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The Feminization of Domestic Violence in America: The Woozle Effect Goes Beyond Rhetoric.

In the 1960s, the term "feminization of poverty" was coined and entered into the public forum. Although, males, too, could become poverty stricken, the imagery and the frame of reference for many political, social, and legislative agenda was poverty vis-a-vis the mother-child dyad. The demographic reality--empirically--was fairly clear. The category of "female-headed household with minor children" was calculated to have the lowest median income of any of the tabulated categories (see Table 1). Thus, there was an alignment of imagery and economic reality. Policies and programs have been instituted by both governmental units as welt as by private organizations to ameliorate the poverty.

TABLE 1.

MEDIAN INCOME BY TYPE OF FAMILY' 1993 (U.S. BUREAU OF THE CENSUS, 1995)
Type of Family Median Income Percentage of
 (dollars) Married-couple
 families

All families $36,959 85.9%
Married-couple families $43,005 100.0%
Wife worked $50,798 18.1%
Wife did not work $28,779 66.9%
Male householder $26,467 61.5%
Female householder $17,443 40.6%
With related minor children $36,200 84.2%
 Married-couple $45,548 105.9%
 Female householder $13,472 31.3%


It is argued herein that the "feminization of domestic violence" in the U.S. is an emerging imagery with attendant political, social, legislative, and judicial correlates. However, the empirical reality that would buttress and support the imagery may be somewhat problematic. Three points will be examined more closely in the context of domestic violence: (i) the level of violence initiated by males toward females in relation to the level of violence initiated by females toward males, (ii) the level of violence initiated by males toward children in relation to the level of violence initiated by females toward children, and (iii) which categories of males are more likely to initiate violence within the domicile and which categories are less like to initiate violence.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: ADULT-TO-ADULT

ADULT-TO-ADULT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: IMAGERY IN THE POPULAR PRESS

A search into computer data banks revealed the following: "Infotrac-Health Reference" had 112 citations under the key words "Family Violence" from 1992 to early 1998. The citations included violence between spouses/intimate partners, violence against children, and violence again elder citizens. Sixty-eight citations (60.6%) were gender neutral (either referring to both genders or not using gender in the title, key words, or abstract). Forty-one citations (36.7%) focused exclusively on women as the recipients of violent behavior by men. Three citations (2.7%) focused exclusively on men: two reported on programs to reduce men's anger or violent tendencies, and one referred to men as recipients of violent behavior by women. A second database, "Magazine ASAP," had 88 citations keyed to "Family Violence" for the years 1994 to early 1998. Forty-six (52.3%) were gender neutral (either referring to both genders or not using gender in the title, key words, or abstract), 41 (46.6%) focused exclusively on women as the recipients of violent behavior by men, and one (1.1%) focused upon men as recipients of violent behavior by women.

Accordingly, when violence between spouses/intimate partners is the frame of reference, articles focusing upon women, rather than men, as recipients of violent behavior were at least ten times more likely to occur than the reverse.

