarding their hostility toward their partners. Findings reveal that couples living together have higher levels of hostility than dating couples and that women in both conditions demonstrate higher levels of hostility towards their partners than men.)
Cunradi, C. B., Caetano, R., Clark, C. L., & Schafer, J. (1999). Alcohol-related problems and intimate partner violence among white, Black, and Hispanic couples in the U.S. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 23, 1492-1501. (A probability sample of 1440 couples <565 white, 358 Black, 527 Hispanic> was obtained from the 1995 National Alcohol Survey. Subjects completed the Conflict Tactics Scale. Ethnicity results reveal that overall rates of partner aggression were similar for whites and Hispanic while Black rates were significantly higher. In terms of gender, white men and women had similar rates of partner aggression, Hispanic women were somewhat more aggressive than Hispanic men and Black men were more aggressive than Black women. Alcohol related problems were a predictor of intimate partner violence in Black couples.)
Deal, J. E., & Wampler, K. S. (1986). Dating violence: The primacy of previous experience. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 3, 457-471. (Of 410 university students <295 women, 115 men> responding to CTS and other instruments, it was revealed that 47% experienced some violence in dating relationships. The majority of experiences were reciprocal. When not reciprocal men were three times more likely than women to report being victims. Violent experiences in previous relationships was the best predictor of violence in current relationships.)
DeKeseredy, W. S. & Schwartz, M. D. (1998). Woman abuse on campus. Results from the Canadian National survey. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. (A large sample <1,835 women; 1,307 men> of Canadian college students completed the Conflict Tactics Scale. Results reveal that women report engaging in higher rates of violence than men. Specifically, 46.1% of women reported engaging in some physical violence in intimate relationship since leaving high school. With 38% employing “minor” violence and 19% employing “severe” violence.)
DeMaris, A. (1992). Male versus female initiation of aggression: The case of courtship violence. In E. C. Viano (Ed.), Intimate violence: interdisciplinary perspectives. (pp. 111-120). Bristol, PA: Taylor & Francis. (Examined a sample of 865 white and black college students with regard to the initiation of violence in their dating experience. Found that 218 subjects, 80 men and 138 women, had experienced or expressed violence in current or recent dating relationships. Results indicate that “when one partner could be said to be the usual initiator of violence, that partner was most often the women. This finding was the same for both black and white respondents.”)
Dowd, L. (2001). Female Perpetrators of Partner Aggression: Relevant Issue and Treatment. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment and Trauma, 5 (2), 73-104. (A review article examining female partner aggression with a focus on treatment issues.)
Dutton, D. G. (2006). Rethinking Domestic Violence. Vancouver: UBC Press. (A thoughtful and scholarly analysis of research and treatment in the area of Domestic Violence. Offers much insight with regard to Intimate Partner violence and men as victims.)
Dutton, D. G. & Nicholls, T. L. (2005). The gender paradigm in domestic violence research and theory: the conflict of theory and data. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 10, 680-714. (A review and analysis of the data regarding male victimization. Critical of feminist approaches that minimize female perpetration and trivialize male injury.)
Dutton-Greene, L. B., & Straus, M. A. (2005, July). The relationship between gender hostility and partner violence and injury. Paper presented at the 9th International Family Violence Research Conference, Portsmouth, NH. (Report of findings from international dating violence Study which collected data from over 11,000 <70% women> college students from 50 universities in 21 countries. Subjects responded to the revised Conflict Tactics scale, gender hostility scales and injury scales. Findings reveal that women perpetrated greater partner violence than men, that women were more seriously injured than men and that hostility toward the opposite sex was significantly and similarly correlated with partner violence for men and women.)
Ehrensaft, M. K., Moffitt, T. E., & Caspi, A. (2004). Clinically abusive relationships in an unselected birth cohort: men’s and women’s participation and developmental antecedents. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 113 (2), 258-270. (Assessed 980 individuals, ages 24-26, who were participants in longitudinal study in New Zealand. Subjects were examined with the CTS, the Partner Conflict Calendar, PCC, a measure of the consequences of abuse and a variety of personality and psychopathology scales. Findings reveal that 9% of the total sample, with an equal number of men and women, were victims of clinical abuse in their relationships with partners.)
Ernst, A. A., Nick, T. G., Weiss, S. J., Houry, D., & Mills, T. (1997). Domestic violence in an inner-city ED. Annals of Emergency Medicine, 30, 190-197. (Assessed 516 patients <233 men, 283 women> in a New Orleans inner-city emergency Department with the Index of Spousal Abuse, a scale to measure domestic violence. Found that 28% of the men and 33% of the women <a nonsignificant difference>, were victims of past physical violence while 20% of the men and 19% of the women reported being current victims of physical violence. In terms of ethnicity, 82% of subjects were African-American. Authors report that there was a significant difference in the number of women vs. men who reported past abuse to the police ,19% of women, 6% of men.>)
Farrell, W. (1999). Women can’t hear what men don’t say. New York: Tarcher/Putnam. See Chapter 6. (Pp. 123-162; 323-329.) (An excellent social and political analysis of couple violence.)
Feather, N. T. (1996). Domestic violence, gender and perceptions of justice. Sex Roles, 35, 507-519. (Subjects <109 men, 111 women> from Adelaide, South Australia, were presented a hypothetical scenario in which either a husband or wife perpetrated domestic violence. Participants were significantly more negative in their evaluation of the husband than the wife, were more sympathetic to the wife and believed that the husband deserved a harsher penalty for his behavior.)
Felson, R. B. (2002). Violence and Gender Reexamined. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. (Scholarly review and analysis of the literature. Author concludes that, “Women are just as likely as men to be victims of violence from their partners. . . .” Also “casts doubt on the battered wife syndrome as an explanation for why women kill their male partners.”)
Felson, R. B. (2006). Is violence against women about women or about violence? Contexts, 5, 21-25. (Reports that while men are eight times more likely to commit overall violence than women, there is gender parity in partner violence. Author suggests that violent men are “less likely to assault their partners because of the chivalry norm.“)
Fergusson, D. M., Horwood, L. J., & Ridder, E. M. (2005). Partner violence and mental health outcomes in a New Zealand birth cohort. Journal of Marriage and Family, 67, 1103-1119. (Examined extent of domestic violence experience and perpetration in a sample of 828 <437 women, 391 men> young adults who were 25 years old. Subjects were part of a long term longitudinal study and were administered the CTS2. Results reveal that “there were more men exposed to severe domestic violence than women” and that mild and moderate rates were similar for men and women. Overall, 39.4% of women and 30.9% of men reported perpetration scores of 3 or higher. Authors report that men and women reported similar rates of injury <3.9% for women vs. 3.3% for men>. In terms of initiation of partner assaults, 34% of women and 12% of men reported initiating physical assaults.)
Fiebert, M. S., & Gonzalez, D. M. (1997). Women who initiate assaults: The reasons offered for such behavior. Psychological Reports, 80, 583-590. (A sample of 968 women, drawn primarily from college courses in the Southern California area, were surveyed regarding their initiation of physical assaults on their male partners. 29% of the women, n=285, revealed that they initiated assaults during the past five years. Women in their 20’s were more likely to aggress than women aged 30 and above. In terms of reasons, women appear to aggress because they did not believe that their male victims would be injured or would retaliate. Women also claimed that they assaulted their male partners because they wished to engage their attention, particularly emotionally.)
Fiebert, M. S. (1996). College students’ perception of men as victims of women’s assaultive behavior. Perceptual & Motor Skills, 82, 49-50. (Three hundred seventy one college students <91 men, 280 women> were surveyed regarding their knowledge and acceptance of the research finding regarding female assaultive behavior. The majority of subjects (63%) were unaware of the finding that women assault men as frequently as men assault women; a slightly higher percentage of women than men (39% vs 32%) indicated an awareness of this finding. With regard to accepting the validity of these findings a majority of subjects (65%) endorsed such a result with a slightly higher percentage of men (70% vs 64%)indicating their acceptance of this finding.)
Flynn, C. P. (1990). Relationship violence by women: issues and implications. Family Relations, 36, 295-299. (A review/analysis article that states, “researchers consistently have found that men and women in relationships, both marital and premarital engage in comparable amounts of violence.” Author also writes, “Violence by women in intimate relationships has received little attention from policy makers, the public, and until recently, researchers…battered men and abusive women have receive ‘selective inattention’ by both the media and researchers.”)
Follingstad, D. R., Wright, S., & Sebastian, J. A. (1991). Sex differences in motivations and effects in dating violence. Family Relations, 40, 51-57. (A sample of 495 college students <207 men, 288 women> completed the CTS and other instruments including a “justification of relationship violence measure.” The study found that women were twice as likely to report perpetrating dating violence as men. Female victims attributed male violence to a desire to gain control over them or to retaliate for being hit first, while men believed that female aggression was a based on their female partner’s wish to “show how angry they were and to retaliate for feeling emotionally hurt or mistreated.”)
Foo, L., & Margolin, G. (1995). A multivariate investigation of dating aggression. Journal of Family Violence, 10, 351-377. (A sample of 290 college students <111 men, 179 women> responded to the CTS. Results reveal that 24.3% of men and 38.5% of women reported perpetrating physical violence toward their dating partners.)
