There are many theoretical models that have attempted to explain the origin and/or maintenance of violence against women in an intimate relationship..
Next, we will review some of the models that attempt to explain gender-based violence in terms of origin or etiology. That is, we will try to answer the question of why this happens or what causes it.
Theories on the causes of gender-based violence in the couple
In addition to the theories we will see here, there are others that help us understand other aspects of gender-based violence, such as those that focus on emotional dependency, or models that explain why women continue in relationships. However, in this article we will focus on three theories or models that attempt to explain the origin of this type of violence.
Theory of intergenerational transmission of violence
This theory asserts that violence is a learned behavior, through direct experience and/or observation of the behavior of others.
From there, he seeks to establish a relationship between a previous history of domestic violence and becoming a victim and/or an aggressor in the future. According to this theory, Boys and girls learn from their guardians that violence or aggression is an appropriate way to solve problems.
Critics of this theory argue that this theory is insufficient to explain the phenomenon of violence against women because not all people who are abused in childhood become abusers in adulthood.
The research results are conflicting, which likely shows that other factors not considered in this theory are at play.
Domestic Violence Interactive Model
This model is based on the idea that gender-based violence is a problem caused by multiple factors of different nature.. The factors proposed by its authors are as follows:
- Family and individual vulnerability factors: these factors refer to socialization experiences characterized by exposure to violence, individual characteristics and nuclear family characteristics (mainly relationship quality).
- Stressors: these can be of a maturing nature (such as pregnancy or the birth of a child), unpredictable stress (such as unemployment or chronic illness) and the triggering events, which are the excuse given by the abuser to his violent behavior. behviour.
- Individual, family and social resources to cope with vulnerabilities and stress: economic well-being, level of education, state of health, personality traits, family cohesion, clear and open communication, power relations between the members of the couple , social isolation… All of these are important factors.
- The socio-cultural context in which these factors exist: this is the set of values and norms shared by families of the same community and culture. Most relevant in terms of gender-based violence are the acceptance of violence and the subordinate status of women in some cultures.
Feminist theory proposes that many social norms are androcentric or exclusivebecause the perspectives of women and other less powerful groups have historically been ignored or excluded from public spaces.
The feminist model challenges the rights and privileges of men over women, as well as the traditional idea that violence against women is a private matter of the family. defend the idea that the personal is political.
Another dimension that feminist theory is concerned with studying is the conflict of gender roles. This dimension explores the influence of normative behaviors associated with gender. Gender role conflict is the phenomenon that occurs when rigid, sexist, or restrictive gender roles, learned through socialization, result in the restriction, devaluation, or violation of oneself or others.
feminist theory clarifies the influence of gender factors and the balance of power in abusive relationships. However, it alone cannot explain the mechanisms by which gender contributes to the structuring and functioning of violent relationships.
As a conclusion…
As seen throughout the article, several authors have attempted to explain the origin of domestic violence through various theoretical models. Although all proposed models have scientific evidence of their validity, they alone are not able to explain all aspects of gender-based violence.
This is probably due to the fact that gender-based violence is a complex phenomenon, the origin of which involves personal, social and cultural factors. For this reason, it is necessary to combine the different theories proposedas these are not mutually exclusive, but complement each other in an attempt to explain this multicausal phenomenon.