ADULT-TO-ADULT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: IMAGERY IN THE PROFESSIONAL PRESS

The same imagery is also found in academic journals. In the main library of a major research university, the key words of "Women-Abused" found 427 citations. The analogous key words of "Men-Abused" resulted in only two citations. One of the citations was for two men who "abused" the Securities & Exchange Commissions foreign registration exemptions. The key words "Child-Abused" resulted in 3,445 citations. For the key words "Battered Women," 283 citations were found. For the key words "Battered Men," one citation was listed. Thus, in a manner parallel with the popular press, the professional press also created an imagery wherein male domestic violence toward his partner far exceeds that of the reverse. Coleman and Stith's (1997) was typical of this academic genre. They begin their introduction with, "Abuse against women appears to have reached epidemic proportions. `Of all the forms of family violence, wife battering now ranks second, following child abuse in terms of the attention it receives in public, professional, and scientific communities ....' This attention seems rightly focused as violence is not evenly distributed among family members, but disproportionately directed toward women" (p. 113). Two recent articles in the Journal of the American Medical Association are illustrative. The title of a 1996 article was "When Physicians Ask, Women Tell of Domestic Abuse and Violence" (Titus, 1996). A 1997 title in JAMA was: "Guidelines for Managing Domestic Abuse When Male and Female Partners are Patients of the Same Physician" (Ferris, Norton, & Dunn, 1997). The actual patients were restricted to abused women and their abusing partners. In his text Criminology, Siegel (1992) wrote: "Spouse abuse, which involves the physical assault of a wife by a husband (though husband abuse is not unknown) has occurred throughout recorded history," and, "[I]n one-year period, the New York City police recorded 14,167 complaints involving wife abuse" (p. 313). No numbers on husband abuse were given (cf.: Bartol [1995, p. 228] who wrote: "Interestingly in the 1975 national survey and in a later one (1985), ... no significant differences were found between men and women in overall self-reported rates of aggressing against their spouses. In fact, in more recent surveys, women were reported as engaging in all forms of aggression against their spouses at rates equal to or greater than those for men." (pp. 228-229).

The Federal government accepts the same imagery. The National Institute of Justice (1996) entitled its report, "Domestic Violence, Stalking, and Antistalking Legislation: An Annual Report to Congress Under the Violence Against Women Act."

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: EPIDEMIOLOGICAL STUDIES

There would be a certain sense of reality to this imagery if (i) men were far more likely to commit domestic violence toward women rather than the reverse and (ii) women's tendency toward being a perpetrator of domestic violence was minimal or trivial. However, epidemiological studies on randomized, if not random, samples depict a much different mosaic. Ina survey of spousal homicides, in the U.S. from 1976 to 1985, Daly & Wilson (1992) found that the woman perpetuated 42.8% of 18,417 homicides. In some specific cities, the percentages were higher. For example, in Chicago, from 1965-1989, 50.5% of the spousal homicides were committed by women, while in Detroit, for 1972, women committed 54.4% of the spousal homicides. In a study in St. Louis of "intimate partner homicides," the Homicide Research Working Group (Lattimore & Nahabedian, 1996) reported that 56.4% of the victims were men. The 1985 U.S. National Family Violence Resurvey found that 51.7% of "overall violence" was "wife-to-husband" (Straus & Gelles, 1986, 1990). For "minor-only violence," the percentage of "wife-to-husband" violence dropped to 48.1%. However, when "severe violence" became the criterion, the percentage jumped to 58.5%. (The Canadian National Family Life Survey [1986] found a similar pattern in that 58.0% of acts of "overall violence" were wife-to-husband [Grandin & Lupri, 19971.) In her analysis of 448 arrest records for family violence cases, Martin (1997) found that 33% of the disposed cases were dual arrests. In a survey of college students and community residents, Averill (1983) reported that "women reported becoming angry as often as men, as intensely for much the same reasons, and they expressed their anger as openly as did men" (p. 387; see Sharkin [1993] for discussion of anger and gender). In their review of twenty years of research on partner violence, Jasinski & Williams (1998) wrote: "More than 30 studies examined differences in rates of violence in nonclinical populations. Ail, including follow-up data from the National Youth Survey, found approximately equal rates of violence (in both frequency and severity of acts) by the women ... " (p. 8). In his annotated bibliography of 85 scholarly investigations, Fiebert (1997, p. 273) wrote that the investigations " ... demonstrate that women are as physically aggressive, or more aggressive, than men in their relationships with their spouses or male partners. The aggregate sample size in the reviewed studies exceeds 58,000" (cf.: Cook, 1997).