Foshee, V. A. (1996). Gender differences in adolescent dating abuse prevalence, types and injuries. Health Education Research, 11 (3), 275-286. (Data collected from 1965 adolescents in eighth and ninth grade in 14 schools in rural North Carolina. Results reveal that 36.5% of dating females and 39.4% of dating males report being victims of physical dating violence. In terms of perpetrating violence 27.8% of females while only 15.0% of males report perpetrating violence.)
Gelles, R. J. (1994). Research and advocacy: Can one wear two hats? Family Process, 33, 93-95. (Laments the absence of objectivity on the part of “feminist” critics of research demonstrating female perpetrated domestic violence.)
George, M. J. (1994). Riding the donkey backwards: Men as the unacceptable victims of marital violence. Journal of Men’s Studies, 3, 137-159. (A thorough review of the literature which examines findings and issues related to men as equal victims of partner abuse.)
George, M. J. (1999). A victimization survey of female perpetrated assaults in the United Kingdom. Aggressive Behavior, 25, 67-79. (A representative sample of 718 men and 737 women completed the CTS and reported their experience as victims of physical assaults by women during a five year period. Men reported greater victimization and more severe assaults than did women. Specifically, 14% of men compared to 7% of women reported being assaulted by women. Highest risk group were single men. The majority (55%) of assaults on men were perpetrated by spouses, partners, or former partners.)
George, M. J. (2002). Skimmington Revisited. Journal of Men’s Studies, 10 (2), 111-127. (Examines historical sources and finds that men who were victims of spousal aggression were subject to punishment and humiliation. Inferences to contemporary trivialization of male victims of partner aggression is discussed.)
George, M. J. (2003). Invisible touch. Aggression & Violent Behaviour, 8, 23-60. (A comprehensive review and analysis of female initiated partner aggression. Historical, empirical and case evidence presented to demonstrate reality of “battered husband syndrome.”)
Goldberg, W. G., & Tomlanovich, M. C. (1984). Domestic violence victims in the emergency department. JAMA, 251, 3259-3264. (A sample of 492 patients <275 women, 217 men> who sought treatment in an emergency department in a Detroit hospital were survey regarding their experience with domestic violence. Respondents were mostly African-American (78%), city dwellers (90%), and unemployed (60%). Victims of domestic violence numbered 107 (22%). While results indicate that 38% of victims were men and 62% were women this gender difference did not reach statistical significance.
Gonzalez, D. M. (1997). Why females initiate violence: A study examining the reasons behind assaults on men. Unpublished master’s thesis, California State University, Long Beach. (225 college women participated in a survey which examined their past history and their rationales for initiating aggression with male partners. Subjects also responded to 8 conflict scenarios which provided information regarding possible reasons for the initiation of aggression. Results indicate that 55% of the subjects admitted to initiating physical aggression toward their male partners at some point in their lives. The most common reason was that aggression was a spontaneous reaction to frustration).
Goodyear-Smith, F. A. & Laidlaw, T. M. (1999). Aggressive acts and assaults in intimate relationships: Towards an understanding of the literature. Behavioral Sciences and the Law, 17, 285-304. (An up to date scholarly analysis of couple violence. Authors report that, “…studies clearly demonstrate that within the general population, women initiate and use violent behaviors against their partners at least as often as men.”
Graham-Kevan, N., & Archer, J. (July, 2005). Using Johnson’s domestic violence typology to classify men and women in a non-selected sample. Paper presented at the 9th Annual Family Violence Research Conference, Portsmouth, NH. (A total of 1339 subjects, students and staff from the University of Central Lancashire, responded to a modified version of the CTS. Authors report that, “the proportion of women and men using any act of physical aggression towards their partners was as follows: from self-reports 29% for women and 17% for men, and from partner reports 31% of women and 22% for men.”)
Grandin, E. & Lupri, E. (1997). Intimate violence in Canada and the United States: A cross-national comparison. Journal of Family Violence, 12 (4), 417-443. (Authors examine data from the 1985 U.S. National Family Violence Resurvey and the 1986 Canadian National Family Life Survey. Report that “although the United States exhibits significantly higher rates of societal violence crime than Canada, Canadian women and men were more likely than their American counterparts to use severe and minor intimate violence.” This finding is counter to the “culture of violence theory.” Moreover, in both cultures the rates of violence of wives to husbands were higher than husbands to wives. Specifically, the overall violence index for men in America was 10.6 and in Canada it was 18.3; while the overall violence index for women in America was 12.2 and in Canada it was 25.3.)
Gray, H. M. & Foshee, V. (1997). Adolescent dating violence. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 12, 126-142. (A sample of 185 adolescents responded to a questionnaire about dating violence; 77 students reported being involved in physical violence in their current or most recent dating relationship. Mutual violence was present in 66% of cases; while 26% of males and 8% of females reported being victims of violence and 29% of females and 4% of males reported being sole perpetrators of violence.)
Gryl, F. E., Stith, S. M., & Bird, G. W. (1991). Close dating relationships among college students: differences by use of violence and by gender. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 8, 243-264. (A sample of 280 first year college students <156 women, 124 men> at a mid-Atlantic university completed the violence sub-scale of the Conflict Tactics Scale. Results reveal that almost 30% of the females and 23% of males reported that they had been violent in the current relationship. Also almost 28% of women and 39% of men reported sustaining violence in their current relationship.)
Hamel, J. (2005). Gender Inclusive Treatment of Intimate Partner Abuse. New York: Springer. (Reviews the “most reliable and empirically sound research” and concludes that “men and women physically and emotionally abuse each other at equal rates. . .” Offers a comprehensive gender inclusive treatment approach to domestic violence.)
Hampton, R. L., Gelles, R. J., & Harrop, J. W. (1989). Is violence in families increasing? A comparison of 1975 and 1985 National Survey rates. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 51, 969-980. (Compared a sample of 147 African Americans from the 1975 National Survey with 576 African Americans from the 1985 National Survey with regard to spousal violence. Using the CTS found that the rate of overall violence (169/1000) of husbands to wives remained the same from 1975 to 1985, while the rate of overall violence for wives to husbands increased 33% (153 to 204/1000) from 1975 to 1985. The rate of severe violence of husbands to wives decreased 43% (113 to 64/1000) from 1975 to 1985, while the rate of severe violence of wives to husbands increased 42% (76 to 108/1000) from 1975 to 1985. In 1985 the rate of abusive violence by black women was nearly 3 times greater than the rate of white women.)
Harned, M. S. (2002). A multivariate analysis of risk markers for dating violence victimization. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 17, 1179-1197. (In a university sample of 874 daters <489 women, 385 men> assessed with the revised CTS, 22% of women and 21% of men reported experiencing physical aggression from dating partners.)
Harders, R. J., Struckman-Johnson, C., Struckman-Johnson, D. & Caraway, S. J. (1998). Verbal and physical abuse in dating relationships. Paper presented at the meeting of American Psychological Association, San Francisco, CA. (Surveyed 274 college students <92 men, 182 women> using a revised formed of the Conflict Tactics Scale. Found that women were significantly more physically aggressive than men, particularly in the areas of: pushing, slapping and punching.)
Headey, B., Scott, D., & de Vaus, D. (1999). Domestic violence in Australia: Are women and men equally violent? Data from the International Social Science Survey/ Australia 1996/97 was examined. A sample of 1643 subjects (804 men, 839 women) responded to questions about their experience with domestic violence in the past 12 months. Results reveal that 5.7% of men and 3.7% of women reported being victims of domestic assaults. With regard to injuries results reveal that women inflict serious injuries at least as frequently as men. For example 1.8% of men and 1.2% of women reported that their injuries required first aid, while 1.5% of men and 1.1% of women reported that their injuries needed treatment by a doctor or nurse.
Hendy, H. M., Weiner, K., Bakerofskie, J., Eggen, D., Gustitus, C., & McLeod, K. C. (2003). Comparison of six models for violent romantic relationships in college men and women. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 18, 645-665. (A sample of 608 students <164 men, 444 women> were surveyed with the Conflict Tactics Scale. Results indicate that 16% of men and 26% of women report inflicting violence on their current romantic partner.)
Henton, J., Cate, R., Koval, J., Lloyd, S., & Christopher, S. (1983). Romance and violence in dating relationships. Journal of Family Issues, 4, 467-482. (Surveyed 644 high school students <351 men, 293 women> and found that abuse occurred at a rate of 121 per 1000 and appeared to be reciprocal with both partners initiating violence at similar rates.)
Hines, D. A. & Malley-Morrison, K. (2001). Psychological effects of partner abuse against men: a neglected research area. Psychology of Men and Masculinity, 2, 75-85. (A review article that examines the issue of men as victims of partner abuse. Considers reasons why men would remain in an abusive relationship.)
Hines, D. A. & Saudino, K. J. (2003). Gender differences in psychological, physical, and sexual aggression among college students using the revised Conflict Tactics Scales. Violence and Victims, 18 (2), 197-217. (A sample of 481 college students <179 men, 302 women> responded to the revised Conflict Tactics scale. Results indicate that 29% of men and 35% of women reported perpetrating physical aggression in their relationships.)
