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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Intimate partner violence typologies : a cross-national comparison Templeton, Laura Jean


Family violence theory and feminist theory represent sociological explanations of violence against women. The former proposes that violence in intimate partner relationships is gender symmetric with minor violence routinely precipitating. Alternatively feminist theory suggests that women are subject to patriarchal control and severe violence by male partners. Johnson (1995) suggests that due to methodological differences, both explanatory models are possible, respectively supporting two intimate partner violence typologies: situational couple violence and intimate terrorism. Using Yllō's (1983) model, the current study proposes that regional status of women may be used to explain Johnson's (1995) intimate partner violence typologies. Y116 (1983) reports that as regions become more egalitarian a curvilinear pattern for male perpetration becomes evident, while female perpetration is best described as a direct relationship. Building on these results this study proposes that regions ranked as patriarchal will have higher rates of intimate terrorism, a gender asymmetric typology. Contrarily, egalitarian regions are hypothesized to have higher rates of the gender symmetric distinction situational couple violence. Combining International Dating Violence Study data with United Nations, Statistics Canada and Institute for Women's Policy Research data, study hypotheses were tested using a cross-national comparison. The Conflict Tactics Scales and Personal and Relationships Profile offered measures of interpersonal violence and control. Status of women measures developed in the current study focused on women's political, educational and economic representation compared to men as well as reproductive control. Twenty-nine regions were analyzed, representing over 9,000 individual responses. Data analysis involved OLS regression with per capita gross domestic product included as a control. Regional status of women successfully explains Johnson's (1995) typologies. The current study provides support for feminist theory, demonstrating that regions characterized as patriarchal are associated with men's use of control tactics and severe violence against women. Use of family violence theory to explain violence in egalitarian regions is also supported. Additionally, the current study sheds light upon the backlash hypothesis suggesting that future initiatives distinguish between patriarchal, transitioning and transitioned regions. It is suggested that future projects build upon the current results by studying the impact feminist and antifeminist movements have upon men's and women's use of violence in intimate relationships.

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