Domestic violence, gender, and perceptions of justice

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.

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Correspondence to N. T. Feather.

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I am indebted to the Australian Research Council for funding this research.

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Feather, N.T. Domestic violence, gender, and perceptions of justice. Sex Roles 35, 507–519 (1996). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01544134

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Keywords

  • Interaction Effect
  • Social Psychology
  • Positive Affect
  • Domestic Violence
  • Female Participant