Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Errors In Domestic Violence Research

An Australian professor once asked me how I combined my obvious commitment to ending domestic violence with my reluctance to engage with existing research into the subject.

My response is that this research has gone terribly, tragically wrong.

When I was at the university in 1990s, people were portraying me as the kind of person who would commit domestic violence. I have been for six years with a woman whom many described as a bitch, but I was never abusive or violent toward her. Clearly the research was very wrong.

I suggest that there has been a large bias in that research. A woman who is actually being abused is not likely to be in a position to take a survey; and if she is, she will be under intense pressure to protect her family or her community or her church from them damn libruls in the government. Which means that the most abused women are the least likely to get detected in the research.

Now if you are doing your research in a well-off liberal community, where domestic violence is against the social norms, then the people who would commit it would be the people who break social norms – who, by definition, possess personality disorders. Whereas if you are in Afghanistan, or in Kiev, or in the rural parts of Queensland, then violence is a social norm. Which means that in those places the average abuser is not a sociopath or a narcissist. In those places the average abuser is a regular Joe, or Igor, or Abdul who thinks that real men dominate women, or that love is for sissies, or that he owes it to other men or to God to keep women in their place.

I know a number of women who have been through serious domestic violence; and in most situations nobody believed that their husbands would do such a thing. To them they were the nicest guys that one could possibly meet. Whereas the males that were getting slandered all along were the men who were of passionate temperament – who, as such, both needed love the most and had the most of love to offer their partners. When a woman with whom I was in love got severely beaten by her boyfriend, she went to a police domestic violence service, and they were just as happy to yell at me as they had been happy to yell at him. Clearly they are either misguided or malevolent.

The professor of whom I speak does not come across to me as malevolent. He does however come across to me as being misguided. If you see me as being a part of the problem, then no, sorry, the problem is very much with you. He is a part of the gender war. The gender war is the problem not the solution. The gender war encourages everyone involved to be bastards. And that is bad for everyone – man, woman, child, what have you.

I am not partial to put trust in research that tried to portray me as a potential abuser or much worse. I will apply higher standards on people doing the research. If their research tries to portray me as the bad guy, then clearly that research is wrong. I will not engage with wrongful research. I will demand better research and one that actually sees the problem for what it is.


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