Hoff, B. H. (1999). The risk of serious physical injury from assault by a woman intimate. A re-examination of National Violence against women survey data on type of assault by an intimate. WWW.vix.com/menmag/nvawrisk.htm. (A re-examination of the data from the most recent National violence against women survey (Tjaden & Thoennes, 1998) shows that “assaulted men are more likely than assaulted women to experience serious attacks by being hit with an object, beat up, threatened with a knife or being knifed.”)
Holtzworth-Munroe, A. (2005). Female Perpetration of Physical Aggression Against an Intimate Partner: A Controversial New Topic of Study. Violence and Victims, 20 (2), 251-259. (Examines the changing zeitgeist, methodological issues, and research findings regarding female perpetrated violence.)
Jackson, S. M., Cram, F. & Seymour, F. W. (2000). Violence and sexual coercion in high school students’ dating relationships. Journal of Family Violence, 15, 23-36. (In a New Zealand sample of senior high school students <200 women, 173 men> 21% of women and 19% of men reported having been physically hurt by their heterosexual dating partner.)
Jenkins, S. S., & Aube, J. (2002). Gender differences and gender-related constructs in dating aggression. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 28, 1106-1118. (Used the CTS with a university sample of 85 dating couples. Authors report that, “women in existing college dating relationships are more aggressive than men.”)
Jezl, D. R., Molidor, C. E., & Wright, T. L. (1996). Physical, sexual, and psychological abuse in high school dating relationships: Prevalence rates and self-esteem issues. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, 13 (1), 69-87. (Examined an ethnically diverse sample of currently dating subjects <114 male, 118 female> who responded to a modified version of the Conflict Tactics Scale. Results indicate that 50.9% of subjects <63% of males and 39% of females> reported being victims of moderately abusive behaviors such as “being kicked, slapped, having your hair pulled, and being intentionally scratched.”)
Jouriles, E. N., & O’leary, K. D. (1985). Interpersonal reliability of reports of marital violence. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 53, 419-421. (Used the Conflict Tactics Scale with a sample of 65 couples in marriage therapy and 37 couples from the community. Found moderate levels of agreement of abuse between partners and similar rates of reported violence between partners.)
Kalmuss, D. (1984). The intergenerational transmission of marital aggression. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 46, 11-19. (In a representative sample of 2,143 adults found that the rate of husband to wife severe aggression is 3.8% while the rate of wife to husband severe aggression is 4.6%.)
Katz, J., Kuffel, S. W., & Coblentz, A. (2002). Are there gender differences in sustaining dating violence? An examination of frequency, severity, and relationship satisfaction. Journal of Family Violence, 17, 247-271. (Authors report two studies where dating men and women experienced violence at comparable levels, “although men experienced more frequent moderate violence.” In the first study n=286, <183 women, 103 men> 55% of women had nonviolent partners, while 50% of men had nonviolent partners; in the second study n=123 <78 women, 45 men> 73% of women had nonviolent partners, while 58% of men had nonviolent partners.)
Kaura, S. A. & Allan, C. M. (2004). Dissatisfaction with relationship power and dating violence perpetration by men and women. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 19, 576-588. (A university sample of 352 men and 296 women completed the revised Conflict Tactics Scale. Authors report, “Surprisingly, significantly more dating violence perpetration is reported by women than by men.”)
Kelly, L. (2003). Disabusing the definition of domestic abuse: how women batter men and the role of the feminist state. Florida State Law Review, 30, 791-855. (A scholarly examination of the issue of male victimization which is critical of feminist perspectives.)
Kim, K., & Cho, Y. (1992). Epidemiological survey of spousal abuse in Korea. In E. C. Viano (Ed.) Intimate Violence: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. (pp. 277-282). Bristol, PA: Taylor and Francis. (Utilized the Conflict Tactics scale in interviews with a random sample of 1,316 married Koreans <707 women, 609 men>. Compared to findings with American couples, results indicate that Korean men were victimized by their wives twice as much as American men, while Korean women were victimized by their spouses three times as much as American women.)
Kim, J-Y., & Emery, C. (2003). Marital power, conflict, norm consensus, and marital violence in a nationally representative sample of Korean couples. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 18, 197-219. (A sample of 1500 South Koreans were surveyed. Marital power, conflict and norm consensus were correlated with marital violence. Findings reveal that the incidence of husband to wife violence 27.8%, while wife to husband was 15.8%)
Kwong, M. J., Bartholomew, K., & Dutton, D. (1999). Gender differences in patterns of relationship violence in Alberta. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science, 31 (3), 150-160. (A representative sample of men <n=356> and women <n=351> from Alberta using the Conflict Tactics Scale, reported on their experience of marital aggression during a one year period. Similar levels of reported perpetration of physical violence were found, viz., husband to wife 12.9%, wife to husband, 12.3%.)
Lane, K., & Gwartney-Gibbs, P.A. (1985). Violence in the context of dating and sex. Journal of Family Issues, 6, 45-49. (Surveyed 325 students <165 men, 160 women> regarding courtship violence. Used Conflict Tactics Scale and found equal rates of violence for men and women.)
Laner, M. R., & Thompson, J. (1982). Abuse and aggression in courting couples. Deviant Behavior, 3, 229-244. (Used Conflict Tactics Scales with a sample of 371 single individuals <129 men, 242 women> and found similar rates of male and female violence in dating relationships.)
Langhinrichsen-Rohling, J., & Vivian, D. (1994). The correlates of spouses’ incongruent reports of marital aggression. Journal of Family Violence, 9, 265-283. (In a clinic sample of 97 couples seeking marital therapy, authors found, using a modified version of the CTS, that 61% of the husbands and 64% of the wives were classified as aggressive, 25% of the husbands and 11% of the wives were identified as mildly aggressive and 36% of husbands and 53% of wives were classified as severely aggressive. Sixty-eight percent of couples were in agreement with regard to husband’s overall level of aggression and 69% of couples were in agreement on wive’s overall level of aggression. Aggression levels were identified as “nonviolent, mildly violent, or severely violent.” Where there was disagreement, 65% of husbands <n=20> were under-reporting aggression and 35% of husbands <n=11> were over-reporting aggression; while 57% of wives <n=17> were under-reporting aggression and 43% of wives <n=13> were over-reporting aggression.)
Laroche, D. (2005). Aspects of the context and consequences of domestic violence-Situational couple violence and intimate terrorism in Canada in 1999. Table 8. Quebec City: Government of Quebec. (Author presents a reanalysis of Canadian General Social Survey <see Brown, 2004> and reports great similarity in male and female victimization. Specifically, 83% of men and 77% of women feared for their lives because they were unilaterally terrorized by their partners. A similar percentage <84%> of men and women who were terrorized by their partners received medical attention.)
Leisring, P. A., Dowd, L., & Rosenbaum, A. (2003). Treatment of Partner Aggressive Women. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment and Trauma, 7 (1/2), 257-277. (Article discusses information regarding gender parity in partner aggression. Authors provide a rationale for the study of female offenders and describe characteristics of partner aggressive women. Included is a presentation of the treatment program for partner aggressive women at University of Massachusetts medical school.)
Lewis, A. & Sarantakos, S. (2001). Domestic Violence and the male victim. Nuance, #3. (Based on interviews with 48 men in Australia and New Zealand, authors present findings that domestic violence by women toward men exists, that the refusal to examine the prevalence of this abuse is a “disempowerment” of men and that official policy should be changed to provide help for abused men.)
Lillja, C. M. (1995). Why women abuse: A study examining the function of abused men. Unpublished master’s thesis, California State University, Long Beach. (A review of the literature examining the issue of men as victims of female assaults. Includes an original questionnaire to test assumption that women who lack social support to combat stress are likely to commit domestic violence.)
Lo, W. A., & Sporakowski, M. J. (1989). The continuation of violent dating relationships among college students. Journal of College Student Development, 30, 432-439. (A sample of 422 college students completed the Conflict Tactics Scale. Found that, “women were more likely than men to claim themselves as abusers and were less likely to claim themselves as victims.”)
Lottes, I. L., & Weinberg, M. S. (1996). Sexual coercion among university students: a comparison of the United States and Sweden. Journal of Sex Research, 34, 67-76. (A sample of 507 Swedish students <211 men, 359 women> and 407 U.S. students <129 men, 278 women> responded to items on the CTS. Results reveal that 31% of U.S. men compared to 18% of Swedish men reported being victims of physical violence by female partners during the previous 12 months. While 31% of U.S. women comparted to 19% of Swedish women reported being victims of physical violence by male partners during the previous 12 months.)
Macchietto, J. (1992). Aspects of male victimization and female aggression: Implications for counseling men. Journal of Mental Health Counseling, 14, 375-392. (Article reviews literature on male victimization and female aggression.)
Magdol, L., Moffitt, T. E., Caspi, A., Fagan, J., Newman, D. L., & Silva, P. A. (1997). Gender differences in partner violence in a birth cohort of 21 year Olds: bridging the gap between clinical and epidemiological approaches. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 65, 68-78. (Used CTS with a sample of 861 21 year Olds <436 men, 425 women> in New Zealand. Physical violence perpetration was reported during the previous 12 months by 37.2% of women and 21.8% of men, with severe violence perpetration by women at 18.6% and men at 5.7%.)
Makepeace, J. M. (1986). Gender differences in courtship violence victimization. Family Relations, 35, 383-388. (A sample of 2,338 students <1,059 men, 1,279 women> from seven colleges were surveyed regarding their experience of dating violence. Courtship violence was experienced by 16.7 % of respondents. Authors report that “rates of commission of acts and initiation of violence were similar across gender.” In term of injury, both men (98%) and women (92%) reported “none or mild” effects of violence.)