It should also be noted that complementary studies have found a disproportionate level of male-against-female abuse. Namely, Tjaden and Thoennes (1997) indicated a 3-to-1 ratio, the "National Crime Survey" showed a 13-to-1 male-to-female ratio (Bachman & Saltzman, 1995), the "National Crime Victimization Study" suggested a 7-to-1 male-to-female ratio (Bachman & Saltzman, 1995), and the "Police Call Data" illustrated a 9-to-1 male-to-female ratio (Dobash & Dobash, 1979). Two points are germane here. First, the levels of assault reported in these four studies were well below those of the more randomized studies (ranging from one-eighth to one-eightieth of the randomized surveys) and, second, these surveys were much narrower in their inclusion of an episode, for example, a "crime" had been committed or the police were summoned. Hence the two forms of surveys (i.) random versus (ii.) specialized are not well structured to be compared.

Knowledge of the near equity of domestic violence between men and women is not a new phenomenon. From his 1975 community survey, Straus (1986) reported that on an overall violence index, "husbands" did have a higher violence index (12.1 incidences per 100 marriages) than did the "wives" (11.6). However, if violent behavior did occur, the wives manifested a higher frequency of violent acts toward their spouses: wives (10.1 per 100 marriages) and husbands (8.8). Note that husbands and wives were the terms used in 1975. By the 1990s, "partner" or "intimate" was often used. These latter categories of association did not necessitate a formal, legal marriage. However, the shift from "husband" to a more general category of "significant other" or synonyms would mask any distinctions between "co-resident husband" and any other sub-group of men. The importance of this shift will be discussed in a latter section.

"Battering" As a Category. The dictionary defines to "batter" as: "To hit heavily and repeatedly with violent blows. To pound repeatedly with heavy blows." The subcategory in the 1985 U.S. National Family Violence Resurvey (Straus & Gelles, 1986, 1990) and the Canadian National Family Life Survey (Grandin & Pupri, 1997) most consonant with a definition of "battering" would be "beat up the other" within two years. For the U.S. sample, the rate of husband-to-wife beating was 0.3 per 100 marriages. The rate of wife-to-husband beatings was 0.2. The interpretations here can range from spousal beatings are fairly rare to husbands are 50% more likely to beat-up their wives than the reverse; although the 50% mark is hinged upon a 0.1 differential. A different pattern is found with the Canadian sample. Husband-to-wife beatings occurred at a rate of 2.5, and the rate of wife-to-husband beatings was 6.2. That is, Canadian wives were more than twice as likely to beat up--batter--their spouse as was the reverse.

Straus (1991) recombined his data into the categories of "any violence by the spouse" and "severe violence by the spouse": The ratios of wife-to-husband violence versus husband-to-wife violence were 1.1 to 1.0 for "any violence," that is, this index is near unity, and becomes 1.4 to 1.0 for "severe violence." This modest gap indicates a higher incidence of abuse engendered by women, and is certainly not indicative of evidence of a disproportionate level of male-initiated domestic violence.

In a re-analysis of these U.S. data, Sorenson, Upchurch, and Shen (1996) reported responses to the question: "Have you been cut, bruised, or seriously injured in a fight with your husband/wife?" Less than 1% (0.3%) of the men responded "yes" (4.5% responded "no," and 95.2% responded "not applicable"), and slightly more than 1% (1.1%) of the women responded "yes" (5.0% responded "no," and 93.8% responded "not applicable").

In Straus's 1975 sample, the incidence of "beat up spouse" was 1.1 for husband to-wife and 0.6 for wife-to-husband (Straus, 1986). The differential was nearly two-to-one or a difference in incidence of 0.5. Of course, if the statistics were to be rounded to the nearest whole percent, both numbers would be 1%, and no trend could be inferred at all.

