Archive for the ‘Gender & Sexuality’ Category

Threat of separation often the trigger for murder of collaterals such as children related to intimate partner conflict

October 26, 2012

Who died? The murder of collaterals related to intimate partner conflict

From Violence Against Women

Over recent years it has seemed far more common to read news headlines about collateral murders associated with intimate partner conflict, particularly a saddening trend of males killing their children and then committing suicide following partner conflict. Using data from the Murder in Britain Study, the authors of this paper focus on collateral murders including children, allies, and new partners. The research focuses on these three types of Intimate Partner Conflict Murders (IPCMs) and compare them to cases in which only the intimate partner was murdered. Qualitative data provide a characterization of the three types of collaterals, and quantitative data are used to compare characteristics of perpetrators. Unlike the other two collateral types, most of the child murders involved previous violence to the victim. In many cases the dynamics of child murder involved notions of sexual jealousy as the perpetrator targeted for violent abuse and eventually killed the child of a previous partner of the woman. The study suggests that for intimate partner murders as well as the collateral murder of allies and new partners, separation or threat of separation was often associated with a dynamic process in which the man “changed the project” from one oftrying to cajole or force his partner to remain/return to him to one directed at revenge, punishment, and annihilation for not doing so. Various disciplinary approaches are reflected in the research design, data collection, findings, and conclusions. The results have important implications for research, policy, and practice.


When battered women fight back stereotyping can kick in

September 18, 2012

But most of all, they fought together’: Judicial attributions for sentences in convicting battered women who kill

Psychology of Women Quarterly

The topic of domestic abuse remains a controversial issue when it comes to determining punishment for battered women who use violence towards their partner. According to this study battered women who are seen as engaging in mutual violence and shared substance abuse are often regarded negatively and subject to harsher sentences.

The author analyzed the reasoning underlying judges’ sentencing decisions in 26 domestic homicide and abuse cases from 1974-2006 in Canada. She found that a judge’s reliance on each line of reasoning was associated with harsher sentencing. She also identified one judge who demonstrated resistance to these stereotyped portrayals of battered women who fight back. “Judges downgraded acts of previous partner violence by using minimizing descriptions and by emphasizing the mutuality of the violence and of substance abuse,” wrote the author. She asserted that legal systems need to recognize the complex psychological nature of victim mentality and behavior within domestic abuse cases.


Sex-related literature jeopardizes and empowers young women’s sexuality

September 11, 2012

Striving for pleasure without fear: Short-term effects of reading a women’s magazine on women’s sexual attitudes

From Psychology of Women Quarterly 

The outstanding global success of ‘50 Shades Of Grey’ by E. L. James seems to have prompted the abundance of erotic novels on the market and storming the charts. At the moment 8 out of the top 10 bestselling fictional books in the UK are works of erotica. The boom of ‘mummy porn’ has no doubt encouraged speculation about the effects the popularity may have on attitudes and behavior. While the effects of sexualized media on young women has long been debated, this study finds that women who read sex-related magazine articles from popular women’s magazines like Cosmopolitan are less likely to view premarital sex as a risky behavior. Additionally, the women who are exposed to these articles are more supportive of sexual behavior that both empowers women and prioritizes their own sexual pleasure. The article concludes  “Our results suggest that the complex and sometimes conflicting representations of female sexuality proliferating in the mass media and popular culture could potentially have both empowering and problematic effects on women’s developing sexual identities.”


New study finds clients want real love from sex workers

August 14, 2012

The Intimacy prism: Emotion management among the clients of escorts

From Men and Masculinities 

While it is commonly believed that men who pay for sex are attempting to avoid emotional commitment, this study finds that men who become regular clients of sex workers often develop feelings of romance and love. “In recent years, we have come to see a gradual normalization of independent escort prostitution, where sexual encounters have come to resemble quasi-dating relationships,” stated the author. “Our study shows that regular clients of a particular sex provider often come to experience feelings of deep affection, which can progress into an authentic love story.”

This study analyzed 2,442 postings on an online discussion board from a sex provider review site where more than a million clients of sex workers read and post about their experiences. Approximately one-third included a discussion about emotional intimacy between sex workers and their clients, many of whom expressed a desire to grow their relationships beyond the physical level in the form of sharing private feelings and mutual love.



A psychological analysis of how mothers construct fathers’ roles in childrearing and childcare

July 31, 2012

‘For me, the children come first’: A discursive psychological analysis of how mothers construct fathers’ roles in childrearing and childcare

From Feminism & Psychology 

Previous western studies have shown the division of domestic childcare work between fathers and mothers to be unequal but not always constructed as unfair. This study recognizes that gendered division of domestic labour persists. The paradox at the heart of this issue is that while both men and women support the idea of equality, they often see the unequal division of labour in their own household as fair.  In the cultural context in which this study is situated (educated, dual-career families in London), men have greater involvement in childcare than before, and most mothers go out to work; however the participants’ discussion around childrearing and childcare reflects some heavily gendered discourses available in society, discourses that help trap women in their existing condition. This study highlights the language mechanisms by which meanings are created, conveyed and negotiated. It represents a glimpse into the wealth of insight that discursive psychology has to offer on gendered power relations and inequality.