Malik, S., Sorenson, S. B., & Aneshensel, C. S. (1997). Journal of Adolescent Health, 21, 291-302. (A sample of 707 high school students <281 boys, 426 girls> responded to the CTS. Results reveal that girls were almost 3 times more likely than boys to perpetrate dating violence. In terms of ethnicity African-Americans had the highest level of dating violence, followed by Latinos, whites, and Asian Americans.)
Malone, J., Tyree, A., & O’Leary, K. D. (1989). Generalization and containment: Different effects of past aggression for wives and husbands. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 51, 687-697. (In a sample of 328 couples it was found that men and women engaged in similar amounts of physical aggression within their families of origin and against their spouses. However, results indicate that women were more aggressive to their partners than men. Aggression was more predictable for women, i.e., if women observed parental aggression or hit siblings they were more likely to be violent with their spouses.)
Margolin, G. (1987). The multiple forms of aggressiveness between marital partners: how do we identify them? Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 13 , 77-84. (A paid volunteer sample of 103 couples completed the Conflict Tactics Scale. It was found that husbands and wives perpetrated similar amounts of violence. Specifically, the incidence of violence, as reported by either spouse was: husband to wife =39; wife to husband =41.)
Marshall, L. L., & Rose, P. (1987). Gender, stress and violence in the adult relationships of a sample of college students. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 4, 299-316. (A survey of 308 undergraduates <152 men, 156 women> revealed that 52% expressed and 62% received violence at some point in their adult relationships. Overall, women report expressing more physical violence than men. Childhood abuse emerged as a predictor of violence in adult relationships.)
Marshall, L. L., & Rose, P. (1990). Premarital violence: The impact of family of origin violence, stress and reciprocity. Violence and Victims, 5, 51-64. (454 premarital undergraduates <249 women, 205 men> completed the CTS and other scales. Overall, women reported expressing more violence than men, while men reported receiving more violence than women. Female violence was also associated with having been abused as children.)
Mason, A., & Blankenship, V. (1987). Power and affiliation motivation, stress and abuse in intimate relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 52, 203-210. (Investigated 155 college students <48 men, 107 women> with the Thematic Apperception Test <TAT>, Life Experiences Survey and the CTS. Found that there were no significant gender differences in terms of the infliction of physical abuse. Men with high power needs were more likely to be physically abusive while highly stressed women with high needs for affiliation and low activity inhibition were the most likely to be physically abusive. Results indicate that physical abuse occurred most often among committed couples.)
Matthews, W. J. (1984). Violence in college couples. College Student Journal, 18, 150-158. (A survey of 351 college students <123 men and 228 women> revealed that 79 <22.8 %> reported at least one incident of dating violence. Both men and women ascribed joint responsibility for violent behavior and both sexes, as either recipients or expressors of aggression, interpreted violence as a form of “love.”)
Maxfield, M. G. (1989). Circumstances in supplementary homicide reports: Variety and validity. Criminology, 27, 671-695. (Examines FBI homicide data from 1976 through 1985. Reports that 9,822 wives & common law wives <57%> were killed compared to 7,433 husbands and common law husbands <43%>).
McCarthy, A. (2001.) Gender differences in the incidences of, motives for, and consequences of, dating violence among college students. Unpublished Master’s thesis, California State University, Long Beach. (In a sample of 1145 students <359 men, 786 women> found that 36% of men and 28% of women responding to the CTS2 reported that they were victims of physical aggression during the previous year. There were no differences in reported motives for aggression between men and women.)
McKinney, K. (1986). Measures of verbal, physical and sexual dating violence by gender. Free Inquiry in Creative Sociology, 14, 55-60. (Surveyed 163 college students, 78 men, 85 women, with a questionnaire designed to assess involvement in dating abuse. Found that 38% of women and 47% of men indicated that they were victims of physical abuse in dating relationships. Also found that 26% of women and 21% of men acknowledged that they physically assaulted their dating partners.)
McLeod, M. (1984). Women against men: An examination of domestic violence based on an analysis of official data and national victimization data. Justice Quarterly, 1, 171-193. (From a data set of 6,200 cases of spousal abuse in the Detroit area in 1978-79 found that men used weapons 25% of the time while female assailants used weapons 86% of the time, 74% of men sustained injury and of these 84% required medical care. Concludes that male victims are injured more often and more seriously than female victims.)
McNeely, R. L., Cook, P. W. & Torres, J. B. (2001). Is domestic violence a gender issue or a human issue? Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 4 (4), 227-251. (Argues that domestic violence is a human issue and not a gender issue. Presents and discusses empirical findings and case studies to support this view. Expresses concerns about men’s “legal and social defenselessness.”)
McNeely, R. L., & Mann, C. R. (1990). Domestic violence is a human issue. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 5, 129-132. (A review article which discusses the findings that women are more prone than men to engage in severely violent acts and that “classifying spousal violence as a women’s issue rather than a human issue is erroneous.”)
McNeely, R. L., & Robinson-Simpson, G. (1987). The truth about domestic violence: A falsely framed issue. Social Work, 32, 485-490. (A review article which concludes that women are as violent as men in domestic relationships.)
Mechem, C. C., Shofer, F. S., Reinhard, S. S., Hornig, S., & Datner, E. (1999). History of domestic violence among male patients presenting to an urban emergency department. Academic Emergency Medicine, 6, 786-791. (Data was collected over a 13 week period at an emergency clinic in Philadelphia which focused on injuries to male patients. Results revealed that 12.6% of 866 men were victims of domestic violence. Authors cite published findings that 14.4% of women treated in Emergency departments had been physically or sexually abused by an intimate partner. Compared to non-victims, victims were more likely to be single <52%>, younger <7.5 yrs> and African-American <61%>. In terms of assaults, 48% of men reported being kicked, bitten, chocked or punched by a female partner, while 37% of men reported having a weapon used against them.)
Mercy, J. A., & Saltzman, L. E. (1989). Fatal violence among spouses in the United States, 1975-85. American Journal of Public Health, 79, 595-599. (Examined FBI figures regarding spousal homicides. During the 10 year period from 1975 to 1985 found higher murder rates of wives than husbands <43.4% vs 56.6%>. Black husbands were at the greatest risk of victimization. Spousal homicide among blacks was 8.4 times higher than that of whites. Spouse homicide rates were 7.7 times higher in interracial marriages and the risk of victimization for both whites and blacks increased as age differences between spouses increased. Wives and husbands were equally likely to be killed by firearms <approximately 72% of the time> while husbands were more likely to be stabbed and wives more likely to bludgeoned to death. Arguments apparently escalated to murder in 67% of spouse homicides.)
Meredith, W. H., Abbot, D. A., & Adams, S. L. (1986). Family violence in relation to marital and parental satisfaction and family strengths. Journal of Family Violence, 1, 299-305. (Authors report that 6% of men and 5% of women in Nebraska indicated that they used severe violence at least once in the previous year.)
Merrill, L. L., King, L. K., Milner, J. S., Newell, C. E., & Koss, M. P. (1998). Premilitary intimate partner conflict resolution in a Navy basic trainee sample. Military Psychology, 10, 1-15. (A sample of 2, 987 ,1,560 women, 1,427 men> Navy basic trainees responded to the CTS. More men <43.3%> than women <40.3%> reported receiving physical violence from an intimate partner, and more women <46.9%> than men <31.9%> reported at least one instance of inflicting physical violence on an intimate partner.)
Migliaccio, T. A. (2002). Abused husbands: A Narrative analysis. Journal of Family Issues, 23, 26-52. (Narratives of 12 abused men are examined. Study finds that the accounts of battered men and women follow similar patterns, “including the structure of the relationships, acceptance of the abuse, and the social context of the situation.”)
Mihalic, S. W., & Elliot, D. (1997). A social learning theory model of marital violence. Journal of Family Violence, 12, 21-46. (Based on data from the National Youth Survey <see Morse, 1995> a social learning model of marital violence for men and women was tested. For men ethnicity, prior victimization, stress and marital satisfaction predicted both perpetration and experience of minor violence. With regard to serious violence ethnicity, prior victimization, marital satisfaction predicted men’s experience of marital violence, while ethnicity, class and sex role attitudes predicted the perpetration of male marital violence. For women the most important predictor of the experience of both minor and serious marital violence was marital satisfaction, class was also a predictor. With regard to female perpetrators of marital violence the witnessing of parental violence was an important predictor along with class and marital satisfaction. The social learning model worked better for women than men.)
Milardo, R. M. (1998). Gender asymmetry in common couple violence. Personal Relationships, 5, 423-438. (A sample of 180 college students <88 men, 72 women> were asked whether they would be likely to hit their partner in a number of situations common to a dating relationship. Results reveal that 83% of the women, compared to 53% of the men, indicated that they would be somewhat likely to hit their partner.)
Mirrlees-Black, C. (1999). Findings from a new British Crime Survey self-completion questionnaire. Home Office Research, Development and Statistics Directorate report 191. Home Office. London, HMSO. (In 1996, 16,000 completed questionnaires regarding crime victimization. Findings reveal 4.2% of men and 4.2% of women between the ages of 16-59 reported being physically assaulted by a current or former partner within the past year.)
