• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
Page
  1. 1
    1
  2. 2
    2
  3. 3
    3
  4. 4
    4
  5. 5
    5
  6. 6
    6
  7. 7
    7
  8. 8
    8
  9. 9
    9
  10. 10
    10
  11. 11
    11
  12. 12
    12
  13. 13
    13

Critically evaluate the main explanations of violence against women.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Critically evaluate the main explanations of violence against women. This essay aims to investigate and evaluate the main explanations concerning violence against women. In order to achieve this we will first look at the history of domestic violence, as this illustrates how attitudes and policies have altered over the decades. However, the main focus will rest on the explanations put forward by various academics as to why this violence may occur. Before evaluating the above it is important to point out that women who experience domestic violence can be of any age, or from any background or ethnic group. Some of the most common forms of abuse are portrayed through physical or sexual violence, which tends to take place in the home. However there is major difficulty in identifying these forms of violence, as women are often reluctant to seek help for a number of reasons. Also economic necessity can also be a major factor in the reluctance to seek help. Whatever the reason it is important to remember that domestic violence drastically undermines a woman's confidence and the fact that they do not always receive an appropriate response from statutory services, makes it far more understandable as to why they remain in violent relationships. Violence towards women within a domestic situation is far from a contemporary issue, for hundreds of years it has been present in the lives of many women. Over the centuries women have rarely been treated as equals, often being viewed merely as the chattels of their husbands. In turn their role in life has been mainly to ensure their husbands contentment and to execute his demands and desires, be these domestic or sexual. Such 'chastisement' came to be accepted not only as a bona fide form of patriarchal domination, but as an inevitable element of daily life and a way of maintaining social order ( Dobash & Dobash 1980). ...read more.

Middle

It is through the continual perpetuation and support given to these roles that men continue to view themselves as dominant and as having control. It is important to mention that it is not merely the family who perpetuate and support this gender ideology, but the whole of society and very often the media play a large dangerous part in dividing the sexes. The media, throughout time, has portrayed motherhood, home and relationships as being the main interests in young girls and women's lives (Haywood 1989). The media also portrays images of women as objects, often degrading them as sexual objects. It could be said that presenting women as objects only devalues them and leaves them open to many instances of unacceptable behaviour by men within society. Moreover, it is important to mention that no single cause exists to explain all instances of this form of abuse. However, a combination of various situations and beliefs could help to explain or at least better understand this phenomenon. Sadly, many of the believed causes of domestic violence are myths created by societies beliefs and structure. These myths have been created to protect society and its institutions in order to hide a very serious problem. "The myths are a form of defence mechanism, the family is an important social institution and the myths have grown up as shields to protect it" (Freeman 1979:134). In addition, women who find themselves in such situations, often inadvertently perpetuate the myth of provocation as they may often blame themselves for an attack as they are able to comprehend why such genuine requests, in order to provide for children and other such areas of day to day life could cause such a reaction. 6 In relation to the provocation myth, more often than not the victim of an abusive attack has merely asked for money to buy food, clothes for children, does not have a meal ready on time or does not engage in sexual activity. ...read more.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it is clear that domestic violence is not only created and perpetuated by various myths within society, but also presents itself as a multidimensional problem with no single causal factor that can specifically explain all cases of domestic assault; therefore leaving the responsibility in the hands of those that commit it, not the victims of such abuse or other false blames. Therefore, it could be argued that the patriarchal structures of many families and ideologies that surround marriage and parenthood may actually create a situation in which the signals of dysfunction, which should be apparent, may actually go unnoticed and indeed, merely serve to further empower men to exert their control over their female partners and their children. In turn, patriarchal nature of society and culture plays a substantial part in the perpetuation of many of the previously highlighted causes of domestic violence, and thus could be said to be the main root of the problem. Furthermore, Men, at every level of society, have refused to accept the blame for many crimes against women. Preferring instead to blame violent acts on such myths as alcohol, provocation, and frustration, again directing the blame onto any aspect of the victim's behaviour or societal problem instead. What is desperately needed is a complete restructure and education of beliefs and ideology of family lessons in relation to gender roles, and a ceasation of all types of violence within the home in order to reduce the effects and normalisation of violence. Once achieved than perhaps we will be able to abolish the patriarchal ideology of society and move to a more egalitarian approach towards society and gender relations. A society where women are no longer restricted to where they can go, what they can do, and where men no longer control every aspect of society and thus see it as their natural right to dominate society and women in often violent ways. Until such changes are made we cannot begin to see an end to the struggle faced by many women against male dominance, power, and violence within society. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Sociology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Sociology essays

  1. Mateship has long been a major aspect of the national image as projected by ...

    really going to rob a bank, she tries her best to stop them. However, in the end, the robbery goes wrong and Kev is shot by the police Idiot Box Discussion The male problems in the modern world resulting from the changing of times are the underlying issues addressed in the film, Idiot Box.

  2. Social structure today has 4 main components: status, roles, groups, and institutions. Each ...

    This master status is usually in some way related to a person's occupation (Mooney). If you are a full time student and a son, then you would be considered as a "student" in society, and if you are a law enforcement agent as well as a father, you would most likely be viewed as a "cop" rather than a father.

  1. The Objectives of Dobash and Dobash's work was to explain and describe domestic violence ...

    They were probing into personal lives of the women and needed a method that gave them time to establish a more personal report. They gained the women's trust so that their aims could be explored. Dobash and Dobash used experienced and trained researchers to carry out the interviews.

  2. Crime - 'The media portrays ethnic minorities in negative ways', Discuss.

    way in this case negative characters are more likely to be ethnic minorities. The secondary research (the news, TV, videogames and the internet), that I carried out also help me to prove my hypothesis because I decided to analyse video games and TV programmes to see which characters are shown

  1. Peggy Orenstein's Schoolgirls: Young Women, Self-Esteem and the Confidence Gap - review

    Instead the hidden curriculum at Audubon teaches kids that "their minds and their potential are not worth as much as others" (132). The science teacher, Ms. Raynes, never finishes a complete lesson. She frequently reminds the students that she will not "spoon-feed" them and refers to the class as "the stupidest class" she has ever seen (141).

  2. To what extent does Soyinka present Jeroboam and his gullible congregation firstly as victims ...

    Ofer goes on to say that: "Factors like taxation, a common portable currency, the desire for European goods, the need and the opportunity to make profits contributed immensely to the historic shift from a subsistence economy to a monetary economy.

  1. What Impact did the War Have on the Role of Women in British Society ...

    The three groups of women were also very similar in that their main job before the war was to support the husband in the home. However, what this involved varied significantly between the three classes making their experiences and role in life extremely different.

  2. Invisible Man: A Universally Applicable Tale of One Man's Journey of Self-Discovery.

    The narrator proceeds on his "personal responsibility," deciding to hold a funeral for Brother Clifton despite his departure from the Brotherhood just before his death. He tells this to the committee, which makes all decisions of note in the Brotherhood on an important decision, but he is criticized and demoted for thinking on his feet.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work