Domestic Violence, based on typical legal definition, encompasses psychological, sexual, physical, and verbal actions of an individual against his or her partner (Pournaghash-Tehrani and Feizabadi, 2007). The prevalence of these kinds of abuses has propelled the civic group to clamor from the government for the victims’ legal protection and preservation of rights. Said Pournaghash-Tehrani and Zahra Feizabadi as members of Department of Psychology and Institute of Psychology respectively in the University of Tehran in Iran are both expected to be highly adept in the field of applied psychology.
Their study entitled “Comparing Demographic Characteristics of Male Victims of Domestic Violence” is one of the spirit-awakening researches in terms of domestic violence. It draws out attention on the issue of domestic violence where the typical scenario females are abused while males are the perpetrators. The stereotype of domestic violence has treated it as entirely women’s issue for a long time (Pournaghash-Tehrani and Feizabadi, 2007). Thus, most countries have a definite law concerning violence against women.
However, through the efforts of civil groups and social scientists, gender symmetry movement on domestic violence has made a notion that males are victims of domestic violence at least as often as women. Meanwhile, the work of Pournaghash-Tehrani and Feizabadi, as acknowledged by the Asian Network for Scientific Information in 2007, was published in the fourteenth of the seventh volume of Journal of Applied Sciences. Their study revealed that male victims of domestic violence are not only limited in the United States but are also observed in the Asian region.
Goal and Hypothesis Based on the studies conducted on the Western countries revealing the capacity of women to commit violence against their male partners, Pournaghash-Tehrani and Feizabadi aimed to focus on the socio-demographic attributes of the male victims of domestic violence. Thus, they intended to find out the relationship of the domestic violence experience of male victims with respect to their age, educational attainment, and income level; the possible interaction among age, educational attainment, income level, and domestic violence experience of the male victims.
Specifically, their study sought answers to the following questions: do the male victims have differences in physical violence experiences with respect to age, educational attainment, and income level? ; and do the male victims have differences in psychological violence experiences with respect to age, educational attainment, and income level? ; is the interaction between age and educational attainment, age and income level, educational attainment and income level, and among age, educational attainment and age, income level significant with physical violence experiences?
; and is the interaction between age and educational attainment, age and income level, educational attainment and income level, and among age, educational attainment and age, income level significant with psychological violence experiences? Literature Review The preponderance of domestic violence, in any form, across cultures gave impetus for the creation of legal policies for its prevention, efficient prosecution of the perpetrators, and effective programs of advocacy for the victims.
However, legal advocacies are only focused on women for men are typically perceived as the doers of domestic violence (Pournaghash-Tehrani and Feizabadi, 2007). In this connection, studies accounted the significant correlation of socio-demographic factors such as age, educational attainment, income level, socio-economic status, and substance abuse with the occurrence of domestic violence (Pournaghash-Tehrani and Feizabadi, 2007). Meanwhile, as revealed by contemporary researches conducted in the United States and Great Britain, men are also victims of domestic violence at least as often as women.
In fact, based on statistical reports in Western countries, about 20% to 30% of domestic violence like punching, throwing objects, biting, slapping an biting are done by women towards their male partners (Pournaghash-Tehrani and Feizabadi, 2007). Moreover, the meta-analysis conducted by Archer in 2000 and 2002 on eighty five marital conflict studies divulged that women have higher tendency for physical violence due to stress levels than men (Pournaghash-Tehrani and Feizabadi, 2007).
Aside from physical violence, women are also capable of psychological violence through oral arguments towards their husbands. Further, Hindin and Adair in 2002, Jeyaseelan et al. in 2004, and Perez et al. in 2006, exposed that regardless of gender, low level of education contributes to the occurrence of domestic violence in marital relations (Pournaghash-Tehrani and Feizabadi, 2007). Also, Jeyaseelan et al. argued that even though domestic violence is not limited to a particular social class, it is of frequent occurrence among the poor (Pournaghash-Tehrani and Feizabadi, 2007).
On the other hand, Perez et al. reported that incidences of domestic violence are more often to take place in young couples than in older couples (Pournaghash-Tehrani and Feizabadi, 2007). The inevitable fact that women are also perpetrators of physical or psychological violence led to growing consciousness in supporting the notion of gender symmetry in domestic violence through intensive researches. Since most studies are done on behalf of female victims, socio-demographic attributes of male victims need to be further investigated.
As such, the characteristics of male victims susceptible to domestic violence and its implications can deeply be explored. Materials and Methods An author-made questionnaire was utilized as instrument in the determination of domestic violence. The instrument has thirteen and twenty four items for the evaluation of psychological and physical violence respectively. Each item was formulated based on the available literature in the assessment of violence. Also, each item was rated based on five-point Likert-type scale.
In line with this, the validity of the instrument was evaluated by co-administering with the Conflict Tactic Scale in a hundred of couples. The correlation computed between the two instrument was +0. 89 indicating the high validity of the author-made questionnaire (Pournaghash-Tehrani and Feizabadi, 2007). On the other hand, the measured Cronbach’s Alpha for the consistency of the devised instrument was +0. 81 (Pournaghash-Tehrani and Feizabadi, 2007). In 2006, the devised instrument was administered to one hundred twenty male victims of domestic violence from four family courts in Iran (Pournaghash-Tehrani and Feizabadi, 2007).
The subjects were randomly and voluntarily selected, and were informed that they are free to move out from the study anytime they want. They were also oriented on the purpose of the study and that any information will be treated with high regards of confidentiality. Then multivariate analysis of variance or MANOVA and Scheffe test were employed to assess the effects of socio-demographic factors and their interactions to the incidence of physical and psychological violence. Results and Discussion Repondents
From twenty five to eighty years old was the age range of the samples wherein among them 40% has education above high school diploma, 25% earned less than high school diploma, 20% earned above high school diploma, and 15% has a high school diploma. In terms of monthly income, 30% has above $590, 35% has $160-$380, 29% has $380-$590, and 6% has below $160 salary. Age and Domestic Violence It was found that age has a significant effect on the incidence of physical violence. As showed by the Scheffe test, men of ages thirty five to fifty have the highest rate of physical violence experience.
In terms of psychological violence, age has significance in the incidence of denying choices and cutting off marital intercourse. Additionally, based on Scheffe test cessation of marital intercourse was mainly observed among thirty five to fifty years old men while denying choices was mainly observed among men of sixty five to eighty years of ages. Educational Attainment and Domestic Violence Based on MANOVA, educational attainment has significant effect on throwing of objects. Through Scheffe test, it was found that men with Bachelor’s degree were most often victimized by object thrown.
In terms of psychological violence, educational attainment has significance on the incidence of denying choices, cessation of marital intercourse, and devaluation of work. As the Scheffed test showed, denying of choices was much observed in men with Bachelor’s degree while cessation of marital status was mainly observed to men with low educational attainment. Also, devaluation of work was commonly observed among men with diploma. Level of Income, Interactive Effects and Domestic Violence
Although the study failed to prove any connection between domestic violence and level of income, the interactive effects of age, educational attainment, and income level have significance with the incidence of hitting. The Scheffe test showed that physical violence was generally experienced by thirty five to fifty years old men with Master’s level of education, and above $590 monthly income. With regards to psychological violence, the interactive effects of age and educational attainment were significant to denying choices. This type of physical violence was mainly observed in men with bachelor’s degree and of above sixty years of age.
Moreover, the interactive effects of age and level of income has significance with the incidence of forced household chores task, devaluation of work, and denying choices. The study revealed that: forced household chores task was mostly observed in men with $380 to $590 monthly income within thirty five to fifty years old range; devaluation of work was mainly observe in men with the ages twenty to thirty five years old earning $380 to $590 per month; and denying choices was observed prevalently in men of fifty to sixty five years of ages earning $160 to $380 monthly.
Meanwhile, the interactive effects of age, educational attainment, and income level were significant with forced household chores task. This relationship was mainly observed among men with Bachelor’s degrees, of thirty five to fifty ages, and earning $380-$590 monthly. Analysis Even though this study is unique and very revealing in the sense that this was the first research conducted in Iran with respect to the domestic violence committed by women towards their respective partners, there are also weaknesses and limitations.
First, the validity and consistency of the author-made questionnaire as the singly instrument utilized to measure the presence and extent of domestic violence is of great question. The validity and consistency of the author-made questionnaire were based solely on the validity and consistency correlations with the Conflict Tactic Scale which is commonly used in the assessment of domestic violence against women.
In addition, there are other instruments available for the evaluation of domestic violence such as the Partner-Abused Scale, Abusive Behavior Inventory, and Index of Marital Satisfaction. The validity, reliability, and consistency of these instruments have been verified and established for a long time. Since these available instruments on violence are typically used for the assessment of violence against women, it is then invalid to construct an instrument specific for male victims based only on one of these instruments.
Thus, there was a possible bias on the construction of the instrument utilized in this study that probably served as source of error in data collection. Furthermore, the Conflict Tactic Scale which is the solely basis of the author-made questionnaire was tested primarily through the researches conductive in the Western and in some European Countries, hence, cultural differences may possibly serve as interference in the study.
Even though domestic violence is ubiquitous across cultures, but cultural factors may influence socio-demographic attributes of the subjects of the study. As such, the validity and reliability of a particular instrument in a specific nation may not hold true for another country. In this line of reasoning, the correlations revealed by this research on socio-demographic characteristics and domestic violence on men may only be valid and reliable with respect to the populations of their own country.
Although the results seemed to be comparable with the results of studies conducted in different countries, the authors failed to discuss crucial aspects of those studies in relation to their study like the instrument used and statistical treatment applied. Result comparison among conducted researches with different research design and methodology would result to bias generalization. In fact, in meta-analysis or the integration of the results of several studies, only researches with logically designed methodology and with validated data are included in order to derive a valid generalization (Wolf, 1986).
Similarly, by comparing the results of this study with other researches of different research designs so as to make it credible would lead to erroneous generalization. References Pournaghash-Tehrani, S. and Feizabadi, Z. (2007). Comparing Demographic Characteristics of Male Victims of Domestic Violence. Journal of Applied Science, 7(14): 1930-1935. Wolf, F. M. (1986). Meta-Analysis: Quantitative Methods for Research Synthesis. Michigan: Sage Publication.