Moffitt, T. E., Robins, R. W., & Caspi, A. (2001). A couples analysis of partner abuse with implications for abuse-prevention policy. Criminology & Public Policy, 1 (1), 5-36. (A representative longitudinal sample of 360 young-adult couples in New Zealand completed a 13 item physical abuse scale. Results reveal that 40% of males and 50% of females had perpetrated at least one act of physical violence toward their partners.)
Morse, B. J. (1995). Beyond the Conflict Tactics Scale: Assessing gender differences in partner violence. Violence and Victims, 10 (4), 251-272. (Data was analyzed from the National Youth Survey, a longitudinal study begun in 1976 with 1,725 subjects who were drawn from a probability sample of households in the United States and who, in 1976, were between the ages of 11-17. This study focused on violence as assessed by the CTS between male and female married or cohabiting respondents during survey years 1983 <n=1,496>, 1986 <n=1,384>, 1989 <n=1,436>, and 1992 <n=1,340>. For each survey year the prevalence rates of any violence and severe violence were significantly higher for female to male than for male to female. For example, in 1983 the rate of any violence male to female was 36.7, while the rate of any violence female to male was 48; in 1986, the rate of severe violence male to female was 9.5, while the rate of severe violence female to male was 22.8. In 1992, the rate of any violence male to female was 20.2, with a severe violence rate male to female of 5.7; while the rate of any violence female to male was 27.9, with a severe violence rate female to male of 13.8. Author notes that the decline in violence over time is attributed to the increase in age of the subjects. Results reveal <p. 163> that over twice as many women as men reported assaulting a partner who had not assaulted them during the study year.” In 1986 about 20% of both men and women reported that assaults resulted in physical injuries. In other years women were more likely to self report personal injuries.)
Molidor, C., & Tolman, R. M. (1998). Gender and contextual factors in adolescent dating violence. Violence against Women, 4 (2), 180-194. (Subjects were 635 high school students <305 girls; 330 boys> who completed a modified version of the CTS. Results indicate that there was no significant difference between males and females in their experience of overall dating biolence <37.1% of males vs. 36.4% of females. males reported greater frequency of moderate violence and females reported greater frequency of severe violence.)
Murphy, J. E. (1988). Date abuse and forced intercourse among college students. In G. P. Hotaling, D. Finkelhor, J. T. Kirkpatrick, & M. A. Straus (Eds.) Family Abuse and its Consequences: New Directions in Research (pp. 285-296). Beverly Hills, CA: Sage. (A sample of 485 single college students <230 men, 255 women> completed the CTS. Overall men reported greater victimization than women. For example, 20.7% of men compared to 12.8% of women reported being kicked, bit or hit with a fist and 6% of men compared to 3.6% of women reported being beaten up by their heterosexual partner.)
Mwamwenda, T. S. (1998). Reports of husband battering from an undergraduate sample in Umtata. Psychological Reports, 82, 517-518. (Surveyed a sample of 138 female and 81 male college students in Transkei, South Africa, regarding their witnessing husbanding battery. Responses reveal that 2% of subjects saw their mother beat their father, 18% saw or heard female relatives beating their husbands, and 26% saw or heard female neighbors beating their husbands.)
Niaz, U., Hassan, S., & Tariq, Q. (2002). Psychological consequences of intimate partner violence: forms of domestic abuse in both genders. Pakistan Journal of Medical Science, 18 (3), 205-214. (A sample of 140 <70 men, 70 women> outpatient psychiatric patients in Pakistan were assessed with the Karachi Domestic Violence Screening Scale. Findings reveal that 19 men <27%> and 30 women <43%> reported being victims of physical abuse in their domestic relationships.)
Nicholls, T. L. & Dutton, D. G. (2001). Abuse committed by women against male intimates. Journal of Couples Therapy, 10 (1), 41-57. (A comprehensive review of the literature which concludes that “men are as likely as women to be victims of intimate assaults.”)
Nisonoff, L. & Bitman, I. (1979). Spouse abuse: Incidence and relationship to selected demographic variables. Victimology, 4, 131-140. (In a sample of 297 telephone survey respondents <112 men, 185 women> found that 15.5% of men and 11.3% of women report having hit their spouse, while 18.6% of men and 12.7% of women report having been hit by their spouse.)
O’Keefe, M. (1997). Predictors of dating violence among high school students. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 12, 546-568. (Surveyed 939 students <385 boys, 554 girls> ranging in age from 14-20. Sample was ethnically diverse: 53% Latino, 20% White, 13% African-American, 6.7% Asian American, and 7% “other.” A modified version of the violence subscale of the Conflict Tactics Scale was used to assess dating violence. Results reveal that 43% of females and 39% of males reported that they perpetrated some form of physical aggression on their dating partners.)
O’Keeffe, N. K., Brockopp, K., & Chew, E. (1986). Teen dating violence. Social Work, 31, 465-468. (Surveyed 256 high school students from Sacramento, CA., 135 girls, 121 boys, with the CTS. Ninety percent of students were juniors or seniors, the majority came from middle class homes, 94% were average or better students, and 65% were white and 35% were black, Hispanic or Asian. Found that 11.9% of girls compared to 7.4% of boys admitted to being sole perpetrators of physical violence. 17.8% of girls and 11.6% of boys admitted that they were both “victims and perpetrators” of physical violence.)
O’Leary, K. D., Barling, J., Arias, I., Rosenbaum, A., Malone, J., & Tyree, A. (1989). Prevalence and stability of physical aggression between spouses: A longitudinal analysis. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 57, 263-268. (272 couples were assessed regarding physical aggression. More women reported physically aggressing against their partners at premarriage <44% vs 31%> and 18 months of marriage <36% vs 27%>. At 30 months there was a nonsignificant but higher rate for women <32% vs 25%>.)
Pedersen, P. & Thomas, C. D. (1992). Prevalence and correlates of dating violence in a Canadian University sample. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science, 24, 490-501. (A sample of 166 undergraduates <116 women, 50 men> responded to the CTS; 45.8% of subjects reported experiencing physical violence in their current or most recent dating relationship. Of this total, 44.8% of women and 48% of men reported being physically aggressed upon by their partners. It was also found that only 22% of men and 40.5% of women reported using physical aggression against a dating partner.)
Plass, M. S., & Gessner, J. C. (1983). Violence in courtship relations: a southern sample. Free Inquiry in Creative Sociology, 11, 198-202. (In an opportunity sample of 195 high school and college students from a large southern city, researchers used the Conflict Tactics scale to examine courtship violence. Overall, results reveal that women were significantly more likely than men to be aggressors. Specifically, in, committed relationships, women were three times as likely as men to slap their partners, and to kick, bit or hit with the fist seven times as often as men. In casual relationships, while the gender differences weren’t as pronounced, women were more aggressive than men. Other findings reveal that high school students were more abusive than college students, and that a “higher proportion of black respondents were involved as aggressors.”)
Ridley, C. A., & Feldman, C. M. (2003). Female domestic violence toward male partners: Exploring conflict responses and outcomes. Journal of Family Violence, 18 (3), 157-170. (Participants were 153 female volunteers who completed the Abusive Behavior Inventory. Results reveal that 67.3% of participants reported at least one occurrence of perpetrating violent behavior in the past year. Most frequent behaviors included pushing, shoving, holding down <45.1%> and slapping, hitting, biting <41.2%>.)
Riggs, D. S., O’Leary, K. D., & Breslin, F. C. (1990). Multiple correlates of physical aggression in dating couples. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 5, 61-73. (Used CTS and studied 408 college students <125 men and 283 women>. Found that significantly more women <39%> than men <23%> reported engaging in physical aggression against their current partners.)
Rollins, B. C., & Oheneba-Sakyi, Y. (1990). Physical violence in Utah households. Journal of Family Violence, 5, 301-309. (In a random sample of 1,471 Utah households, using the Conflict Tactics Scale, it was found that women’s rate of severe violence was 5.3% compared to a male rate of 3.4%.)
Rouse, L. P. (1988). Abuse in dating relationships: A comparison of Blacks, Whites, and Hispanics. Journal of College Student Development, 29, 312-319. (The use of physical force and its consequences were examined in a diverse sample of college students. Subjects consisted of 130 whites <58 men, 72 women>, 64 Blacks <32 men, 32 women>, and 34 Hispanics <24 men, 10 women>. Men were significantly more likely than women to report that their partners used moderate physical force and caused a greater number of injuries requiring medical attention. This gender difference was present for Whites and Blacks but not for Hispanics.)
Rosenfeld, R. (1997). Changing relationships between men and women. A note on the decline in intimate partner violence. Homicide Studies, 1, 72-83. (Author reports on homicide rates in ST. Louis from 1968-1992. Findings indicate that while men and women were equally likely to be victims of partner violence in 1970, in subsequent years men, primarily black men, were more likely to be murdered by their intimate partners.)
Rouse, L. P., Breen, R., & Howell, M. (1988). Abuse in intimate relationships. A Comparison of married and dating college students. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 3, 414-429. (A sample of 130 married (48 men, 82 women) college students and 130 college students in dating relationships (58 men, 72 women) reported their experience of physical abuse in intimate relationships. Men were more likely to report being physically abused than women in both dating and marital relationships.)
