Wife Battering and the
of Gender Roles:
One of the puzzling aspects of the battered-wife/abusive-husband situation is that the woman stays in the relationship, sometimes for many years. She stays even though she is physically damaged, humiliated, devalued, subjugated, placed in the role of helpless victim, and her psychological adult development is retarded or stopped. As research data indicate (e.g., Rounsaville, Lifton, and Bieber 1977), the husband is often controlling, possessive, jealous, restrictive. The women themselves are often puzzled as to why they remain. They may arrive at rationalizations of dubious plausibility, or they may cite their fear of the husbands' retaliation if they leave (Martin 1976).
A woman's remaining in such a relationship has been explained from a social perspective by her lack of resources and options and of