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Guys, Gangs, and Girlfriend Abuse

Guys, Gangs, and Girlfriend Abuse

Mark D. Totten
Copyright Date: 2000
Pages: 239
  • Book Info
    Guys, Gangs, and Girlfriend Abuse
    Book Description:

    This groundbreaking study explores how marginal male youth make sense of their physical, sexual, and emotional violence towards those they claim to love.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-0265-6
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. 1-6)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. 7-8)
  3. acknowledgements
    (pp. 9-10)
  4. introduction
    (pp. 11-24)

    She’s pissed me off, and she won’t stop. I’ve grabbed her arm, squeezed her, and slapped her. I’ve punched her after she put me down in front of my friends. My ex-girlfriend used to cry after we had fights. I had to punch her to get her to stop…. I mean, when she nags me for nothing, I’ll tell her to “Shut up bitch,” or I’ll call her a slut…. Almost every week I’ll say to her “Stop it or I’ll hit you.” I punch her in the arm or the leg – not in her face. I’ll never punch...

  5. one A Theoretical Survey: The Study of Male Violence
    (pp. 25-44)

    Although the academic study of male violence and male violence against women includes very little research on the specific topic of girlfriend abuse, it does have some bearing on the subject. This chapter briefly examines the wide range of literature and theoretical work related to familial patriarchal ideology, masculine identity, and male youth involvement in peer groups/gangs, drawing attention to the relationship between these key concepts and violent marginal males. These theories point to the need to explore the development and impact of familial and gender ideologies on marginal male youth. While families and male peer groups/gangs are two primary...

  6. two Laying the Foundations: The Screening Interviews
    (pp. 45-64)

    The screening interviews yielded valuable data on the manner in which young abusers presented their behaviour. Their accounts were socially constructed, replete with a complex mixture of excuses, denial, and justifications. The quantitative methodology used to gather information helped to develop, evaluate, and confirm the semi-structured questions to be used in the in-depth interviews; made it possible to test the key concepts with pre-constructed scales; led to the exploration of familial and gender ideologies in two sites of ideological influence (the home and peer groups/gangs); produced a sample of thirty marginal, abusive male youth for the in-depth interviews; and defined...

  7. three At Home: Learning Familial and Gender Ideologies
    (pp. 65-118)

    All of the 30 in-depth interview participants reported physically and/or sexually and emotionally abusive behaviour. Twelve of them were in a current relationship with a girlfriend. None was in counselling for abusive behaviour at the time, nor had they ever participated in such counselling.

    I encountered numerous difficulties attempting to find those participants who were not living at home. However, through word of mouth at YSB’s Drop-In Centres, a youth shelter, and the Boys and Girls Club, I was able to eventually reconnect with them. An additional point of difficulty arose when I had to reject 10 young men because...

  8. four On the Street: Developing Familial and Gender Ideologies
    (pp. 119-156)

    This chapter explores the common experience of the participants of developing familial and gender ideologies outside of their homes, and analyzes the methods by which they coped with challenges to their masculine identities. We will examine the participants’ fears and anxieties about their own masculine identities, the common ways in which they negotiated these identities, and why they abandoned their biological families for a sense of belonging, status, and acceptance in male peer groups/gangs, which they defined as their “new” families.

    In the previous chapter, we saw that participants’ familial and gender beliefs provided them with a common lens through...

  9. five In the Gang: Consolidating Familial and Gender Ideologies
    (pp. 157-178)

    The interview participants who most rigidly adhered to a patriarchal-authoritarian model of family and gender were most likely to commit the most severe harm to girlfriends, racial and sexual minorities (gay and bisexual youth, and youth questioning their sexual orientation), and to themselves. Many of them were involved in group/gang activities, which had an impact on girlfriend abuse. In this chapter, we will look at the socialization into the group/gang, including familial patriarchal values and support for abusive behaviour, then explore the common ways in which many of the participants engaged in group/gang assaults on females and on males they...

  10. conclusion. Summary of Findings and Directions for Future Research and Policy Initiatives
    (pp. 179-204)

    This project was undertaken with the objective of addressing some of the limitations of existing studies on girlfriend abuse, which rely mainly upon the reports of females who have been victimized by males. The collection of incidence and prevalence data has been their main goal. There are no qualitative, in-depth interviews with abusive male youth. In particular, the intentions, meanings, and motives of abusive male youth, from their perspective, are not researched.¹ To remedy this gap, this study asked abusive male youth why they do what they do and what their behaviour means.

    The purpose of this research was to...

  11. appendix a. Screening Interview Questions
    (pp. 205-216)
  12. appendix b. In-Depth Interview Questions
    (pp. 217-220)
  13. references
    (pp. 221-239)