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Violence Vict. 1994 Summer;9(2):167-82.

Patriarchy and wife assault: the ecological fallacy.

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Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia.


A critical review is made of feminist analyses of wife assault postulating that patriarchy is a direct cause of wife assault. Data are reviewed from a variety of studies indicating that (a) lesbian battering is more frequent than heterosexual battering, (b) no direct relationship exists between power and violence within couples, and (c) no direct relationship exists between structural patriarchy and wife assault. It is concluded that patriarchy must interact with psychological variables in order to account for the great variation in power-violence data. It is suggested that some forms of psychopathology may lead to some men adopting patriarchal ideology to justify and rationalize their own pathology.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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