Thursday, October 20, 2005

Abused Boys

When I first was looking at this article, it was kinda another study in a long line of abuse studies....big ho-hum.
Abused Boys Become Abusive Men

The study of 197 men, aged 18 to 49, living in areas of Philadelphia with high rates of domestic violence found that a history of childhood physical abuse may be more common in men from cities, and that men who were physically abused as youngsters are more likely to commit domestic violence.
As the title implies the study focuses on the association between male childhood abuse and ultimately becoming a perpetrator of domestic violence.

The study goes on to note what is defined as abuse:
Of the men in the study, 51 percent had experienced some form of childhood physical abuse. The mean age of the start of that abuse was 8 years old and the mean age at the end of the abuse was 14 years old. The abuse included being kicked, hit with an object, choked, burned, bit, scalded or punched.
Some pretty nasty stuff that goes well beyond what most parents would consider appropriate discipline. The criteria certainly seems reasonable enough. And like other studies of this type, it's clear that childhood abuse is an association with domestic abuse, not a condemnation, which is consistent with my experience.

However, what I found this tidbit tucked into the study fasinating:
Approximately 75 percent of that abuse was perpetrated by parents -- most often mothers -- while the remainder was committed by extended family members and non-family members.
What? No surprise that abuse comes mostly from parents. But the abuse perpetrated against boys occurs mostly by mothers? This is news to me and certainly wasn't my clinical experience. And I'm very curious to see the data.

If true, I can think of a number of questions. Who is the predominate violent abuser of girls? Is domestic violence simply an acting out of a childhood script...a woman abused by her father, a man who is getting even with his mother?

The implications here are enormous, offering a large window of opportunity for women to improve their power stance in society by using effective power/parenting with their sons, thus helping other women.

4 Comments:

At 1:13 PM, Blogger Lynne said...

When you consider how many single parent, poor households there are, it really isn't surprising that a mother would lash out at a child. Not excusing it, just saying....
I'm also guessing girls are abused by mothers as much as boys for the same reason. Girls don't grow up to be physical abusers, they just seem to gravitate toward partners who do the abusing.

Since girls are not pounded with the 'be a good girl' message quite as much we are beginning to see them react with physical violence almost on a par with males. Hence the rise of people like the Florida serial killer (can't spell her name)

No training, just an observation.

 
At 1:25 PM, Blogger Marla said...

That's a very GOOD observation, Lynne. and it's Aileen Wournos. (I watch entirely too much Court TV and A & E!)

but, like I always say "You gotta have a license to drive, but any asshole can have a kid."

It's very, very sad. Kids shouldn't have to live in fear...especially in their own homes.

 
At 3:15 PM, Blogger Greyhair said...

Well, I gotta tell ya. My clinical experience was that father's were the abusers...maybe 70-80% men. The typical scenario was an abusive father and a mother who failed to protect. Which is why I'm so surprised by this.

 
At 9:29 AM, Blogger Mr. P. said...

Marla, I was going to say there is absolutely no comparison here between driving and being a parent,

But there is!
They can take away your driver's license and they can take away your kids.

 

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