Chapter 9: Cultural Factors and Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) “When I’m old and getting gray, I’ll only gang-bang once a day.” --Fraternity ditty IPV is a gendered crime • American culture has particular definitions of masculinity and femininity which contribute to a culture of violence. • IPV is not the “natural” outgrowth of the biology of men and women. • Women are by and large the victims. • Rather, IPV is a “natural” outgrowth of a system of patriarchy. • Men are by and large the perpetrators. Culture • Is the sharing of outlooks and modes of behavior among individuals. • Thus, individuals develop inclinations from their exposure to the particular traditions, practices, and beliefs. Gender Roles • Certain behavioral patterns associated exclusively or almost exclusively to a particular gender. Masculinity • What it means to be a man: ▫ Physical ▫ Functional ▫ Sexual ▫ Emotional ▫ Intellectual ▫ interpersonal Femininity • What it means to be a woman: ▫ Verbal ▫ Relational ▫ Deferential ▫ submissive Patriarchy • A social system in which men (and boys) have greater access to opportunities, resources, and power. • Indicators of patriarchy: ▫ Men are smarter than women, especially in science and math. ▫ Women are more suited to take care of the home and family. ▫ Women should defer to their husbands on finical matters. ▫ Men are better logical thinkers. How masculinity and femininity affect IPV • Gender roles are rigid and oppositional constructions. • Masculinity and femininity are binary and oppositional. • Therefore, IPV is almost an inevitable outcome of masculinity and femininity as they are defined in the contemporary United States. Who is a batterer • There is no explicit description of a batterer. • However, most men who batter: ▫ are well socialized into hyper masculinity. ▫ Batter in response to perceived threats to their masculinity. • “Triggers” of violence stem from men’s success in breadwinning and their performance in the bedroom. The two Bs Breadwinner • Defined as men’s ability to succeed in the labor marker. • So when they fail to be providers, are not able to keep up with their wives’ or girlfriend’s demand, or are frustrated by their wives or girlfriends who want to be “kept,” they resort to violence. Bedroom • Defined as men’s ability to satisfy their partners and their ability to be a “player.” Sexual Double Standard • The idea that men should and can have more sexual experience and partners than women. • More accepted because: ▫ All the words for men are positive (player, stud), while all the words for women are negative (whore, slut). ▫ Polygyny is much more accepted throughout history and across the globe. Sexual Abuse • Sexual abuse is a common tool for batterers because: ▫ It humiliates the victim. ▫ It reminds the victim of the power the perpetrator has over them. • It is used as a tool of war, domestic violence, and to terrorize marginalized groups. Marital Rape • One in four women report being raped or having sex with their husbands when they did not want to. • It is difficult for the victim and difficult to prosecute. • Martial rape exemption: lasted up into the 1980s. ▫ Women were not legally allowed to bring a charge of rape against their husbands, even if they were separated. IPV in the Military • The military is a culture unto itself, and very hyper masculine. • It is one of the most sex-segregated institutions in America and virtually dominated by men (It is approximately 6% female). • Military estimates half of all women in the military report women experiencing. IPV in the Military • IPV in the military is contributed by the fact that: ▫ When IPV becomes an issue, it is dealt with through the military’s own justice system. ▫ The presence and easy access to weapons. ▫ Men being reintegrated into family life have problems of jealousy. Cult of Domesticity • An ideology that a woman’s place is in the home. • Came about through the public-private split, with the assumption that economic production only came through the public sphere. • Began in the early 1900s and reached its peak in the 1950s and 1960 after the Great Depression and World War II. Cult of Domesticity • It defined woman’s work as essential to not just being a good wife but being a good woman. • It also glorified not just child rearing but housework. Power of Imbalance • Intimate partner violence creates a power of imbalance. ▫ It puts the perpetrators needs over the victims. ▫ It makes the victim’s problems less important than the perpetrators. ▫ It means the perpetrators can act however they want to. Being a second-class citizen • Because of intimate partner violence millions of women live as second-class citizens. ▫ In the public sphere they experience: Sexual harassment. Wage discrimination. ▫ In the private sphere they experience Acts of violence. Emotional abuse. Rape. Conclusion • Ideologies of masculinity and femininity mutually reinforce one another. • Together they work to maintain a system of gender oppression. • This leaves women vulnerable to IPV. • It also lets men off the hook when they act violently.