Rethinking Domestic Violence

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UBC Press, Jan 1, 2011 - Social Science - 432 pages
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Rethinking Domestic Violence is the third in a series of books by Donald Dutton critically reviewing research in the area of intimate partner violence (IPV). The research crosses disciplinary lines, including social and clinical psychology, sociology, psychiatry, affective neuropsychology, criminology, and criminal justice research. Since the area of IPV is so heavily politicized, Dutton tries to steer through conflicting claims by assessing the best research methodology. As a result, he comes to some very new conclusions.

These conclusions include the finding that IPV is better predicted by psychological rather than social-structural factors, particularly in cultures where there is relative gender equality. Dutton argues that personality disorders in either gender account for better data on IPV. His findings also contradict earlier views among researchers and policy makers that IPV is essentially perpetrated by males in all societies. Numerous studies are reviewed in arriving at these conclusions, many of which employ new and superior methodologies than were available previously.

After twenty years of viewing IPV as generated by gender and focusing on a punitive "law and order" approach, Dutton argues that this approach must be more varied and flexible. Treatment providers, criminal justice system personnel, lawyers, and researchers have indicated the need for a new view of the problem -- one less invested in gender politics and more open to collaborative views and interdisciplinary insights. Dutton's rethinking of the fundamentals of IPV is essential reading for psychologists, policy makers, and those dealing with the sociology of social science, the relationship of psychology to law, and explanations of adverse behaviour.


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Interesting and valuable book which has far reaching implications in multiple areas outside of Domestic Violence (DV) Intimate Partner Violence (IPV).
In particular the the erudite exploration of
the Woozle Effect with readily followed examples is most useful - with implications fop any and all people dealing with evidence based decision making where any hint of bias - especially political bias and dogma - may be present.
The way in which "Citation Of Evidence" whcih does nor exist can lead to false decision making, urban myth and memes that are more about Ideology than reality is deftly handled.
Good value as a resource for no other reason that that.


1 The History of Spouse Assault
2 Nested Ecological Theory
3 Measurement and Incidence of Abuse
Psychiatric Contributions
5 Feminist and Sociobiological Explanations for IntimatePartner Violence
6 The Gender Debate and the Feminist Paradigm
7 The Domestic Assault of Men
8 The Social Psychology of the Perpetrator
11 RelationshipInteractionist Explanations
12 The Failure of Criminal Justice Intervention Policy
13 Risk Assessment
14 Treatment Policy Issues
The Next Step
16 Rethinking the Response to Domestic Violence

9 Subtypes of Perpetrators
10 The Cycle of Violence and the Abusive Personality

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About the author (2011)

Donald G. Dutton teaches in the Department of Psychology at the University of British Columbia. He has written extensively on the subject of domestic violence.

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