The View from Hell

Just another WordPress.com site

Demonic Males and Attack Heifers: On the Sex Ratio of Marital Violence

with 20 comments

Introductory Words about Truth, Legend, and Bullshit: Putting the “Pissed” back into Epistemology

Truth is secondary. On its own, it doesn’t help us survive or reproduce, and it isn’t even necessarily any fun. Truth often does us more harm than good. Human beings have not evolved to actively care about and seek out truth for its own sake. (It’s often beneficial to signal that one cares about truth when one does not – this, rather than mere factual inaccuracy, is the genesis of bullshit.)

Truth – and here, I mean factual veracity – is especially vulnerable in the face of legend, the kind of cultural story that invests its believers with feelings of comfort, belonging, and value. Facts that contradict important legends tend to be denied and disbelieved; uncomfortable facts are prevented from reaching consciousness, and if forcibly brought to consciousness, are resoundingly shouted down. (This strong emotional reaction – the shouting-down of facts contradictory to cherished beliefs – is valuable to those who try to serve truth for truth’s sake, because the strong emotional reaction is a clue to the existence of an underlying important cultural legend or fixed belief that can, once identified, be examined.)

Legends are not necessarily universal. The pictures is more complicated. Often there are two or more competing, incompatible legends within a large society on the same topic. Subcultures form around countercultural legends, and these new legends are not necessarily any closer to truth as the majority legend.

Such is the case with beliefs about gender. There are some beliefs about gender roles and differences that are so common among human societies as to form a sort of universal legend. In modern times, feminism has provided a countercultural narrative to many of the traditional beliefs about gender (defining the prevailing norms as patriarchy). Feminism was such a popular critique that it became, over a generation or two, arguably the predominant cultural narrative about gender in modern Western society. And a counter-counter-critique which we might call the men’s rights movement has challenged the feminist narrative (labeling it gynocracy – only sometimes tongue-in-cheek). From the perspective of history, we can see the back-and-forth of revolution and counter-revolution, but we must make our factual judgments in the present moment. Recognizing the narratives and counter-narratives is a first step in looking for truth – but it is by no means a final step.

Every source has its biases; I myself, as stripped of myth as I consider myself to be, no doubt operate with my own unrecognized legends forming the firmament of my consciousness. But let’s try to look beneath at least the truth-threatening legends we can recognize, while remaining open to the possibility that our reasoning may be swayed by unseen narratives.

Legends exist where, for the legend believer, some fact must be true or can’t be true. That is, the need to believe the legend is greater than the desire for truth (this is the origin of political correctness – a particular form of the more general class of bullshit). But compare the life work of even someone as purportedly truth-seeking as a scientist; if a scientist becomes identified with a particular theory, it must be mortally terrifying to have this theory threatened. One’s life work will be undone. I think we must be circumspect about even the truth-orientation of scientists. But that doesn’t make science worthless; only imperfect.

On to the Sex and Violence

I am interested here in violence in sexual relationships, or marital violence, if you prefer.[1] Specifically, I am interested in the question of how violence by men in relationships compares to violence by women in relationships. Murray Straus and others claim that women are just as violent in relationships as men – in terms of frequency and severity of violence. Others dispute this claim. I can’t pretend to be neutral, since I had formed the belief prior to writing this article that men are, in fact, more violent than women in relationships; but many people that I respect (including David Benatar) have articulated the opposite belief, and I must ardently promise (okay, signal) that I was, and still am, open for correction on this issue if presented with strong evidence.

Evidence

At the outset, I ask the reader to imagine himself a sociologist, and to think about what sources we might consult to explore the question of who is more violent in relationships, and what these sources’ limitations might be. As a sort of epistemological meta-issue, we would ideally like to find lots of different types of sources using different methodologies; and the more these diverse sources agree, the more confident we may be in our conclusion. Similarly, if a source has a limitation or potential bias, we must examine such limitations and biases. Assuming that a bias exists it is as unscientific as assuming there is no bias – such a claim must be examined, not assumed to be true or false.

