Gender Asymmetry In Domestic Violence Analysis

1294 Words 6 Pages
The push for the arrest of domestic violence perpetrators began with women’s advocacy groups, the feminist movement, and the victims of domestic violence. Garnering attention to their plight through litigation and public policy changes, women won the victory they sought, the arrest of their violent partners. In so doing, an unintended effect occurred, their own arrest. With legislatures left with no option but to enact mandatory arrest, preferred arrest, and other laws or risk being sued, many women were victimized by their partners and the law. With mandatory arrest laws, women are just as likely as men to be arrested in incidents of domestic violence (Hirschel et. al. 2008). Thus, an unintended consequence of mandatory arrest laws is the …show more content…
Feminists disagree with this theory, arguing that men perpetrate violence against women in unequal proportions, while women use violence in self-defense. Gender symmetry proponents believe that many men refuse to report their own abuse at the hands of their wife due to the heavy stigma associated with such an admission (Lawson 2012). While
Gender Asymmetry Gender asymmetry theory posits that men are the primary perpetrators of domestic violence and women are the primary victims. Supported by many feminists, gender asymmetry sought to explain the imbalance created through long held patriarchal ideals and socialization patterns that men are to exude “aggressiveness, male dominance, and female subordination – and they are using physical force as a means to enforce that dominance” (Lawson 2012:580).
Women as perpetrators The prevailing view of women as victims in incidents of domestic violence changed with the enactment of mandatory arrest laws. This change occurred due to the officer’s inability to determine the primary aggressor, mutual
Stigmatization by
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While very limited research has been conducted into such arrests, the data released is contradictory at best (Frye, Haviland, and Rajah 2007). Research into preferred arrests states, mandatory arrest states, and those with no statute requiring an arrest response should be further investigated. This would give lawmakers the ability to make an informed policy decision. Law enforcement agencies should be actively engaged in this process thereby allowing informed decisions from officers directly involved in the arrest process. While deterrent effects have been determined through further research studies on misdemeanor offenses of spousal abuse, the research into felony repeat offenders show that arrest only intensifies the next attack against the victim. To what extent will other methods better address this type of violent

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