Russell, R. J. H., & Hulson, B. (1992). Physical and psychological abuse of heterosexual partners. Personality and Individual Differences, 13, 457-473. (In a pilot study in Great Britain 46 couples responded to the Conflict Tactics Scale. Results reveal that husband to wife violence was: Overall violence= 25% and severe violence= 5.8%; while wife to husband violence was: Overall violence= 25% and severe violence=11.3%.)
Ryan, K. A. (1998). The relationship between courtship violence and sexual aggression in college students. Journal of Family Violence, 13, 377-394. (A sample of 656 college students <245 men, 411 women> completed the CTS. Thirty four percent of the women and 40% of the men reported being victims of their partner’s physical aggression.)
Sack, A. R., Keller, J. F., & Howard, R. D. (1982). Conflict tactics and violence in dating situations. International Journal of Sociology of the Family, 12, 89-100. (Used the CTS with a sample of 211 college students, 92 men, 119 women. Results indicate that there were no differences between men and women with regard to the expression of physical violence.)
Saenger, G. (1963). Male and female relations in the American comic strip. In D. M. White & R. H. Abel (Eds.), The funnies, an American idiom (pp. 219-231). Glencoe, NY: The Free Press. (Twenty consecutive editions of all comic strips in nine New York City newspapers in October, 1950 were examined. Results reveal that husbands were victims of aggression in 63% of conflict situations while wives were victims in 39% of situations. In addition, wives were more aggressive in 73% of domestic situations, in 10% of situations, husbands and wives were equally aggressive and in only 17% of situations were husbands more violent than wives.)
Sarantakos, S. (2004). Deconstructing self-defense in wife-to-husband violence. Journal of Men’s Studies, 12 (3), 277-296. (Members of 68 families with violent wives in Australia were studied. In 78% of cases wives’ violence was reported to be moderate to severe and in 38% of cases husbands needed medical attention. Using information from husbands, wives, children and wives’ mothers study provides compelling data challenging self defense as a motive for female-to-male violence.)
Schafer, J., Caetano, R., & Clark, C. L. (1998). Rates of intimate partner violence in the United States. American journal of Public Health, 88, 1702-1704. (Used modified CTS and examined reports of partner violence in a representative sample of 1635 married and cohabiting couples. Both partners reports were used to estimate the following lower and upper bound rates: 5.21% and 13.61% for male to female violence, and 6.22% and 18.21 % for female to male violence.)
Sharpe, D., & Taylor, J. K. (1999). An examination of variables from a social-developmental model to explain physical and psychological dating violence. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science, 31:3, 165-175. (Canadian college students <110 men, 225 women> were surveyed with the Conflict Tactics Scale regarding dating violence. Results reveal that 38% of men and 27% of women report receiving physical violence from their partners. Twice as many women compared to men reported inflicting violence without receiving physical violence from dating partners.)
Shook, N. J., Gerrity, D. A., Jurich, J. & Segrist, A. E. (2000). Courtship violence among college students: A comparison of verbally and physically abusive couples. Journal of Family Violence, 15, 1-22. (A modified Conflict Tactics Scale was administered to 572 college students <395 women; 177 men>. Results reveal that significantly more women than men, 23.5% vs 13.0%, admitted using physical force against a dating partner.)
Sigelman, C. K., Berry, C. J., & Wiles, K. A. (1984). Violence in college students’ dating relationships. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 5, 530-548. (Surveyed 504 college students <116 men, 388 women> with the Conflict Tactics Scale and found that men and women were similar in the overall amount of violence they expressed but that men reported experiencing significantly more violence than women.)
Simonelli, C. J. & Ingram, K. M. (1998). Psychological distress among men experiencing physical and emotional abuse in heterosexual dating relationships. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 13, 667-681. (Responses from 70 male undergraduates to the CTS and a Psychological Maltreatment Inventory revealed that 40% reported being the target of some form of physical aggression from their female dating partners while only 23% reported expressing physical aggression to their partners. Men who were victims of emotional and physical abuse also reported greater levels of distress and depression.)
Simonelli, C. J., Mullis, T., Elliot, A. N., & Pierce, T. W. (2002). Abuse by siblings and subsequent experiences of violence within the dating relationship. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 17, 103-121. (A sample of 120 undergraduates <61 men, 59 women> completed the CTS. Ten percent of men and 33% of women reported that they perpetrated at least one type of physical aggressive behavior against their dating partner and 18% of men and 15% of women reported receiving physical aggression from their dating partner.)
Sommer, R. (1994). Male and female partner abuse: Testing a diathesis-stress model. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada. (The study was in two waves: the first was from 1989-1990 and included a random sample of 452 married or cohabiting women and 447 married or cohabiting men from Winnipeg, Canada; the second was from 1991-1992 and included 368 women and 369 men all of whom participated in the first wave. Subjects completed the CTS & other assessment instruments. 39.1% of women reported being physically aggressive (16.2% reporting having perpetrated severe violence) at some point in their relationship with their male partner. While 26.3% of men reported being physically aggressive (with 7.6% reporting perpetrating severe violence) at some point in their relationship with their female partner. Among the perpetrators of partner abuse, 34.8% of men and 40.1% of women reported observing their mothers hitting their fathers. Results indicate that 21% of “males’ and 13% of females’ partners required medical attention as a result of a partner abuse incident.” Results also indicate that “10% of women and 15% of men perpetrated partner abuse in self defense.”)
Sommer, R., Barnes, G. E. & Murray, R. P. (1992). Alcohol consumption, alcohol abuse, personality and female perpetrated spouse abuse. Journal of Personality and Individual Differences, 13, 1315-1323. (The responses from a subsample of 452 women drawn from a sample of 1,257 Winnipeg residents were analyzed. Using the CTS, it was found that 39% of women physically aggressed against their male partners at some point in their relationship. Younger women with high scores on Eysenck’s P scale were most likely to perpetrate violence. Note: The sample of subjects is the same as the one cited in Sommer’s 1994 dissertation.)
Sorenson, S. B., & Telles, C. A. (1991). Self reports of spousal violence in a Mexican-American and non-Hispanic white population. Violence and Victims, 6, 3-15. (Surveyed 1,243 Mexican-Americans and 1,149 non-Hispanic whites and found that women compared to men reported higher rates of hitting, throwing objects, initiating violence, and striking first more than once. Gender difference was significant only for non-Hispanic whites.)
Sorenson, S. B., Upchurch, D. M., & Shen, H. (1996). Violence and injury in marital arguments: risk patterns and gender differences. American Journal of Public Health, 66 (1), 35-40. (Data analysis was based on findings from the National Survey of Families and Households conducted in 1987-88. Subjects included 6779 currently married White, Black and Hispanic individuals who completed a modified version of the Conflict Tactics Scale. Authors report that, “women <6.2% vs 4.9%> were slightly more likely than men to report that they had hit, shoved or thrown something at their spouse in the previous year.” Women also reported higher rates of causing injury than did men. Other findings of note: 1) Blacks were 1.58 times more likely and Hispanics 0.53 times less likely than Whites to report that physical violence occurred in their relationship; 2) Subjects under 30 reported more violence and those above 50 reported less violence; 3) lower annual income was associated with higher rates of physical violence.)
Spencer, G. A., & Bryant, S. A. (2000). Dating violence: A comparison of rural, suburban and urban teens. Journal of Adolescent Health, 25 (5), 302-305. (A sample of 2094 high school students in upper New York State indicated their experience of physical dating violence. There were a similar number of boys and girls surveyed, with more subjects from urban areas than rural or suburban areas. The majority of subjects were white non-Hispanic. Males in each region were more likely to report being victims of physical dating violence than females in each region. Specifically, 30% of rural boys and 20% of urban and 20% of suburban boys reported being victims of partner physical aggression while 25% of rural girls and 16% of suburban and 13% of urban girls reported victimization.)
Steinmetz, S. K. (1977-78). The battered husband syndrome. Victimology: An International Journal, 2, 499-509. (A pioneering article suggesting that the incidence of husband beating was similar to the incidence of wife beating.)
Steinmetz, S. K. (1980). Women and violence: victims and perpetrators. American Journal of Psychotherapy, 34, 334-350. (Examines the apparent contradiction in women’s role as victim and perpetrator in domestic violence.)
Steinmetz, S. K. (1981). A cross cultural comparison of marital abuse. Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare, 8, 404-414. (Using a modified version of the CTS, examined marital violence in small samples from six societies: Finland, United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, Belize, and Israel <total n=630>. Found that “in each society the percentage of husbands who used violence was similar to the percentage of violent wives.” The major exception was Puerto Rico where men were more violent. Author also reports that, “Wives who used violence… tended to use greater amounts.”)
Stets, J. E. & Henderson, D. A. (1991). Contextual factors surrounding conflict resolution while dating: results from a national study. Family Relations, 40, 29-40. (Drawn from a random national telephone survey, daters <n=277; men=149, women=128> between the ages of 18 and 30, who were single, never married and in a relationship during the past year which lasted at least two months with at least six dates were examined with the Conflict Tactics Scale. Findings reveal that over 30% of subjects used physical aggression in their relationships, with 22% of the men and 40% of the women reported using some form of physical aggression. Women were “6 times more likely than men to use severe aggression <19.2% vs. 3.4%>…Men were twice as likely as women to report receiving severe aggression <15.7% vs. 8%>.” Also found that younger subjects and those of lower socioeconomic status <SES> were more likely to use physical aggression.)