In brief, some of the sources we might consult – and their expected limitations – are as follows: (please suggest other sources in the comments section)

  • General population surveys, utilizing various methodologies. (Limitations: depends on both truthfulness and accuracy of subjects)
  • Targeted surveys using various methodologies. (Limitations: findings may not reflect general population; depends on truthfulness and accuracy of subjects
  • Emergency room records. (Limitations: only catches violence that produces injury, and for which treatment is sought. Lesser and unreported violence will not be counted. Cause of injury may be partly determined by report of subjects, so some of the same limitations as survey data.)
  • Data on people seeking help with domestic violence (shelters, hotlines, etc.). (Limitations: only catches reported violence for which help is sought. Depends on truthfulness and accuracy of responders.)
  • Police assault records. (Limitations: Only catches violence that is reported to police. Conclusions may be partially based on reports by subjects, so truthfulness and accuracy of subjects is still an issue.)
  • Homicide records. (Limitations: only catches the most severe violence, which may or may not reflect general levels of violence.)

The error in these sources may be random (noise), or it may be systematic – effectively biasing the results in a particular direction. The latter type of error is more dangerous, from our perspective.

One type of systematic bias we must consider is that men may be less likely to report violence than women. It is shameful, we might hypothesize, for a man to let a woman smack him around; he might feel a bit silly going to the hospital or to police, or responding to a survey, even, especially given that human males are on average about 15% more massive than human females. This is related to the fact that, at the outset, we probably assign the greater probability to males being more violent in relationships; the idea that women are just as violent in relationships as men is counterintuitive, but that might just be because there is a huge, unrecognized epidemic of battered husbands too humiliated to speak out. It might be that the belief that men are more violent than women, that battered wives are more prevalent than battered husbands, is just a cultural legend that is ripe for toppling.

What the Case for Sexual Symmetry of Marital Violence is Based Upon

1. Conflict Tactics Scale

Beginning in the 1970s and continuing until the present day, Murray Straus began claiming that women are as violent as men in relationships. His claim in the initial studies was based on a single source of data: a survey of married or cohabiting couples, using the Conflict Tactics Scale (CTS) as its methodology.[2] Other researchers have since joined Straus; generally, they use the exact same methodology as the studies in the 1970s, that is, the Conflict Tactics Scale. This reliance on a single source of data for confirmation is endemic to those who claim sexual symmetry in marital violence; one 2000 meta-study[3] found that out of 82 empirical studies that found marital violence to be equal between genders, 76 of them used CTS measures exclusively.[4]

The CTS is nearly the only methodology that produces the counterintuitive result of gender symmetry in relationship violence. Where a hypothesis is supported by only a single source of data, and contradicted by all other sources, this does not necessarily mean that the single source is wrong. It does, however, necessitate careful review of the source producing the aberrant result. I will examine the CTS shortly. But there is one other source which produces similar results, and that is:

2. American Homicide Data

In the United States, women are nearly as likely to kill their husbands as men are to kill their wives. The Sex Ratio of Killing (SROK) – the ratio of women who kill husbands (legal or de facto) to men who kill wives – is about 75 in the United States, meaning about 75 women kill their husbands or live-in boyfriends for every 100 men who kill their wives or live-in girlfriends.[5]

And that’s pretty much . . . it.

What the Case for Asymmetry is Based Upon

Everything else.

Seriously.

Evidence from criminal and divorce courts, police, women’s shelters, and emergency rooms all support the hypothesis that males commit considerably more violence than females in relationships, as do survey data using methodologies other than CTS.[4][6][7][8][9]

American SROK is Not Reflected by Homicides in Other Countries

Again, in the United States there are nearly equal homicide rates between husbands and wives (75 husband-killings for every 100 wife-killings). In every country other than the United States, however, the Sex Ratio of Killing (SROK) is quite low – in no case higher than 40, and generally much lower than that.[6] This peculiarity of SROK data to the United States pretty much destroys its probative value for sexual symmetry of violence. As Dobash et al. note,