Using a similar methodology as Straus, Gelles and Steinmetz (1987) conducted a cross-cultural survey for two U.S. samples and for five additional countries (Finland, Puerto Rico, British Honduras, Canada, and Israel). In five of the seven samples, wives--per 100 couples--had a higher mean frequency of the use of violence toward their spouse than did the husbands--again, per 100 couples: the two U.S. samples [wives 4.0, husbands 3.5; and wives 7.0, husbands 6.6], Puerto Rico [wives 6.6, husbands 5.8], Canada [wives 7.8, husbands 6.0], and Israel [wives 8.65, husbands 8.42]. In Finland and British Honduras, husbands had the higher levels of the use of violence: Finland (husbands 2.19, wives 2.18) and British Honduras (husbands 6.8, wives 6.3).

Male Versus Co-resident Husband. There has been and is a tendency for surveys to combine the category of co-resident husband with any or all other sub-samples of men. Such a merging tends to mask sub-trends. For example, in a study of domestic violence, Brookoff, O'Brien, Cook, Thompson, & Williams (1997) found that of the 45 cases wherein a police call was made concerning a man assaulting his (sexual) female partner, (i.) only 20% of the men were co-habiting husbands, (compared to the U.S. figure that over half [54.4%] of all households were "married couple families" [U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1996]), (ii.) 40% of the men were co-habiting boyfriends, (iii.) 29% were non-cohabiting current boyfriends, and (iv.) 11% of the men were estranged or divorced husbands or ex-boyfriends (see for similar data: Browne & Williams, 1993; for discussion: Popenoe, 1996; and Blankenhorn, 1995). A reasonable inference here is that co-resident husbands are diagnostically separable from other categories of male intimates; hence, their merging into a broader category removes analytical precision.

Non-domestic Violent Crime. When the context is not domestic abuse, but violent crime in general (at least as measured by arrests), the ratio of male-to-female violence does tilt strongly in the direction of males. The FBI reported that only 9.4% of the arrests for murder and non-negligent manslaughter were female, only 17.9% of the arrests for "aggravated assault" were female, and only 20.3% of the arrests for "other assault" were female (U.S. Department of Justice, 1996). The over-representation of males versus females reflects ratios on the order of five-to-one or six-to-one. Thus, the argument can be made that, overall, men are certainly more aggressive and violence-prone than women. Criminology and sociology courses plus a cottage industry of literature have documented that fact (see Bartol, 1995; Siegel, 1992). Of course, male over-representation of violence is not confined to the U.S. In a survey of homicide by gender across countries, the World Health Organization (1994) found that male-initiated homicide was nearly three-fold that of female-initiated homicide (N = 40; mean ratio 2.8; s.d. = 1.8). The ratio of male-to-female perpetrators was from a high of 9.0 (Mexico) to a low of 0.6 (Luxembourg). (Of the eight recorded homicides in Luxembourg in 1992, five were committed by females.) Nonetheless, when the context becomes the domicile, this male over-representation in terms of violent behavior essentially evaporates.

In addition, violence by women is strongly confined to the domicile. In her study of women who committed (at least one) homicide, Mann (1996) reported that nearly 97% of the adult victims were male: invariably either a past or present sexual intimate.

SYNOPSIS

Three points are germane here. First, the imagery of male domestic violence toward women is highly over-represented when epidemiological studies become the benchmark. Second, husband-to-wife violence is roughly equal to wife-to-husband violence. In some indices, the wife is more violent; and, in alternative indices, the husband is the more violent. Third, the co-resident husband is a sub-group that should be coded separately from other, more adjunct, male intimates.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: ADULT TO CHILD

In a comprehensive study of childhood fatalities due to maltreatment, Levine, Freeman, and Compaan (1994) used what is a most interesting selection of words when delineating the gender of the perpetrator: "Although publicized cases frequently focus on the mother, data indicate that males do play a significant role in maltreatment fatalities" (p. 456). In the table that gives a breakdown by gender of perpetrator, "mother" is replaced by "female." Across the seven-state sample, males were the perpetrators in 41.3% of the fatalities, females were the perpetrators in 41.1% of the fatalities, both males and females were (co-)perpetrators in 8.0% of the fatalities, and the remaining 9.6% of the perpetrators were coded as gender unknown. Thus, there is approximate parity between the genders in this index of child abuse.

