[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next]

Violent Women?

Sep 04, 1997 00:29 AM
by Tom Robertson

The general response from people on this list to claims of feminism's
having gone to extremes is that such claims are false, insignificant,
and/or sexist.  The belief in its insignificance is based on the idea
that male violence towards women is far more of a problem than
anything feminism has caused.  Believing, at least, that male violence
towards women is far more of a problem than is female violence towards
men, I have participated in a currently ongoing newsgroup discussion,
disagreeing with anti-feminist men who are claiming that women have no
right to the special treatment they have received (an example of which
was when I wrote statements on this list saying a few ways in which I
thought men are superior to women and a few ways in which I thought
women are superior to men, I was roundly criticized for my sexism, and
then, when someone else posted 40 or so ways in which she thought
women were superior to men and no ways in which she thought men are
superior to women, she was widely hailed as a heroine) since they are
just as violent towards men as men are towards them.  The following is
a sample of what they use as justification for their opinion.  I still
find it hard to believe.  I generally assume that when there are two
sides to an issue, studies can be found to support the opinions of
both sides.   I am interested in finding results of studies which
disagree with the following report:        


We want to make it clear that we have been working to end domestic
violence for over a decade. One of us is an original incorporator of
our local abuse shelter. We are members of the "Century Club"; those
who contribute over $100 to the local women's shelter. We support the
services they provide to victims. However, much of the women's shelter
movement is seriously misinformed about the causes and scope of the
domestic violence problem.

This misunderstanding of the domestic violence issue is so extensive
that city and county governments, the courts, law enforcement,
prosecutor's offices, mental health clinics, and other tax supported
agencies are now structuring programs based on feminist propaganda
rather than responsible scientific studies.

The following is a summary of domestic violence research. Please, help
get this important research on the subject of domestic violence to the


One of the most pervasive myths of our society  is that domestic
violence is something men do to women.  Solid scientific research
reveals that domestic violence is something women do to men more
frequently than men do it to women. While it is true that men account
for most violence outside the home, women instigate most domestic
violence and they injure men more frequently and more severely.

The Family Research Laboratory at the University of New Hampshire,
under grants from the National Institute of  Mental Health, recently
finished the last of three national studies on domestic violence. The
first two studies revealed results similar to the latest study. Anyone
who would like a copy of the latest study may order it from the
University of New Hampshire (ask for document V55). The data tape and
documentation of the 1975 and 1985 studies are available from the
Interuniversity Consortium For Political and Social Research at the
University of Michigan. Original data is also available on CD-ROM from
Sociometrics, Inc. in Palo Alto, CA.

The average results in the "severe assault" category, are reported

Wives report they have been severely assaulted by husband    22 per
Wives report they have severely assaulted husband            59 per

Husbands report they have been severely assaulted by wives   32 per
Husbands report they have severely assaulted wives           18 per

Husbands & wives both report wife has been assaulted         20 per
Husbands & wives both report husband has been assaulted      44 per

There are dozens of other studies that reveal similar findings. For

 * Women are three times more likely than men to use weapons in
domestic violence.
 * Women initiate most incidents of domestic violence.
 * Women commit most child abuse and most elder abuse.
 * Women hit their male children more frequently and more severely
that they hit their female children.
 * Women commit most child murders and 64% of their victims are male
 * When women murder adults the majority of their victims are men.
 * Women commit 50% of spousal murders.
 * Eighty two percent of all people have their first experience of
   violence at the hands of their mothers.

There is much confusion about whom to believe in the debate about
domestic violence. On one side we have women's shelter advocates and
feminists who rely on law enforcement statistics. On the other side we
have social scientists who rely on scientifically structured studies.
Unfortunately, the results of scientific studies do not receive media
attention. America's press is seemingly more interested in political
correctness than scientific accuracy. Therefore, the public
perception, and the perception of many well intentioned domestic
violence activists, is radically skewed away from the more balanced
perception of social scientists.

The typical response of the abuse shelter feminists upon first hearing
the results of the scientific studies is to "shoot the messenger". You
can almost hear their minds snap closed.  On the other hand, abuse
shelter personnel who have not accepted the feminist "party line" are
grateful to have accurate information upon which to implement rational
programs for prevention, intervention, and treatment of abusers and
their victims. What is happening at the abuse shelter in your

We could not find studies which compare the efficacy of scientifically
based programs to programs based on feminist politics. However we are
willing to wager that scientifically based programs are more effective
than programs guided by feminist propaganda.


We think it is important to note that there have been the same kind of
studies done in many countries. There is cross cultural verification
that women are more violent than men in domestic settings. When
behavior has cross cultural verification it means that it is part of
human nature rather than a result of cultural conditioning.  Females
are most often the perpetrators in domestic violence in all cultures
that have been studied so far. That leads many professionals to
conclude that there is something biological about violent females in
family situations. Researchers are now exploring the role of the
"territorial imperative" as a factor in women's violence against men.
Women see the home as their territory. Like many other species on the
planet, we humans will ignore size difference when we experience
conflict on our own territory. So, the scientific results that reveal
the violence of American women are not unique to our culture, and do
not indicate a special pathology among American women. World wide,
women are more violent than men in domestic settings.