. . . U.S. homicide data and CTS data from several countries have been invoked as complimentary pieces of evidence for women’s and men’s equivalent uses of violence (citations omitted). One cannot have it both ways. If the lack of sex differences in CTS results is considered proof of sexually symmetrical violence, then homicide data must somehow be dismissed as irrelevant, since homicides generally fail to exhibit this supposedly more basic symmetry. Conversely, if U.S. homicide counts constitute relevant evidence, the large sex differences found elsewhere surely indicate that violence is peculiarly symmetrical only in the United States, and the fact that the CTS fails to detect sex differences in other countries must then be taken to mean that CTS is insensitive to genuine differences.[6]

Advocates of the sexual symmetry of violence hypothesis point to the reporting bias – mentioned above – to justify the poor match between CTS data and all the other data (except international homicide data, which, as they cannot be dismissed as products of reporting bias, go unexplained). Men, it is posited, are less likely to seek a protective order, to call the police, to go to the emergency room, to seek help from a hotline or shelter, to press charges against an offender, and to report being victimized to the National Crime Victims Survey (though not, for some reason, on CTS). Is this factually accurate? One study[10] found that male victims of domestic violence are actually significantly more likely than women to report domestic violence to the police – twice as likely, in fact – and less likely to drop the charges. Without data, we should not assume that a particular bias exists, any more than we should assume a particular data set is perfect and without bias. It is also a bit silly to assume that all violence against women is reported; women have strong reasons not to report marital violence, just as men do.

Why the CTS is Kind Of Retarded

1. Zero Interobserver Reliability

If CTS surveys were factually accurate, and were in fact detecting real phenomena, we would expect the reports of husbands and their wives to match. The validity of the CTS depends on people telling the truth; a necessary (thought not sufficient) condition for factual accuracy is that witnesses of the same incident agree with each other. In the case of marital violence and the CTS, they don’t. A given husband and wife interviewed separately using CTS methodology are no more likely than chance to agree in their reports of violence in the relationship. From Dobash et al.:

Szinovacz (1983)[11] found that 103 couples’ accounts of the violence in their interactions matched to a degree little greater than chance. On several CTS items, mainly the most severe ones, agreement was actually below chance . . . . In a similar study, Jouriles and O’Leary (1985)[12] administered the CTS to 65 couples attending a marital therapy clinic, and 37 couples from the local community. For many of the acts, the frequency and percentage data reported are impossible to reconcile [that is, data reported are mathematically impossible. -ed.]; for others, Jouriles and O’Leary reported a concordance statistic (Cohen’s Kappa) as equalling [sic] zero when the correct values were negative. Straus (1990b)[13] cites this study as conferring validity on the CTS, but in fact, its results replicated Szinovacz’s (1983)[11]: husband/wife agreement scarcely exceeded chance expectation and actually fell below chance on some items.[6] [Bolded emphasis mine.]

2. Conflation of Serious with Minor Violence

The Conflict Tactics scale asks responders to relate the violence they have perpetrated or experienced in their relationships according to acts: whether one has “pushed,” “slapped,” “kicked,” etc. the other. Certain acts are grouped together as mild, moderate, or severe, regardless of the specifics of the situation or the degree of injury, if any. Throwing an object qualifies as a “severe” assault, regardless of the nature of the object, the context of the “assault,” and whether the blow even landed. When case histories are examined closely, the retardedness of this classification becomes obvious. Again quoting Dobash et al.:

In a study of 103 couples, Margolin (1987)[14] found that wives surpassed husbands in their use of “severe violence” according to the CTS, but unlike others who have obtained this result, Margolin troubled to check its meaningfulness with more intensive interviews. She concluded:

While CTS items appear behaviorally specific, their meanings still are open to interpretation. In one couple who endorsed the item “kicking,” for example, we discovered that the kicking took place in bed in a more kidding, than serious, fashion. Although this behavior meets the criterion for severe abuse on the CTS, neither spouse viewed it as aggressive, let alone violent. In another couple, the wife scored on severe physical aggression while the husband scored on low-level aggression only. The inquiry revealed that, after years of passively accepting the husband’s repeated abuse, this wife finally decided, on one occasion, to retaliate by hitting him over the head with a wine decanter.

[6]

CTS pretends to measure, but does not actually measure, the severity of violence.