Math teachers demonstrate a bias toward white male students

June 19, 2012

Exploring bias in math teachers’ perception of students’ ability by gender and race/ethnicity

From Gender & Society

While theories about race, gender, and math ability among high school students have long been debated, this study found that math teachers are in fact, unjustifiably biased toward their white male students. The researchers analyzed data collected by the National Center of Education Statistics (NCES) that consisted of a nationally representative group of about 15,000 students. Their data also included teacher surveys in which math teachers were asked to offer their personal assessment of individual students.  These  assessments ewith other data about the students such as were compared with their math GPA and their score on a standardized math test in order to determine if the teachers’ perceptions of their students’ abilities matched up with the students’ actual scores. They found that math teachers actually favored black female students, claiming that these students were more successful in their math classes than they actually were. Some explainations offered  for their findings were; since few black females were enrolled in high-level math courses, teachers may have viewed the black female students in their advanced courses as overcoming more to be successful in mathematics, thus illustrating more perseverance and academic potential. Additionally, they explained that teachers may be more sensitive to their own tendencies towards racial bias than gender bias as gender bias may be so socially ingrained that it is harder to notice and therefore harder to resist. The authors conclude that “The occurrence of bias in high school classrooms indicates that cultural expectations likely function to shape interactions and re-create inequality throughout the math pipeline that leads to high-status occupations in related fields of science and technology.”


“Feminizing” middle management in universities

August 16, 2011

“Feminizing” middle management? An inquiry into the gendered subtexts in university department headship

From SAGE Open

This article summarizes a number of issues emerging in a research in progress that is concerned with the analysis of university department headship from a gender perspective. It aims to adopt a cultural approach to the gender–organization relationship, making the gender subtexts in the cultural meanings underpinning life at university departments explicit. In this study 20 women talk about their experience as heads of departments at three different universities in the city ofBarcelona(Spain).

Most of these women depict their headship in terms of housecare and describe their role as managers by fallin back on the image of a housewife. This gender script implies a devaluation of middle management that stands in sharp contrast with images of empowerment and feminine leadership that literature on the topic normally portrays. In fact, most of these women hardly see themselves as leaders—at best, they exercise what might be called a “marginal leadership.”


False rape allegations: centuries of disbelief embedded in institutional cultures and practices

June 2, 2011

The (in)credible words of women: false allegations in European rape research

From Violence Against Women

This research considers the issue of false allegations in rape cases and argues it is important to recognize the ways in which rape law and its interpretation has historically problematized “the words of a woman”. This voice was considered inherently unreliable, hence the need for unique evidentiary rules. Although the explicit discriminatory rules have been removed from the letter of the law in many jurisdictions, the legacies of centuries of disbelief have become embedded into the cultures of Criminal Justice System’s. Institutional cultures and practices, have created a risk of over-identification of false allegations by police and prosecutors. Findings from research in Europe, which showed that the scale of false reporting in rape cases is not higher than for other crimes, were resisted by police and prosecutors demonstrating the contentiousness of not only false allegations but also all allegations of sexual crime. This study concludes by raising the possibility of internationally agreed standards for designating a rape report “false”.


Misogyny in rap music

May 25, 2011

Misogyny in rap music: a content analysis of prevalence and meanings

From Men and Masculinities

Rap music is renowned for being misogynistic, but little research has investigated this dimension of the music. This study assesses the portrayal of women in a representative sample of rap songs, it outlines key themes in this music and considers what specific messages are conveyed. In comparison to other genres rap music stands out for the intensity and graphic nature of its lyrical objectification, exploitation, and victimization of women. This paper argues that changing the portrayal of women within this music requires deeper shifts, altering the conditions under which it is created: socioeconomic disadvantage and associated gender relations in local communities, the material interests of the record industry, and the larger cultural objectification of women and associated norms of hegemonic masculinity.


Sexual violence, social policy and the need to identify sexually positive ways of being a man

February 17, 2011

Invisible men: social reactions to male sexual coercion – bringing men and masculinities into community safety and public policy

From Critical Social Policy 

This paper outlines the gendered nature of sexual violence and considers the social reactions to male sexual violence. It identifies amongst other reactions; moral panics, risk assessments and denial. The paper highlights that acts of sexual coercion are perpetrated by a wide range of people, mostly men or boys, many of whom never come into contact with the criminal justice system. Thus, a policy to alleviate the ‘suffering and distress’ caused by sexual coercion requires more than a focus on the convicted offender. It looks at how the UK government identified aims for its ‘Action plan’ focussing on prevention and victim care and support.  A significant challenge for public policy is how to address the atti­tudes and behaviours of young people towards sex and violence and the social structures that support them. Whilst some policy initiatives could occur within a health framework, it is argued the other area of policy that is possibly most relevant is education. It concludes that an important step in this area is to identify and recognise pro-social and sexually positive ways of being a man.


%d bloggers like this: