Sex Roles

, Volume 35, Issue 7–8, pp 507–519 | Cite as

Domestic violence, gender, and perceptions of justice

  • N. T. Feather
Brief Report

Abstract

This study investigated reactions to a hypothetical scenario describing a domestic dispute that ended in violence. In the scenario either the husband or the wife was the perpetrator of the physical violence, the violence either occurred under stress or after deliberation, and the perpetrator was subsequently jailed for 2 years. Results from 220 participants (109 males, 111 females) from metropolitan Adelaide, South Australia, showed significant main effects of stimulus person. Participants were more negative to the husband than to the wife in regard to responsibility for the offense, deservingness of the penalty, seriousness of the offense, perceived harshness of the penalty, reported positive affect, and reported sympathy. These main effects were qualified by interaction effects involving stimulus person (husband, wife) and situation (stress, deliberation), and stimulus person and gender of participant. The results suggested that there were different patterns of belief about the dynamics of domestic violence as well as a degree of in-group or same gender favoritism when female participants responded to the scenario involving the wife.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Dutton, D. G. (1992). Theoretical and empirical perspectives on the etiology and prevention of wife assault. In R. De V. Peters, R. J. McMahon, & V. L. Quinsey (Eds.),Aggression and violence throughout the life span. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  2. Dutton, D. G. (1995).The domestic assault of women: Psychological and criminal justice perspectives. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press.Google Scholar
  3. Eagly, A. H., & Steffen, V. J. (1986). Gender and aggressive behavior: A meta-analytic review of the social psychological literature.Psychological Bulletin, 100 309–330.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Feather, N. T. (1990). Reactions to equal reward allocations: Effects of situation, gender, and values.British Journal of Social Psychology, 29 315–329.Google Scholar
  5. Feather, N. T. (1996). Reactions to penalties for an offense in relation to authoritarianism, values, perceived responsibility, perceived seriousness, and deservingness.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 571–587.Google Scholar
  6. Frieze, I. (1979). Perceptions of battered wives. In I. H. Frieze, D. Bar-Tal, & J. S. Carroll (Eds.),New approaches to social problems: Applications of attribution theory. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  7. Gerber, G. L. (1991). Gender stereotypes and power: Perceptions of roles in violent marriages.Sex Roles, 24 439–458.Google Scholar
  8. Greene, E., Raitz, A., & Lindblad, H. (1989). Juror's knowledge of battered women.Journal of Family Violence, 4 105–125.Google Scholar
  9. Ho, R., & Venus, M. (1995). Reactions to a battered woman who kills her abused spouse: An attributional analysis.Australian Journal of Psychology, 47 153–159.Google Scholar
  10. Hogg, M. A., & Abrams, D. (1988).Social identifications: A social psychology of intergroup relations and group process. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  11. Hogg, M. A., & Turner, J. C. (1987). Intergroup behavior, self-stereotyping and the salience of social categories.British Journal of Social Psychology, 26 325–340.Google Scholar
  12. Kristiansen, C. M., & Guilietti, R. (1990). Perceptions of wife abuse: Effects of gender, attitudes toward women, and just-world beliefs among college students.Psychology of Women Quarterly, 14 177–189.Google Scholar
  13. Lagerspetz, K. M., Bjorkqvist, K., & Peltonen, T. (1988). Is indirect aggression typical of females? Gender differences in aggressiveness in 11 to 12 year old children.Aggressive Behavior, 14 403–414.Google Scholar
  14. Oakes, P. J., Haslam, S. A., & Turner, J. C.Stereotyping and social reality. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  15. Pierce, M. C., & Harris, R. J. (1993). The effect of provocation, race, and injury description on men's and women's perception of a wife-battering incident.Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 23 767–790.Google Scholar
  16. Pierce, M. C., & Harris, R. J. (1994). Attributions about spouse abuse: It matters who the batterers and victims are.Sex Roles, 30 553–565.Google Scholar
  17. Salvia, J., & Ysseldyke, J. E. (1978).Assessment in special and remedial education. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.Google Scholar
  18. Saunders, D. G., Lynch, A. B., Grayson, M., & Linz, D. (1987). The inventory of beliefs about wife beating: The construction and initial validation of a measure of beliefs and attitudes.Violence and Victims, 2 39–57.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Saunders, D. G. (1988). Wife abuse, husband abuse, or mutual combat? A feminist perspective on the empirical findings. In K. Yllo & M. Bograd (Eds.),Feminist perspectives on wife abuse. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  20. Shaver, K. G. (1970). Defensive attribution: Effects of severity and relevance on the responsibility assigned for an accident.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 14 101–113.Google Scholar
  21. Shaver, K. G. (1985).The attribution of blame: Causality, responsibility, and blameworthiness. New York: Springer-Verlag.Google Scholar
  22. Summers, G., & Feldman, N. S. (1984). Blaming the victim versus blaming the perpetrator: An attributional analysis of spouse abuse.Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 2 339–347.Google Scholar
  23. Tajfel, H., & Turner, J. C. (1986). The social identity theory of intergroup behavior. In S. Worchel & W. G. Austin (Eds.).Psychology in intergroup relations (2nd ed.) Chicago: Nelson-Hall.Google Scholar
  24. Turner, J. C., Hogg, M. A., Oakes, P. J., Reicher, S. D., & Wetherell, M. S. (1987),Rediscovering the social group: A self-categorization theory. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.Google Scholar
  25. Walker, L. E. (1984).The battered woman syndrome. New York: Springer.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. T. Feather
    • 1
  1. 1.School of PsychologyThe Flinders University of South AustraliaAdelaideAustralia

Personalised recommendations