Violence Outside Relationships

Men are, across the board, more violent than women. Gender (male) is the single greatest predictor of criminal violence. In non-marital contexts, this is not at all controversial. One problem with the sexual symmetry hypothesis is that its proponents fail to provide any theory or explanation for why violence would be asymmetrical in nearly all contexts, but symmetrical in this one limited context. In fact, female violence this context is particularly in need of explanation, since it is particularly bizarre for an actor to choose a victim much larger than she, which husbands generally are. Which brings us to . . .

That Whole Sexual Dimorphism in Body Size Thing

Proponents of the sexual symmetry hypothesis generally concede that women are more likely to be injured by marital violence than men, yet still maintain that “women initiate and carry out physical assaults on their partners as often as men do.”[15] Focusing on the frequency of violence, rather than the severity and consequences, is silly and dishonest in the context of a physically mismatched pair such as a typical heterosexual couple. Imagine reading a study that found that children were as likely to hit their parents as vice versa, or elderly dependent adults were as likely to hit their caretakers as vice versa. We might say – interesting, but so what? Violence by the physically stronger party is simply more dangerous – more of a “social problem” – than violence by a weaker party. (This is aside from the issue that violence initiated by the stronger party against a weaker party is vastly more common than the reverse in other contexts, casting even more doubt on the veracity of the symmetry claim.)

However, violence against men is not nonexistent; in my experience as a domestic violence attorney, men with physical disabilities were particularly vulnerable to abuse by their female partners.

Evo Psych

The idea of sexual asymmetry in marital violence is not just a feminist idea; it is one grounded in evolutionary psychology. Men have much more to gain from violence against their wives than women do from violence against their husbands. Violence is an effective means of achieving men’s evolutionary aims (maintaining exclusive access to a woman’s reproductive capacity); women are unlikely to advance their evolutionary aims by physical violence against husbands. Women must use other means of getting what they want, which brings me to my . . .

Closing Words: Toward an Evolutionary Biology of the Attack Heifer

Over the past several years in my personal life, I have been baffled by a phenomenon affecting several of my male friends. Four of my male friends are or have been married to extremely mean, unpleasant, downright emotionally abusive women. The abuse was (or is) so severe that all of my friends developed a perceptible depression; one actually began to wet his pants at work (he’s still married, God save him). From an evolutionary perspective, I could understand my friends tolerating this abuse if the females in question were attractive (had high reproductive value); however, in each case, the female is significantly less attractive than the male. Two of the four women are clinically obese as well as ugly; the other two are merely ugly. Based on the baffling (to me) combination of emotional abusiveness and ugliness, I have termed this surprisingly common beast the attack heifer.

My male friends in question are characterized by innocence, lack of experience, and early age at marriage. They are also characterized by IQs within the top tenth of a percent of American adults (easily). Why did (or do) they stay?

My thinking is that this phenomenon – an objectively less “valuable” mate being crappy to a more “valuable” mate – is analogous to the fact that a man is more likely to kill a young wife than an older wife, and that age difference is a strong predictor of interspousal homicide.[16][17] A young wife has a higher reproductive value than an older wife; the husband of a young wife has “more to lose,” and is more likely to use violent tactics to prevent or punish his wife’s infidelity or attempts to leave the marriage.

Similarly, attack heifers perceive that they have a great deal to lose, and escalate their tactics to maintain control within the relationship – not through violent means, which wouldn’t be effective anyway, but using skills at which women surpass men: emotional manipulation.[18] Physical violence is not necessary to cause extreme suffering. Women do not need to be as violent as men to be as evil as men.


1. I dislike the fuzziness of the concept of “romantic relationships,” and marriage is too limiting for what we are discussing, which includes de facto marriages as well as legal unions. I tend to reduce this kind of relationship to its sexual component, which, to me, is what separates romantic relationships from friendships. The special value of sex compared to other, more nebulous concepts involved in romantic relationships, and the questionable value of monogamous relationships, are certainly something of legends for me, albeit examined ones.

2. Straus, Murray A. “Measuring intrafamily conflict and violence: The Conflict Tactics (CT) Scales.” Journal of Marriage and the Family 51:75-88 (1979).

