Sociological Forum

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 91–116 | Cite as

The Normative Protection of Women from Violence

  • Richard B. Felson


The literature on the relationship between violence against women and a norm protecting women (NPW) is reviewed. I suggest that the effects of the NPW are suppressed because violence against women tends to occur in intimate relations and such disputes tend to be kept private. The offsetting effects of NPW and intimacy (or relational distance) are demonstrated in a study of 384 self-reported violent disputes. In support of an NPW effect, I find that disputes are more likely to be reported to the police if an attack on a woman is witnessed by third parties. This gender effect is offset by the fact that disputes between intimates tend to be concealed from the police and from witnesses.

violence against women norm protecting women intimacy relational distance violent disputes chivalry 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard B. Felson
    • 1
  1. 1.The Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity Park

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