In terms of the relationship of the perpetrator to the victim, Levine, Freeman, and Compaan (1994) found that 62.8% of the fatalities were caused by the natural parents, 15.9% were caused by the "caretaker's paramour," 5.5% were caused by step-/foster parent, and 15.8% were due to other categories. The "caretaker's paramour" was invariably male, but not the father of the dead child. Levine et al. reported that "Seldom did a fatality involve a father's girl friend." Because of the high level of single-parent births and a tendency to award mothers the custody of young children in divorce situations, the majority of co-resident "step" parents would be male: males who were not the biological father of the dead child. It may be noted that in a British survey (Wilczynski, 1997) of filicides in England and Wales, over half (56.6% of 133) of the deaths were due to females.

In Widom's (1992) national review of child abuse (not just fatalities), physical abuse was analyzed separately from neglect. Approximately a third of the perpetrators of physical abuse were fathers. Mothers accounted for a quarter of the cases. And nearly another quarter was due to the stepfather. The remaining 17% were spread among seven other categories. In terms of neglect, the mother was the perpetrator in over 75% of the cases. The father was adjudged the perpetrator in approximately a fifth of the cases. The remaining percentages were distributed across eight other categories.

In an epidemiological survey of child abuse and neglect, Heifer (1998) found that 50% of the cases involved male and female caretakers, 43% involved female caretakers only, and 5% involved males only. Again, knowledge of such patterns is not new. Gelles (1979) found that, within the previous year, mothers, compared to fathers, were more prone to have thrown "something" at his/her child, "slapped or spanked" his/her child, and "hit [the child] with something." There was no statistical difference for the remaining five categories of "pushed/grabbed/shoved," "kicked/bit/hit with fist," "beat-up," "threatened with knife/gun," and "used knife or gun."

Straus and Kantor (1987) found a relationship between adult stress and child abuse. They used a stress index with six grades of stress. At the first five levels, the mothers manifested a higher level of child-abuse rate than did the fathers. Only at the highest level did fathers' rate of abuse exceed that of mothers'.

FATHERS VERSUS NON-FATHERS

Although rarely phrased in such a way, an ongoing residential biological and social father is a reliable health insurance policy for his children. As soon as any other domestic arrangement occurs, i.e., as soon as any man other than the biological and social father becomes proximate to children that are not his own, the children are at increased risk of physical abuse (Daly & Wilson, 1982, 1985, 1987; Gil, 1970; Hegar, Zuravin, & Orme, 1994; Johnson, 1974; Lenington, 1981; Mann, 1996; see Kasim, Shafie, & Cheah, 1994 for an example outside of the U.S.). If the child is a girl, then the increase in physical abuse risk is complemented with an increased risk of sexual abuse (Gordon & Creighton, 1988; Immerman & Mackey, 1997; Russell, 1986; Tyler 1986; Wassil-Grimm, 1995; also see Popenoe, 1996; and Blankenhorn, 1995).

Munchausen Syndrome and Munchausen Syndrome By Proxy. Named after Baron yon Munchausen, a man who told fabulous, fantastical tales, Munchausen syndrome is the fabrication of symptoms of various illnesses. Often the perpetrators are well versed in which symptoms go with which diseases. Physicians, who are not trained to expect patients to lie, make the reasonable assumption that the symptoms are real. They match symptoms with disease with treatment and then attempt to "cure" the patient.

A derivative of the Munchausen Syndrome is Munchausen Syndrome By Proxy. Munchausen Syndrome By Proxy occurs when an adult simulates symptoms of a disease on an otherwise healthy person--invariably a child (Schreier & Libow, 1993). The individuals who initiate this syndrome are predominately female (Artingstal, 1995; Kahn & Goldman, 1991). In one study of 117 cases of Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy, 98% of the perpetrators were the mothers of the children. Nine percent of the children died (Feldman & Ford, 1994). And, of course, the sensitive issue of parsing an infant's death indicating Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) from infanticide/homicide makes a truly accurate tally of filicide even more difficult (see Horgan, 1995).