3. Archer, John. “Sex Differences in Aggression Between Heterosexual Partners: A Meta-Analytic Review.Psychological Bulletin 126.4:651-680 (2000).

4. Kimmel, Michael. “‘Gender Symmetry’ in Domestic Violence: A Substantive and Methodological Research Review.” Violence Against Women 8.11:1332-1363 (2002).

5. Wilson, M. I., and Daly, M. “Who kills whom in spouse killings? On the exceptional sex ratio of spousal homicides in the United States. Criminology 30:189-215 (1992). No, it’s not because of guns, and it’s not because American women are more violent in general. Read the paper – it’s fascinating.

6. Dobash, R.P., Dobash, R.E., Wilson, M., Daly, M. “The myth of sexual symmetry in marital violence.Social Problems 39:71-91 (1992).

7. Felson, Richard. “Big People Hit Little People: Sex Differences in Physical Power and Interpersonal Violence.” Criminology 34.3:433-452 (1996).

8. Henning, Kris, and Lynette Felder. “A Comparison of Men and Women Arrested for Domestic Violence: Who Presents the Greater Threat?” J. Family Violence 19.2:69-80 (2004).

9. There are lots more, of course, but I can’t be arsed currently lack the resources to conduct a major literature review. But notice that even the proponents of the sexual symmetry hypothesis admit that most data sources do not reflect sexual symmetry in intimate partner violence.

10. Kinkaid, Pat. The Omitted Reality: Husband-Wife Violence in Ontario and Policy Implications for Education. Maple, Ontario: Learners Press, 1982. Cited in Dobash et al. (1992), supra.

11. Szinovacz, Maximiliane. “Using couple data as a methodological tool: The case of marital violence.” Journal of Marriage and the Family 45:633-644 (1983).

12. Jouriles, Ernest, and Daniel O’Leary. “Interspousal reliability of reports of marital violence.” Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 53:419-421 (1985).

13. Straus, Murray. “The Conflict Tactics Scales and its critics: An evaluation and new data on validity and reliability.” In Physical Violence in American Families, ed. Murray A. Straus and Richard J. Gelles, 49-73. New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Publishers (1990).

14. Margolin, Gayla. “The multiple forms of aggressiveness between marital partners: How do we identify them?” J. Marital and Family Therapy 13:77-84 (1987).

15. Straus, Murray. “Physical Assaults by Wives: A Major Social Problem.” In Current Controversies on Family Violence, Richard Gelles and Donileen Loseke, eds. Newbury Park, California: Sage Publication (1993).

16. Daly, Martin, and Margo Wilson. Homicide. New York: Aldine de Gruyter (1988); see especially pp. 205-207.

17. Wilson, Margo, and Martin Daly. “Lethal and nonlethal violence against wives and the evolutionary psychology of male sexual proprietariness.” Pp. 199-230, in Violence Against Women: International and Cross-disciplinary Perspectives, Dobash & Dobash, eds. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications (1998).

18. “A man will rip off your arm and throw it into a river, but he will leave you as a human being intact. He won’t mess with who you are. Women are non-violent but they will shit inside of your heart.” – Louis CK

Advertisements

Written by Sister Y

August 19, 2010 at 8:46 pm

20 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Focusing on the frequency of violence, rather than the severity and consequences, is silly and dishonest in the context of a physically mismatched pair such as a typical heterosexual couple.

    This is something I don't get. Actually, frequency and the question of initiation strike me as the more interesting parameters in a case of such mismatch! Because the difference in severity is expected anyway. So what's wrong with looking at that?

    Constant

    August 20, 2010 at 4:50 pm

  2. Nothing wrong with looking at that. But (a) I hope I've demonstrated that even this limited claim is not true (frequency of violence is not symmetrical); and (b) even if it were true, it does not stand for the proposition, commonly taken up by non-scientists interpreting the Straus-ian work, that “women are as violent as men in relationships.”

    David Benatar's wording is this: “In real life, we find that there are at least some circumstances, most notably within the family, in which women behave as aggressively and violently as men and sometimes even more so than men. A number of studies have shown that wives use violence against their husbands at least as much as husbands use violence against their wives.”

