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SOC314H1 (8)


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Bonnie Fox

SOC314 - March 27th ViolenceAgainst Children and Women - kids experience a sense of absence (a sense of loss & missing) - most researchers would stop at that - if you talk to children & look at what they are doing; learn- ing smart ways to handle that problem - kids are quite perceptive* - they argue that looking @ what these kids say - not only do kids care about their parents, but they also care for them (diplomatic in solving problems, interfaced, etc) - go on to make bigger claims - divorce forces kids to think differently about families - the kids are very involved in the relationships w/ their parents & their families - interesting argument 1. ViolenceAgainst Children - violence against children was a concern in the late 19th century - in the middle of 1980s; the issue was raised - when she raised the issue; there was laughter (1986) - disgusting! - before that; seen as something that was irrelevant - Duffy - argument they make; the causes are not just about individuals - if the causes are individual (sick people, or individual pathology) you would see violence ran- domly scattered across different types of household - NOT randomly scattered; clear patterns* - types of people who are more likely to be violence (social class, gender, etc) - good discussions about patriarchal cultures; violence against women is not seen as problematic and is in fact apart of the culture A. A Canadian estimate: over 1 in 100 (Trocme) (1) 40% involved neglect (failure to protect, failure to supervise, failure to feed properly, failure to enroll in school, putting them at risk of danger) (2) 31% involved physical abuse (clear evidence usually by looking @ the body of child, mandato- ry to report evidence of abuse {the law}) (3) 19% involved emotional abuse (hardest to find evidence of - involves maltreatment, exposure to drugs) (4) 11% involved sexual abuse (ranges exhibitionism, unwanted touch) - estimating the incidence is difficult - a fraction of what actually happens - for every 1 case that came to their attention, there were 10 more (sense of what actually come clear) - estimates come from people who self-report (“i was a victim”) - self-reporting; we don’t know how good the data is - Duffy talks about national study done in 2001 - random sample of child welfare service agencies - this data is based on formal investigations of cases reported to them that they’ve investigated - this is the best data we have* - in 45 percent of those investigations; the suspicions were correct - conclude that in about 1 in every 100 children is experiencing some kind of abuse or violence Who are the perpetrators? - neglect = mothers more likely to be seen as the perpetrator - not surprising - mothers are the ones who take care of children - in the case of physical abuse - biological mothers and father equally - finding is interesting b/c men spend much less time with their children - stepfathers are more likely than stepmothers to physically abuse their kids - emotional abuse - mothers and fathers equally (stepfathers more than stepmothers) - the case of sexual abuse - much more likely to be someone who is not a parent (if it’s a parent, its almost never the mother) - sexual abuse = a neighbor or someone the child knows/trusts B. Children in lone-parent families more likely to suffer some kind of violence (causes: alcohol, lack of social supports, mental-health problems) C. Men as perpetrators (1) no history of caregiving, lack of empathy - men don’t do daily care of their children - what is most interesting about this (in caring for a child) you develop everything - literally learn empathy by taking care of a small child - with father - if they don’t care of their children, they may not create that empathy (2) the discourse of rights - started to think of kids as rights (3) the stresses of occupation failure - the role of a father: to support your family financially - a guy’s children might represent his failure - also the role of occupational failure; economy that is producing lots of unemployment D. Women as perpetrators (1) The weight of private responsibility for children, and lack of social supports - her children was her life - difficult to stay home full-time with children - we put women in a situation that is very stressful - do not provide them with much support - single mothers have added pressures - the private responsibility for kids is something we need to think about - contextual things that affect people - in the end; a lot of people have stress and don’t hurt their kids - what is the added factor to the situation that does it???? E. The effects of childhood abuse (for women & men, Alice Miller) - people who are violent are much more likely than anybody else to have been abused themselves or grown up in families where violence was present - another piece to the puzzle - arguing that in all their childhoods; found authoritarian, psychological parents - if children are absolutely suppressed - that leaves psychic damage - argues that without therapy; that child will grow up to be violent - people have said without a loving parent (horribly abusive father + a loving mother) that child may be OK as an adult F. A violent culture - can argue that we live in a violent culture - Canadians are much different thanAmerican - 47% of us condone spanking as a form of discipline - 70% of us were opposed to a law refraining parents from spanking kids - spanking is dangerous* G. Sexual Abuse (Judith Herman, Father-Daughter Incest) - premeditated abuse - sexual abuse is premeditated - as I said, almost never women - one study by Herman - study called Father-Daughter Incest - study a large group of cases that she can get details on* - finds a pattern across the different cases (40 cases) - the patterns were the same across all the families she was looking at - the man is clearly the authority in the family - often he was a good provider - fulfilled his role very well - BUT very controlling; kind of man who felt entitled to have his needs met - when she looked at the details of the family situation - found a mother, wife who somehow was not able to fulfill her duties as a wife* - not available for sex, chronically sick, busy w/ children - common pattern: not available! - a daughter stepped in to help out (cooking, laundry) fill in for mom now that she is in capacity - the daughter - do the things that her mother did - INCLUDES SEX! - distorted sense of entitlement - clear a lack of empathy & understanding - forgets this is a child, someone he is supposed to protect 2. Adults A. A “gendered” crime - about men hurting women - more frequently occurring in the home, & often due to factors common to heterosexual relationships - violence against adults - different kinds of summaries about what is going on - when you separate only serious violence - it is men who do it, very rarely women - look @ serious violence - true that women are as likely to start a fight than the man - the serious violence - almost exclusively done by men - gendered social phenomenon (1) Homicide: Rosemary Gartner et al., on “femicide” 1974-1994: between 63% and 76% were by intimate partners or ex-partners - she has done a very careful and long study but she looks @ homicides - 1974 - 1994 in Ontario - started out with the easy stuff - the records from the court case - for permission to look at the police records - not accessible to most people + coroner’s records as well - 1st statistic = 87% of homicides in that period of time were done by men - who is committing the homicides? - with that additional evidence; able to estimate who likely did it - what she finds is that the official stats - 46 & 50% of those
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