SYNOPSIS

It is a difficult case to make that fathers are uniquely dangerous to their own children. Surveys that tend to be more representative of the referent community tend more to show that fathers and mothers represent an equally potential threat in the harming of their own children. If a biological and social father is precluded (single-parent births) or abraded (divorce) from an ongoing co-residency with his children, then his influence on the subsequent domestic situation of the mother of those children is minimal to non-existent. The subsequent insertion of an adjunct male into a mother-child dyad does put the child at increased risk of abuse from that adjunct male. The merging of father and boyfriend into the larger taxon of male seems to be of problematic analytic efficacy.

DISCUSSION

It is argued here that there is a disjunction between the imagery aligned with domestic violence in the U.S. and the demographic data of that domestic violence. Husbands/fathers are over-represented in the imagery of the perpetrators, but are underrepresented in the actual perpetrators of the domestic violence. The always legitimate question can then be asked: "So what?"

In his search for woozles, Winnie-the-Pooh inadvertently began to follow his own tracks around a tree. He seemed convinced that another woozle had joined the others after each of his own circumnavigations. His misperception resulted in no misfortune. He was simply wrong. Similarly, why would it matter if the imagery concerning U.S. domestic violence were somewhat askew? Even if the imagery is driving program funding and academic research funding and public service announcements, what would be the cost? Even if a confluence of perceptions were erroneous on the gender ratio of domestic violence perpetrators, what penalty of a practical character would be incurred? Husbands/fathers do generate episodes of domestic violence. Any activity that would reduce their participation in domestic violence would seem worthwhile. Arguably, no misfortune is consequent to the misperception.

There are two reasons presented below that would suggest that a realignment of data with perception would be useful, namely, (1) consequences of the unwarranted presumption of perpetrator and (2) the elevation of child abuse.

CONSEQUENCES OF PRESUMPTION OF PERPETRATOR

Brookoff et al. (1997) surveyed the dispositions consequent to telephone calls to the police concerning domestic violence. The authors detailed the fate of 42 male assailants who were present when the police arrived at the domicile. Of the 42, "... 5 were ordered to leave the premises." No charge was made. No arrest was made. The police simply ordered the men to leave. Gelles and Straus (1988) found a similar pattern wherein 41.4% of husbands were "ordered ... out of home" by the police. This 41.4% contrasts to the 15.2% of the husbands who are actually arrested. None of the wives was ordered to leave the home when the husband had contacted the police. If social workers, police, legislators, and judges are saturated with the premise that domestic violence is equated with male violence, then a good deal of mischief can be generated with the deletion of the men's due process. If domestic violence is equated with male violence, then virtually all female-initiated domestic violence can be defined as self-defense. That is, if the man is injured or killed within his domicile, the assumption would be that it must be the case that the man initiated the violence. The woman simply defended herself. Berry (1995) clearly uses this rhetorical device: "Between 1976 and 1987, over 38,500 people were killed in partner homicides. Two-thirds were women; the vast majority of the others were abusive men killed in self-defense." (p. 6; see Browne, 1987, for other prototypical examples). On the other side of the coin, Mann (1994) reports that a woman, arrested for domestic homicide of a man, "... shot him in the back of the head six times with his .38 pistol, and claimed self-defense. Apparently, the court agreed, the case was dismissed" (p. 298; emphasis in the original). And while a small number of cases would factually reflect this scenario, the U.S. legal system is based neither on aggregate probabilities nor on perceptions of aggregate probabilities. The U.S. legal system is predicated on the presumption of innocence and the ascendancy of individual rights.