    But the body of research based on CTS hardly supports this statement, even if it were not just an artifact of the instrument, which it is.

    Sister Y

    August 20, 2010 at 8:07 pm

  3. I think the really interesting question, which we wouldn't be able to see if we accepted the symmetry hypothesis and didn't look at international homicide data, is: why do American women kill their husbands so often?

    Sister Y

    August 20, 2010 at 8:09 pm

  4. Ah, the good ol' Conflict Tactics Scale. I remember it well as I had to use it for my Masters thesis on dating violence. All the problems you mentioned, I noticed them too at the time and pointed them out in the discussion section.

    I hadn't wanted to do my thesis on dating violence but my mentor professor was on leave for cancer so I had to have the Psychology department's Uber-feminist chair my thesis. Of course, she insisted that I do my thesis in an area that she also did research in. Wasn't a happy time.

    I found that females engage in “low level” violence more frequently than males but when males committed dating violence it was less frequent but more severe. I found that both males and females engaged in psychological violence (screaming, abusive speech, threats) about at the same level.

    What surprised me was the sexual violence. In my sample, females committed quite a bit of unwanted sexual contact, almost with the same frequency the males did.

    I wonder if American women kill their husbands more often than in other countries because of the accessibility of weapons and the ease in aquiring them.

    I can confirm your Attack Heifer phenomenon. I too have some male friends who have had relationships with that kind of woman. I'm convinced one of them will wind up dead. His wife is an alcoholic, rage-o-holic, and very very violent. I've begged him to get away from her but he won't, saying he still loves her. Battered spouse syndrome apparently.

    Lady Zombie

    August 20, 2010 at 9:45 pm

  5. So, you've made me fall into epistemological (epissedtemological?) despair with your excellent post:) I can easily change my mind about the rates of female-initiated relationship violence, but maybe it's because I've never cared about it that much anyway, or didn't think this kind of knowledge was very useful for preventing it.

    On the other hand, I'm still skeptical of explaining behavioral tendencies (even if they are widespread) in terms of reproductive utility. I don't think accepting evolutionary biology commits me to the view that most aspects of our behavior have evolved to promote survival and reproduction; some of them need only be compatible with the ability to survive and reproduce. So I think agnosticism about these issues is more appropriate. But then again, maybe I'm just signaling…

    CM

    August 20, 2010 at 10:02 pm

  6. Actually I think you're more on target about gendered violence. I remember thinking at the time I was researching my thesis that there are so many problems with how the data is collected on gendered violence and that we didn't have an acurate picture of what is going on and why.

    The problem with Evo Psych (I'm not an Evo Psych denier btw) is that there really isn't anyway to test it. It isn't like depression or eating behavior where you can identify the variables and measure it. It makes intuitive sense but in measurement driven psych research, there's no way to falsify Evo Psych hypotheses.

    So yeah, when it comes to this subject, agnosticism is the best position to take.

    I once had the honor of meeting Dr. Kenneth Miller and he and I had a short conversation about Psychology and how it can support the theory of evolution in general. I self-depreciated a little about Psychology being a “soft science” and he surprisingly disagreed with dismissing it as a lesser science. He said that he considered Psychology is quite difficult because of the variability of human behavior. I had warm fuzzies for weeks over that!

    Lady Zombie

    August 20, 2010 at 11:03 pm

  7. Another interesting question is why gender (or sex) should be used as the main predictor of violent behavior when there are reasons to believe that size, physical strength, and the ability to defend oneself matter more. Granted, men are usually bigger and stronger, but it's not always the case, like you say. It's just that we don't have a long history of formally classifying people based on size. But maybe we should start. For the purposes of domestic violence, at least.

    Here's a compilation of some statistics on relationship violence. Same-sex partners are likely closer in size etc. than opposite-sex partners. While gay males report more intimate partner violence than lesbians, the gap is trivial compared to the general population. Plus, I'm not sure how these reports were obtained, but it's worth noting that actions that result in more serious injuries are more likely to be perceived as violence. Cultural and ethnic background also seem to play a part. But it's interesting how reports dealing with ethnicity tend to focus on the victims, not the perpetrators. I guess saying “Native American women are more likely to be victimized” is okay, but investigating whether Native American men are more likely to assault their partners is un-PC.

