Academic journal article The Spanish Journal of Psychology

"Having It All": Women's Perception of Impact of Female Promotion on Threat of Domestic Violence

Academic journal article The Spanish Journal of Psychology

"Having It All": Women's Perception of Impact of Female Promotion on Threat of Domestic Violence

Article excerpt

This study involved 219 women participants. The main aim of the present study is to examine the perceived consequences of a work-related promotion for the female partner in a heterosexual relationship. The impact of the promotion was manipulated - both partners share paid and domestic work, the male partner taking responsibility for all the domestic work - or female partner continuing to do all the domestic work, as well as the male partner's sexist ideology. Finally, the study examined gender ideology of participants. The results showed that participants felt that violence was more likely when the male partner was presented as sexist and that this was due to a perception of threat on the part of the male partner.

Keywords: domestic work, intimate partner violence, sexism, power, threat.

En este estudio participaron 219 mujeres. El objetivo principal del presente estudio es examinar las consecuencias percibidas que el ascenso de la mujer tendría sobre la pareja (heterosexual). Se manipularon las consecuencias del hecho de que la mujer consiguiera un ascenso en el trabajo: los dos miembros de la pareja trabajan fuera de casa y comparten las tareas del hogar, el hombre realizará las tareas domésticas, o la mujer continuará realizando todo el trabajo doméstico; así como la ideología sexista del hombre. Finalmente, el estudio examinó la ideología de género de las participantes. Los resultados mostraron que las participantes pensaban que la probabilidad de violencia era mayor cuando el hombre era presentado como sexista y que esto era debido a la percepción de amenaza por parte del hombre.

Palabras clave: trabajo doméstico, violencia de pareja, sexismo, poder, amenaza.

According to recent reports published by Amnesty International (2007), one in every three women in the world has suffered some kind of violence or abuse. For European women between 16 and 44 years of age, domestic violence is the most frequent cause of injuries and death, outpacing even traffic accidents and cancer. Gender inequalities make women particularly vulnerable to violence within the home and marital relationship.

Explanations of violence against women

Many different explanations have been given to the violent behaviour of men towards women (Anderson, 1997). They have ranged from person-oriented explanations, such as alcohol consumption by men (Sanday, 1990) or pathological jealousy (Sugarman & Hotaling, 1989), to social explanations, such as patriarchy and gender ideology (Dobash & Dobash, 1998; Yllo, 1993) or structural power asymmetry between men and women (Fleury, Sullivan, & Bybee, 2000; Wuest, Ford-Gilboe, Merritt-Gray, & Berman, 2003).

This research is focus in the former categories of causes; adopting a psychosocial analysis that suggests that violence against women lies in the traditional power asymmetries that have characterized relations between men and women (Expósito & Moya, 2005; Pratto & Walker, 2004). Such a power imbalance between men and women has generated not only inequality and gender-based discrimination in the public arena, but also many of the situations of abuse that take place in the private sphere of male-female relations, especially in family relations (Lenton, 1995; Mahlstedt & Welsh, 2005). Some explanations of violence against women suggest that the abuse of women by a current or former male intimate partner may be caused by the perception of loss of control or power by men who believe they should legitimately be in control in an intimate relationship (Dutton, 1988). In relationships in which couples share the power and decision making, levels of violence are lower (Mahalik, Aldarondo, Gilbert-Gokhale, & Shore, 2005). When power and decision making are not shared, significantly greater levels of dating violence take place (Felson & Messner, 2000; Frieze & McHugh, 1992). Abused women themselves report that their husbands have more power than they - the husbands - even realize (Babcock, Waltz, Jacobson, & Gottman, 1993). …

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