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

Mary Romero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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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