    CM

    August 21, 2010 at 1:12 am

  8. Archer addresses several points in Curator's post, as well as several raised among the comments, in this 2009 paper; and he defends the CTS in this 1999 paper.

    Rob

    August 21, 2010 at 1:47 am

  9. That first link is supposed to be for this.

    Rob

    August 21, 2010 at 1:51 am

  10. @Sister Y

    “I am interested in the question of how violence by men in relationships compares to violence by women in relationships. Murray Straus and others claim that women are just as violent in relationships as men – in terms of frequency and severity of violence. Others dispute this claim. I can't pretend to be neutral, since I had formed the belief prior to writing this article that men are, in fact, more violent than women in relationships; but many people that I respect (including David Benatar) have articulated the opposite belief, and I must ardently promise (okay, signal) that I was, and still am, open for correction on this issue if presented with strong evidence.”

    I'm aware of one very interesting bibliography of studies, investigations, and analyses that deals with female on male violence that indicates a equal or higher propensity for abuse from females. It's by Martin Fiebert, PHD, of California State University, Long Beach. The aggregate sample size in the reviewed studies exceeds 365,000, making it the largest attempts at understanding partner violence in the world. Though I haven't read through each listing yet, it's certainly interesting reading on the subject, and I would recommend it.

    http://www.csulb.edu/~mfiebert/assault.htm

    menareangrynow

    August 23, 2010 at 5:58 am

  11. @Sister Y

    “Men have much more to gain from violence against their wives than women do from violence against their husbands. Violence is an effective means of achieving men's evolutionary aims (maintaining exclusive access to a woman's reproductive capacity); women are unlikely to advance their evolutionary aims by physical violence against husbands.”

    I disagree. Women aren't as unlikely to benefit evolutionarily or otherwise from violence as you suggest. Take for instance cases of female on male rape, where they get pregnant or pregnancy is their outright goal, such as in the case of Jane Crane of Ohio, who raped a minor boy and got child support and full custody of her victim's daughter. Sexual violence from females can often times behoove their interests, unfortunately. In addition, there are many girlfriends and wives who are very abusive so they can “maintain exclusive access”, as you put it, to their boyfriends and husbands. They tell their lovers things like “If you ever leave me, I'll kill you.” Some go on to do just that, sadly.

    menareangrynow

    August 23, 2010 at 7:22 am

  12. Hmmm, ive researched this alot and one problem in the studies is ideological subjectivity or flawed assumptions from the start.

    First, men and women use different forms of violence to get what they want. Men tend to be aggressive in a outwardly motion, for ex putting a fist through the wall(which can be considered dv) while females are more passive aggressive. Ive never known a guy or group of guys to give another man a eating disorder as revenge. Ive known more than enough women to do so, likewise ive never heard a guy call another guy a frenemy.

    There are other factors too, like men being arrested because of being larger when they call the cops on their wife. One thing about incredibly large guys, I know this cause im short, is that they are usually more aware of their size and ability to intimidate making alot of them gentle giants. Not all ofcourse.

    There is another element that I think you are missing, especially with regard to mens violence. Ive never known a guy to get a girl to beat up another girl but women like to play the game of let's you and him fight all the time. I would say, anecdotally, that 95% of the fights ive seen between men have been over a woman. In fact, I have had ex girlfriends get their new boyfriend or brother to threaten to beat me or a time or two actually try.

    There are biological and social differences in men and women and how they view aggression and dominance. Men are expected, by women, to be aggressive and dominant. Ive been blown away by some female friends who literally said, she tried to get her male partners to act out aggressively because it turned them on. There another aspect too, and that is if you can manipulate or controll someone then that can be more powerful than actually hitting someone yourself.

    Nice article, just some thoughts.