Below is a summary of the most recent and significant studies we could
find about domestic violence in Canada. There were two waves of data
collection. The first was done in 1990 the second was finished in

This study was done by "Ms." Reena Sommer, a research associate with
the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy and Evaluation. We emphasize the
"Ms" to call attention to the fact that scientific studies of DV are
dominated by female social scientists. Someone mentioned that the
figures might reveal a gender bias as if all scientists are male. In
this field many of the recognized experts are women.


                                    % of females   % of males
Minor Violence
  threw an object (not at partner)       23.6         15.8
  threaten to throw object               14.9          7.3
  threw object at partner                16.2          4.6
  pushed, or grabbed                     19.8         17.2

Severe Violence
  slapped, punched, kicked               15.8          7.3
  used weapon                             3.1          0.9

A survey of couples in Calgary, Canada found that the rate of severe
husband-to-wife violence was 4.8%, while severe wife-to-husband
violence was 10%. Brinkerhoff & Lupri, Canadian Journal of Sociology,
13:4 (1989)


Abuse shelter advocates and feminists have severely distorted the DV
picture and deliberately produce fraudulent statistics and
disinformation. Even when they quote well grounded statistics, they
misuse the information. Here is an example: One of the favorite
statistics quoted by abuse shelter advocates is that a women is the
victim of domestic violence every 15 seconds. This statistic is
deduced from a well conducted piece of research which was published in
the Journal of Marriage and Family, a well respected professional
journal for marriage and family therapists. The Abuse Shelter
advocates arrived at this figure by using one of the conclusions of
the study, i.e.; 1.8 million women suffer an assault from a husband or
boyfriend per year. What abuse shelter advocates always ignore is
another finding of the same study, i.e.; 2 million men are assaulted
by a wife or girl friend per year, which translates as, a man is the
victim of domestic violence every 14 seconds. This is typical of the
wide spread deception practiced by abuse shelter advocates. America's
press establishment is a party to this deception and shares the blame
for exacerbating the DV problem by perpetuating a false diagnosis.

Women usually initiate domestic violence episodes (they hit first),
and women hit more frequently, as well as using weapons three times
more often then men. This combination of violent acts means that the
efforts of finding solutions to the domestic violence problem need to
focus on female perpetrators. We need to recognize that women are
violent, and we need nationwide educational programs that emphasize
the women's role as perpetrators.  Other studies show that men are
becoming less violent at the same time that women are becoming more
violent. Educating men seems to be working. Educating women to be less
violent should now be the main thrust of public education programs.

Any domestic violence program which accepts the "male abuser - female
victim" paradigm is based on a false premise. These kind of domestic
violence programs actually perpetuate the problem of domestic abuse
and do not deserve to be supported by private citizens or government
agencies. Many government agencies, and legitimate charities, have
been funding a feminist political cause, rather than funding rational,
solution focused, domestic violence prevention programs. What kind of
domestic violence prevention program do you have in your community?
Does the domestic violence prevention program in your community devote
as much attention to violent females, as it does to violent males? If
not, why not?

Let us quote from a book on the subject by McNeely, R.L.. and
Robinson-Simpson, G (1987) "The Truth about Domestic Violence: A
Falsely Framed Issue":

"Yet, while repeated studies consistently show that men are victims of
domestic violence at least as often as are women, both the lay public
and many professionals regard a finding of no sex difference in rates
of physical aggression among intimates as surprising, if not
unreliable, the stereotype being that men are aggressive and women are
exclusively victims."

However, part of the feminist agenda is to make men look as bad as
they can. The American press cooperates with this libelous portrayal
of men. The feminist view of domestic violence is part of the problem.
The media boycott of news about the scientific studies is part of the
problem.  The scientific view gives us hope for solution. Please do
your part to share this very important information with your

Thank you very much for your attention to this important issue.

Sam & Bunny Sewell - e-mail


Washington Times Jan 31, 1994
Section A, Joyce Price

Murray A. Straus, a sociologist and co-director for the Family
Research Laboratory at the University of New Hampshire, blames "women
in the battered [women's] shelter movement" for denying that women
physically abuse husbands, ex-husbands and boyfriends, or playing down
such abuse.

"There's this fiction in the shelter movement that in all cases, it's
him, not her" who's responsible for domestic assaults, Mr. Straus said
in a recent interview.

Mr. Straus said at least 30 studies of domestic violence - including
some he's conducted - have shown both sexes to be equally culpable.
But he said some of the research, such as a recent Canadian national
survey, "left out data on women abusing men... because it's
politically embarrassing."

Women and men "are almost identical" in terms of the frequency of
attacks such as slapping, shoving, and kicking, Mr. Straus said.

Using information on married couples obtained from 2,994 women in the
1985 National Family Violence Survey, Mr. Straus said he found a rate
for assaults by wives of 124 per 1,000 couples, compared with 122 per
1,000 for assaults by husbands.

The rate of minor assaults by wives was 78 per 1,000 couples, and the
rate of minor assaults by husbands was 72 per 1,000, he said. For the
category of severe assaults, he said, the rate was 46 per 1,000
couples for assaults by wives and 50 per 1,000 for assaults by
husbands. *

"Neither difference is statistically different," Mr. Straus wrote in
the journal Issues in Definition and Measurement. "As these rates are
based exclusively on information provided by women respondents, the
near equality in assault rates cannot be attributed to a gender bias
in reporting."

Dr. Straus's comments do not reflect the 1995 National Family Violence

[Back to Top]

Theosophy World: Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application