Stets, J. E., & Pirog-Good, M. A. (1987). Violence in dating relationships, Social Psychology Quarterly, 50, 237-246. (Examined a college sample of 505 white students. Found that men and women were similar in both their use and reception of violence. Jealousy was a factor in explaining dating violence for women.)
Stets, J. E. & Pirog-Good, M. A. (1989). Patterns of physical and sexual abuse for men and women in dating relationships: A descriptive analysis, Journal of Family Violence, 4, 63-76. (Examined a sample of 287 college students <118 men and 169 women> and found similar rates for men and women of low level physical abuse in dating relationships. More women than men were pushed or shoved <24% vs 10%> while more men than women were slapped <12% vs 8%>. In term of unwanted sexual contact 22% of men and 36% of women reported such behavior. The most frequent category for both men <18%> and women <19%> was the item, “against my will my partner initiated necking”.)
Stets, J. E., & Straus, M. A. (1990). Gender differences in reporting marital violence and its medical and psychological consequences. In M. A. Straus & R. J. Gelles (Eds.), Physical violence in American families: Risk factors and adaptations to violence in 8,145 families (pp. 151-166). New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction. (Reports information regarding the initiation of violence. In a sample of 297 men and 428 women, men said they struck the first blow in 43.7% of cases, and their partner hit first in 44.1% of cases and could not disentangle who hit first in remaining 12.2%. Women report hitting first in 52.7% of cases, their partners in 42.6% and could not disentangle who hit first in remaining 4.7%. Authors conclude that violence by women is not primarily defensive.)
Straus, M. (1980). Victims and aggressors in marital violence. American Behavioral Scientist, 23, 681-704. (Reviews data from the 1975 National Survey. Examined a subsample of 325 violent couples and found that in 49.5% of cases both husbands and wives committed at least one violent act, while husbands alone were violent in 27.7% of the cases and wives alone were violent in 22.7% of the cases. Found that 148 violent husbands had an average number of 7.1 aggressive acts per year while the 177 violent wives averaged 6.8 aggressive acts per year.)
Straus, M. A. (1995). Trends in cultural norms and rates of partner violence: An update to 1992. In S. M. Stich & M. A. Straus (Eds.) Understanding partner violence: Prevalence, causes, consequences, and solutions (pp. 30-33). Minneapolis, MN: National Council on Family Relations. (Reports finding that while the approval of a husband slapping his wife declined dramatically from 1968 to 1994 <21% to 10%> the approval of a wife slapping her husband did not decline but remained at 22% during the same period. The most frequently mentioned reason for slapping for both partners was sexual unfaithfulness. Also reports that severe physical assaults by men declined by 48% from 1975 to 1992–38/1000 to 19/1000 while severe assaults by women did not change from 1975 to 1992 and remained above 40/1000. Suggests that public service announcements should be directed at female perpetrated violence and that school based programs “explicitly recognize and condemn violence by girls as well as boys.”)
Straus, M. A. (1998). The controversy over domestic violence by women: A methodological, theoretical, and sociology of science analysis. Paper presented at Claremont Symposium on Applied Social Psychology, Claremont, CA. (Examines issue of differential rates of assaults between crime studies and couple conflict studies. Provides a sociological explanation to account for assaults by women within the family.)
Straus, M. A. (2001). Prevalence of violence against dating partners by male and female university students worldwide. Violence Against Women, 10, 790-811. (Dating aggression was studied at 31 universities in 16 countries worldwide. Responding to the revised Conflict Tactics Scale were 8666 students <5919 women, 2747 men>. Results reveal that overall 25% of men and 28% of women assaulted their dating partner in the past year. At 21 of the 31 universities studied a larger percentage of women than men assaulted their dating partner. In terms of severe assaults a higher rate of perpetration by women occurred in a majority (18 of the 31) of the sites.)
Straus, M. A. (2005). Women’s violence toward men is a serious social problem. In D. R. Loseke, R. J. Gelles, & M. M. Cavanaugh (Eds.), Current Controversies on Family Violence, 2nd Edition, (pp. 55-77). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. (A scholarly review of research showing that women initiate physical assaults on their male partners as frequently as men assault women. Examines the fact that injuries and fatalities result from such violence.)
Straus, M. A. (2006, May). Dominance and symmetry in partner violence by male and female university students in 32 nations. Paper presented on Trends in Intimate Violence Intervention, sponsored by University of Haifa and New York University. New York University. (A convenience sample of 13,601 students <71.5% women, 28.5% men> at 68 universities in 32 countries completed the CTS2. Findings reveal that almost a third of students assaulted their dating partners in a 12 month period. In terms of initiation, mutual aggression accounted for 68.6% of physical violence, while women initiated violence 21.4% of the time and men initiated violence 9.9% of the time.)
Straus, M. A., & Gelles, R. J. (1986). Societal change and change in family violence from 1975 to 1985 as revealed by two national surveys. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 48, 465-479. (Reviewed data from two large sample national violence surveys of married couples and report that men and women assaulted each other at approximately equally rates, with women engaging in minor acts of violence at a higher rate than men. Sample size in 1975 survey=2,143; sample size in 1985 survey=6,002.)
Straus, M. A., Gelles, R. J., & Steinmetz, S. K. (1981). Behind closed doors: Violence in the American family, Garden City, NJ: Anchor. (Reports findings from National Family Violence survey conducted in 1975. In terms of religion, found that Jewish men had the lowest rates of abusive spousal violence (1%), while Jewish women had a rate of abusive spousal violence which was more than double the rate for Protestant women <7%>, pp. 128-133. Abusive violence was defined as an “act which has a high potential for injuring the person being hit,” pp.21-2.)
Straus, M. A., Hamby, S. L., Boney-McCoy, S., & Sugarman, D. B. (1996). The Revised Conflict Tactics Scales (CTS2). Development and preliminary psychometric data. Journal of Family Issues, 17, 283-316. (The revised CTS has clearer differentiation between minor and severe violence and new scales to measure sexual coercion and physical injury. Used the CTS2 with a sample of 317 college students <114 men, 203 women> and found that: 49% of men and 31% of women reported being a victim of physical assault by their partner; 38% of men and 30% of women reported being a victim of sexual coercion by their partner; and 16% of men and 14% of women reported being seriously injured by their partners.)
Straus, M. A., & Kaufman Kantor, G. (1994, July). Change in spouse assault rates from 1975-1992: A comparison of three national surveys in the United States. Paper presented at the Thirteenth World Congress of Sociology, Bielefeld, Germany. (Reports that the trend of decreasing severe assaults by husbands found in the National Survey from 1975 to 1985 has continued in the 1992 survey while wives maintained higher rates of assault.)
Straus, M. A., Kaufman Kantor, G., & Moore, D. W. (1994, August). Change in cultural norms approving marital violence from 1968 to 1994. Paper presented at the American Sociological Association, Los Angeles, CA. (Compared surveys conducted in 1968 <n=1,176>, 1985 <n=6,002>, 1992 <n=1,970>, and 1994 <n=524>, with regard to the approval of facial slapping by a spouse. Approval of slapping by husbands decreased from 21% in 1968 to 13% in 1985, to 12% in 1992, to 10% in 1994. The approval of slapping by wives was 22% in 1968 and has not declined over the years.)
Straus, M. A., & Medeiros, R. A. (2002, November). Gender differences in risk factors for physical violence between dating partners by university students. Paper presented at annual meeting of the American Society for Criminology, Chicago, Illinois. (A sample of 232 men and 334 women responded to revised CTS. Results indicate that for minor violence the rates for both men and women are 22% and for severe violence rates are 10% for men and 11% for women.)
Straus, M. A., & Mouradian, V. E. (1999, November). Preliminary psychometric data for the Personal Relationships Profile (PRP): A multi-scale tool for clinical screening and research on partner violence. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Criminology, Toronto, Canada. (In a study of 1,034 dating couples at two US universities, injury rates based on responses to the revised CTS (CTS2) revealed that 9.9% of men and 9.4% of women report being injured by the opposite sex. In terms of inflicting injuries, 10.1% men and 8.0% women indicated that they inflicted injuries on their partners.)
Straus, M. A., & Ramirez, I. L. (2002, July). Gender symmetry in prevalence, severity, and chronicity of physical aggression against dating partners by university students in Mexico and USA. Paper presented at the XV World Meeting of the International Society for Research on Aggression, Montreal, Canada. Available at: http://pubpages.unh.edu/~mas2/. (Reports findings from four samples of university students in Juarez, Mexico, El Paso and Lubbock, Texas, and New Hampshire. Subjects (N=1,554) responded to the revised Conflict Tactics Scale. Results indicate that there were no significant differences between males and females in either the overall prevalence of physical aggression or the prevalence of severe attacks. However, when only one partner was violent it was twice as likely to be the female than the male <19.0% vs 9.8%>. Moreover, in terms of severe aggression females were twice as likely to be violent than men <29.8% vs 13.7%>).
