Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Study: Men who batter think other guys do, too

If you ever needed more proof that organizations like White Ribbon Campaign and MenEngage are still relevant in the "post-feminist" world, a recent article from Futurity.org details a study by committee of professors from various universities which found that perceived socials norms results in higher rates of domestic violence.

The study, headed by Clayton Neighbours of the University of Houston, Texas found that men "overestimated by two to three times the actual rates of seven behaviors ranging from throwing something at a partner to rape" and that this belief led those men to justify "in their mind(s) by thinking it is more common and saying, ‘Most guys slap their women around so it is okay to engage in it.’ Or it could be that misperceptions about violence cause the behavior.”

This study speaks to the heart of what White Ribbon Campaign is trying to accomplish by reaching out to men and boys to discuss gender equality, violence and healthy relationships in an attempt at transformative change in social norms. Social norms are a major factor influencing people's actions and beliefs in their daily lives. If we can facilitate open discussions with men and boys, the vast majority of whom we know are not violent towards women and believe in gender equity, then hopefully these ideals will reach those men that do engage in violent behaviour.

No comments: