SOC314H1 Lecture Notes - Social Isolation, Exhibitionism, Incest

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15 Apr 2012
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SOC314 - March 27th
Violence Against 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. Violence Against 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*
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- 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 its 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)
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