Denise A. Hines and Kathleen Malley-Morrison
This article discusses the research on abuse against men in intimate relationships with a primary focus on the effects of this abuse. We begin by discussing the incidence of physical aggression against men, then address methodological and conceptual issues associated with the incidence data. We next review studies assessing the effects of aggression against men and discuss ways in which this research can be furthered and improved. Finally, we discuss why men would choose to stay in these relationships and consider the scant research on emotional abuse against men.
He would just yell and yell — not really yelling, just talk loudly. And I couldn�t say anything because he kept talking. So I�d swing. (p. 76)
I spent all that time by myself and sometimes the kids would get on my nerves ... so when I got mad I hit him. (p. 76)
I probably had no reason to get angry with him ... but it was such a bore. I was trying to wake him up, you know. He was such a rotten lover anyway. So I'd yell at him and bit him to stir him up. (p. 151)
- Respondents are asked about psychologically and physically aggressive acts in the context of conflicts; violence against women, critics argue, often occurs outside of any conflict between partners (e.g., Marshall & Rose, 1988).
- Respondents are not asked about the effects of those aggressive acts, but, because of differences in size and strength, it is likely that women are more seriously injured from aggressive behaviors such as hitting and punching than men are from those same acts (e.g., Ferraro & Johnson, 1983; Marshall, 1992).
- Respondents are not asked about their motivations for aggressive acts. This omission is important because women�s aggression may be only in self-defense (e.g., Pleck, Pleck, Grossman, & Bart, 1977- 1978).
He ... said: �My woman drinks, and every Friday night when I come home, she just starts pounding on me ...� He said he�d been severely beaten up by her several times and that he was big enough to fight back but that he didn�t want to beat her, and didn�t know where to turn to solve his problem. He was very emotional. (pp. 189-190)
She ran off with another man, but after a short time returned home. I was told, principally by lawyers, that I must take her back. For if I pressed a divorce action, she would be seen as a poor, aggrieved, helpless woman, and she would literally clean me out. She could get eighty-five percent of my income and have our five children entrusted in her care. (Langley & Levy, 1977, p. 191)