A comparison between strategies used on prisoners of war and battered wives

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

Comparisons were made between strategies used on prisoners of war (POWs) and battered wives to determine whether battering tactics are gender specific and thus a result of sexism, or whether battering is a reflection of societal violence. Similarities found between strategies used by captors and batterers were (a) psychological abuse within the context of violence; (b) the use of emotional dependency based on intermittent reinforcement; and (c) isolation from the victim's support system resulting in validation of assailant's beliefs and behavior. Both captors and batterers were successful in destroying the individual's self-identity, as well as eliciting and controlling certain kinds of behavior, when the victim remained isolated from a democratic setting. Differences in the experiences of POWs and battered wives center around the type of a hierarchical structure. In the case of battered wives, a patriarchal family legitimates male domination over women; therefore, the violence occurs within a sexist context.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)537-547
Number of pages11
JournalSex Roles
Volume13
Issue number9-10
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 1985
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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