CHILD ABUSE

In terms of domestic child abuse, the equation of domestic violence with male violence and with father violence creates two problems. First, it is solidly clear that an ongoing, co-residential social and biological father decreases, by far, the dangers to that child of being abused. The insertion of any other category of man into a mother-child dyad increases the risk to that child of serious abuse (sexual abuse if that child is a girl). Although a definitive determination of the mix of "father presence" being a causal agent versus a correlative is well beyond the scope of this inquiry, the elevated danger to children from non-fathers, nonetheless, makes the equation of domestic violence with father violence fairly irresponsible. In addition, the equations of domestic violence with male violence with father violence certainly must bias custody disputes (see, for example, Peled & Davis, 1995). No analogue could be found concerning the children of battered men. If the mother is, at least, as dangerous to the child as is the father, then automatically granting custody of the child to the mother must be placing some non-trivial percentage of children at increased levels of physical harm and neglect from their mothers. If there is violence in the home, then the data indicate that the mother is, in fact, as much a danger to the child as is the father. Any assumption that a home with violence is a home with father violence and, hence, the child must be transferred to the mother, given the data, is once again flirting with the irresponsible. A second work, Ending the Cycle of Violence: Community Responses to Children of Battered Women (Peled, Jaffe, & Edleson, 1995), tacitly assumes that cyclical violence only occurs if the mother is assaulted. If this mind-set is shared with social and political powers within any jurisdiction, then those children whose fathers are assaulted by violent mothers would simply be ignored. Such children, nearly with the power of a definition, would not exist, and subsequent efforts to prevent or reduce these children's victimization would not be forthcoming.

It may be noted that the National Institute of Justice put out a report (Whitcomb, 1992) that dealt with false allegations. In the report we find:
 The most comprehensive of these studies (upon the validity of allegations)
 analyzed all reports of suspected sexual abuse filed with the Denver
 Department of Social Services (DSS) during 1983. All 576 reports had been
 investigated by the DSS Sexual Abuse Team and designated either "founded"
 (53%) or "unfounded" (47%). (p. 6)


Accordingly, nearly half of the allegations were not substantiated. Again, if the premise is that domestic violence is equated with male violence (and fathers and non-fathers are collapsed into the category of "Male"), then allegations, however fabricated, would be more assumed to be valid.

CONCLUSION

The argument presented here makes three points. First, domestic violence is much more gender isomorphic than general violence within the community at large (and such data have been known for decades). Second, all males within the home are not equal. Husbands are not the same as boyfriends. Fathers are not the same as adjunct boyfriends or stepfathers. Third, any unchallenged imagery of the equations of U. S. domestic violence with male violence and, in turn, with father/husband violence creates unnecessary problems for fathers, for husbands, and for the integrity of the scientific enterprise, and, not inconsequentially, will expose some U.S. children to unnecessary levels of risk to mind and body.

Correspondence concerning this article should be sent to Wade C. Mackey, Townshire Manor, Apt. #6, 401 Lake Street, Bryan, TX 77801 or waddmac@aol.com.

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Nancy S. Coney, M.S.W., is a professor at Western Illinois University and is interested in both the clinical and nonclinical aspects of women's and men's psychology, especially within the context of family dynamics. (mfnsc@wiu.edu)

Wade C. Mackey, Ph.D., teaches at Tomball College and is interested in biocultural anthropology. He has authored two books on fathering based on his fieldwork from 23 different (sub)cultures, Fathering Behaviors (Plenum, 1985) and The American Father (Plenum, 1996), and has co-authored a book with Nancy S. Coney on the evolution of the female psyche. (waddmac@aol.com)

NANCY S. CONEY Department of Social Work Western Illinois University Macomb, Illinois

AND

WADE C. MACKEY Department of Anthropology Tomball College Bryan, Texas3
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Author:CONEY, NANCY S.; MACKEY, WADE C.
Publication:The Journal of Men's Studies
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