    Troll KING

    August 23, 2010 at 12:43 pm

  13. Rob –

    thanks for the links. The 2009 article and all the responses are pretty exhaustive.

    menareangrynow –

    I'm pretty sure it was a statutory rape, so it doesn't exactly qualify as sexual violence, unless you have a really broad definition of violence. I'm not saying it's impossible for a woman to violently rape someone in order to get knocked up, but they probably wouldn't be stupid enough to sue for child support. Besides, the issue here is physical violence, not sexual. I think the fact that men perpetrate more sexual assault is uncontroversial. They are much better equipped for it, for one thing.

    CM

    August 23, 2010 at 1:30 pm

  14. menareangrynow,

    The Fiebert bibliography is laden with references to CTS-derived studies, which sort of brings us full circle wrt to Curator's critique. This can be a big problem with meta-analyses generally; when a flawed (or disputed) data source reaches critical mass in the academic literature, it can perpetuate the illusion of consensus.

    Troll KING,

    The frequency of male violence being provoked by (female) proxy is entirely consistent with evopsych aims, where competition over access to females is key.

    Chip

    August 23, 2010 at 4:38 pm

  15. @CM

    “Besides, the issue here is physical violence, not sexual. I think the fact that men perpetrate more sexual assault is uncontroversial. They are much better equipped for it, for one thing.”

    What's extraordinarily controversial is your claim that men are better equipped for such acts. This is ignorant of human biology. The male biology is vulnerable to a forced sexual response making females just as capable of sexual violence against males as the other way around.

    In addition, I don't blur the lines between any acts of violence by compartmentalizing them. The issue here is violence, whether it is sexual or not in nature is irrelevant, it's still an act of aggression. Sexual violence is just as physical as what you labeled “physical violence”.

    menareangrynow

    August 25, 2010 at 6:50 pm

  16. menareangrynow-

    1) men, on average, are stronger, as has already been mentioned; 2) a penis is handier for forcing intercourse than a vagina. And you don't have to wait for a woman to get aroused to rape her. As far as unwanted touching, both sexes are equally capable, on average; though if a man has advance warning, he's more likely to be able to prevent it due to the aforementioned physical strength.

    Kudos to you for not compartmentalizing, but you are being quite premature in accusing other people of the opposite. It's the original CTS that did not include sexual violence, and the claims of sexual symmetry in marital violence are based on physical assault alone (arbitrarily defined, too, as Curator points out). So yes, allusions to sexual violence are irrelevant if one is trying to refute that claim. Asking why such an important dimension of marital violence was excluded from the scale in the first place is a different story, but this question has already been asked, and the authors responded by including measures of sexual coercion in CTS2.

    CM

    August 25, 2010 at 9:55 pm

  17. I should probably add that I was referring to heterosexual rape above.

    CM

    August 25, 2010 at 9:59 pm

  18. 'Evidence from criminal and divorce courts, police, women's shelters, and emergency rooms all support the hypothesis that males commit considerably more violence than females in relationships, as do survey data using methodologies other than CTS'

    'There are lots more, of course, but I can't be arsed currently lack the resources to conduct a major literature review. But notice that even the proponents of the sexual symmetry hypothesis admit that most data sources do not reflect sexual symmetry in intimate partner violence.'

    Your claims are interesting. I do not have the resources to do a review of the criminology literature, but I personally would approach this problem as a criminology issue.

    In particular, I would be concerned that there would be criminal malpractice on the part of divorce lawyers. Divorce lawyers have major incentives to lie about the amount of violence inflicted by women, in order to get legal fees from women who abuse their husbands, then divorce.

    Anonymous

    September 3, 2010 at 5:00 am

  19. you lost me at “why the cts is kind of retarded”
    i just stopped reading your researched, footnoted, well-written article right there.
    why not compare violence rates between chinks and negroes? Fags and kikes?

    nice turd in the punchbowl.

    Anonymous

    September 4, 2010 at 1:52 pm

  20. What is your problem with my figurative language? Would you object if I said “CTS is idiotic” or “CTS is imbecilic”? Or is it just the most recent (admittedly colloquial) figurative usage you object to?

    Sister Y

    September 4, 2010 at 8:48 pm


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: