Originally posted on June 25, 2014
This is what happens when people conduct a balanced, impartial study of domestic violence:
Women are more likely than men to be aggressive and controlling towards their partner, according to a study.
The research found that women showed controlling behaviour along with serious levels of threats, intimidation and physical violence when in a relationship more often than men.
More than 1,000 young men and women were questioned about any “Intimate Partner Violence” (IPV) they had inflicted on a girlfriend or boyfriend, or been subjected to themselves.
The results are in contrast to earlier studies which suggested women are almost always the victims of such behaviour.
That flies in the face of the assumption that men commit most domestic violence and that women are the vast majority of victims. It shatters the myth that when women commit violence against men it is always done in self-defense. It leaves the notion that men abuse women out of an oppressive impulse flailing. As Dr. Elizabeth Bates explained in the interview:
“Previous studies have sought to explain male violence towards women as arising from patriarchal values, which motivate men to seek to control women’s behaviour, using violence if necessary.
“This study found that women demonstrated a desire to control their partners and were more likely to use physical aggression than men. This suggests that IPV may not be motivated by patriarchal values and needs to be studied within the context of other forms of aggression, which has potential implications for interventions.”
I can already hear the backlash. I can already hear the retorts about men being bigger and stronger. I can hear the claims about women resorting to slaps and pushing whereas men use their fists. Bates had a response to that:
“It wasn’t just pushing and shoving. Some people were circling the boxes for things like beating up, kicking, and threatening to use a weapon.
“In terms of high levels of control and aggression, there was no difference between men and women.”
She added: “The stereotypical popular view is still one of dominant control by men. That does occur but research over the last 10 to 15 years has highlighted the fact that women are controlling and aggressive in relationships too.
“A contributing factor could be that in the past women have talked about it more. The feminist movement made violence towards women something we talk about. Now there is more support for men and more of them are feeling comfortable coming forward.”
That demonstrates a point I have made for years: we do not know how often men are abused because no one bothers to ask them. Or they do as one professor mentioned in the article did: only look at men in prisons and women in refuges rather than the general population.
Bates looked students in their late teens and early twenties as they were more likely to be victims. Her findings revealed that males tend to target other males rather than females. This is nothing new. The most victims of male violence are other males. However, as a result of feminists politicizing domestic violence, that vital piece of information is typically ignored. Instead of looking at male violence as a whole, feminists pushed the focus on male violence against females, giving the false impression that violent men tend to target women.
Feminists also succeeded in shutting down any conversation and analysis of female violence. The current feminist position on female abusers is that they are rare and largely act in self-defense. This was based conjecture and interviewing abused women, never by actually studying abused men.
The results of this study are important because they can help us understand what violence women actually commit and why they commit it. This is what we ought to do, rather than assuming that women are perpetual victims. If we want to stop domestic violence, we cannot play politics. We have to look at the situation with an unbiased eye.