Sugarman, D. B., & Hotaling, G. T. (1989). Dating violence: Prevalence, context, and risk markers. In M. A. Pirog-Good & J. E. Stets (Eds.) Violence in dating relationships: Emerging social issues (pp.3-32). New York: Praeger. (Reviewed 21 studies of dating behavior and found that women reported having expressed violence at higher rates than men–329 per 1000 vs 393 per 1000.)
Szinovacz, M. E. (1983). Using couple data as a methodological tool: The case of marital violence. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 45, 633-644. (Used Conflict Tactics Scale with 103 couples and found that the wives’ rates of physical aggression was somewhat higher than husbands’.)
Tang, C. S. (1994). Prevalence of spouse aggression in Hong Kong. Journal of Family Violence, 9, 347-356. (Subjects were 382 undergraduates <246 women, 136 men> at the Chinese University in Hong Kong. The CTS was used to assess students’ evaluation of their parents responses during family conflict. 14% of students reported that their parents engaged in physical violence. “Mothers were as likely as fathers to use actual physical force toward their spouses.”)
Thompson Jr., E. H. (1990). Courtship violence and the male role. Men’s Studies Review, 7 (3), 1, 4-13. (Subjects were 336 undergraduates <167 men, 169 women> who completed a modified version of the CTS. Found that 24.6% of men compared to 28.4% of women expressed physical violence toward their dating partners within the past two years. Found that women were twice as likely as men to slap their partners.)
Thompson Jr., E. H. (1991). The maleness of violence in dating relationships: an appraisal of stereotypes. Sex Roles, 24, 261-278. (In a more extensive presentation of his 1990 article, the author concludes that, “a more masculine and/or less feminine gender orientation and variations in relationship seriousness proved to be the two strongest predictors of both men’s and women’s involvement in courtship violence.”)
Tyree, A., & Malone, J. (1991). How can it be that wives hit husbands as much as husbands hit wives and none of us knew it? Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association. (Reviews the literature and discusses results from their study attempting to predict spousal violence. Found that women’s violence is correlated with a history of hitting siblings and a desire to improve contact with partners.)
Vasquez, D., & Falcone, R. (1997). Cross gender violence. Annals of Emergency Medicine, 29 (3), 427-429. (Reports equal cross gender violence treated at an Ohio trauma center during an 11 mouth period. Of 1,400 trauma admissions, 37 patients <18 men, 19 women> sustained injuries inflicted by members of the opposite sex. The severity score of injury was higher for men than women, 11.4 vs 6.9. The majority of men were admitted for stab wounds, 72%; the majority of women for assault, 53%.)
Vivian, D., & Langhinrichsen-Rohling, J. (1996). Are bi-directionally violent couples mutually victimized? In L. K. Hamberger & C. Renzetti (Eds.) Domestic partner abuse (pp. 23-52). New York: Springer. (Authors found using a modified version of the CTS, that in a sample of 57 mutually aggressive couples, there were no significant differences between husbands’ and wives’ reports concerning the frequency and severity of assault victimization. With regard to injuries, 32 wives and 25 husbands reported the presence of a physical injury which resulted from partner aggression.)
Waiping, A. L., & Sporakowski, M. J. (1989). The continuation of violent dating relationships among college students. Journal of College Student Development, 30, 432-439. (Using a modified version of the CTS, authors examined courtship violence in a sample of 422 college students <227 women, 195 men>. Women more often than men <35.3% vs 20.3%> indicated that they physically abused their partners.)
Watson, J. M., Cascardi, M., Avery-Leaf, S., & O’Leary, K. D. (2001). High school students’ responses to dating aggression. Victims and Violence, 16 (3), 339-348. (Using a modified version of the CTS, authors examined dating violence in a multi-ethnic sample <43% Hispanic; 31.5% Caucasian; 15.8% African-American> of New York high school students <266 males, 209 females>. Overall, 45.6% of students reported experiencing physical aggression from a current or past dating partner. There were significant differences in self-reported rates of victimization: African-American 60%, Caucasian 47% and Hispanic 41%. The only ethnic group that showed significant gender differences were Hispanics, with females showing higher rates of victimization.)
White, J. W., & Humphrey, (1994). Women’s aggression in heterosexual conflicts. Aggressive Behavior, 20, 195-202. (Eight hundred and twenty nine women <representing 84% of entering class of women> 17 and 18 years old, entering the university for the first time completed the CTS and other assessment instruments. Results reveal that 51.5% of subjects used physical aggression at least once in their prior dating relationships and, in the past year, 30.2% reported physically aggressing against their male partners. Past use of physical aggression was the best predictor of current aggression. The witnessing and experiencing of parental aggression also predicted present aggression.)
White, J. W., & Kowalski, R. M. (1994). Deconstructing the myth of the nonaggressive woman: A feminist analysis. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 18, 487-508. (A review and analysis which acknowledges that “women equal or exceed men in number of reported aggressive acts committed within the family.” Examines a variety of explanations to account for such aggression.)
White, J. W., & Koss, M. P. (1991). Courtship violence: Incidence in a national sample of higher education students. Violence and Victims, 6, 247-256. (In a representative sample of 2,603 women and 2,105 men it was found that 37% of the men and 35% of women inflicted some form of physical aggression, while 39% of the men and 32% of the women received some form of physical aggression.)
Williams, S. L., & Frieze, I. H. (2005). Patterns of violent relationships, psychological distress, and marital satisfaction in a national sample of men and women. Sex Roles, 52 (11/12), 771-784. (Data from a National Comorbidity Survey was examined. In a sample of 3,519 men and women it was found that 18.4% were involved in a violent relationship. Most violence, both mild and severe, was mutual. However, women were more likely than men to initiate both mild and severe violence.)
Wilson, M. I. & Daley, M. (1992). Who kills whom in spouse killings? On the exceptional sex ratio of spousal homicides in the United States. Criminology, 30, 189-215. (Authors summarize research which indicates that between 1976 and 1985, for every 100 men who killed their wives, about 75 women killed their husbands. Authors report original data from a number of cities, e.g., Chicago, Detroit, Houston, where the ratio of wives as perpetrators exceeds that of husbands.)
Portions of this paper were presented at the American Psychological Society Convention in Washington, D.C. May 24, 1997.
Earlier versions of this paper appeared in Sexuality and Culture, 1997, 1, 273-286, and Sexuality and Culture, 2004, 8, (No. 3-4), 140-177.
Special thanks to Diane Roe for her assistance in updating this bibliography.
Copyright, 2006. Martin S. Fiebert
 It is worth pointing out that men tend to be less verbal and articulate than women and do not tend to be as adept at knowing what they are feeling. Far more men suffer from autism than women. These factors are cross-cultural, and thus biological, and are unlikely to change.
 A point made by Nikolai Berdyaev and implicit in Luke 10:27 – “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your mind and with all your soul. And love your neighbor as yourself.” It is not possible to properly love your neighbor as yourself if you do not recognize their intrinsic worth as being made in the image of God.
 https://www.nber.org/papers/w14969 – “The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness.” There is no actual paradox, just a difference between reality and the expectations of feminists.
 Jack C. Smith, James A. Mercy, and Judith M. Conn, “Marital Status and the Risk of Suicide,” American Journal of Public Health,” vol. 78, no. 1, January 1988, p. 79.
 Women are 10% shorter than men on average with 40% less muscle in their upper bodies while being 52% as strong. Even non-athletic men have greater hand grip strength than elite women athletes. From: https://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/diet-fitness/personal-training/men-vs-women-upper-body-strength.htm
 Warren Farrell, The Myth of Male Power, p. 39.
 Farrell, The Boy Crisis, pp. 303-304.
 Warren Farrell, The Myth of Male Power, p. 39.
 Warren Farrell, The Myth of Male Power, pp. 38-39.
 Warren Farrell, The Myth of Male Power, p. 40.
 Warren Farrell, The Myth of Male Power, p. 40.
 Warren Farrell, The Boy Crisis, p. 284.
 Warren Farrell, The Boy Crisis, p. 298.
 Warren Farrell, The Myth of Male Power, p. 422. This is based on a 1982 study where 14% of male prisoners reported being raped or sexually assaulted. The age of the study is an indication of how much people care about this. 310,842 is 14% of all US prisoners, over 90% of whom are male, giving us 279,758.
 Warren Farrell, The Myth of Male Power, p. 422, this figure includes estimates of unreported rape and sexual assault.
 Warren Farrell, The Myth of Male Power, p. 336.
 This is a bit of a guesstimate by Warren Farrell since no one has actually bothered to do a study on the subject. However, it should conform to an individual’s likely viewing experience.
 Title IX has been interpreted to include these notions with a standard of “preponderance of evidence,” rather than innocent until proven guilty.
 Stephen Buckley, “Unfounded Rape Reports Baffle Investigators,” The Washington Post, June 27, 1992, pp. B-1 and B-2.
 Farrell, p. 325.
 Written correspondence to Warren Farrell from Dr. Charles P. McDowell, Supervisory Special Agent, U.S. Air Force, Office of Special Investigations. pp. 322 and 420. McDowell did not publish his findings for fear of repercussions.
 Buckley, ibid.
 A student recently told me that his high school promoted as fact the notion that girls are smarter than boys. There is no scientific basis for this claim whatsoever.
 https://www.nationalreview.com/blog/corner/latest-statistics-out-wedlock-births-roger-clegg/ and http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/77-black-births-to-single-moms-49-for-hispanic-immigrants/article/2622236