Characteristics of male batterers and substance abusers: the relationship between sex role attitudes and the approval and severity of the use of physical force by men in a family context

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Virginia Tech


Purpose. This study examined the link between sex-role stereotyping and male violence to provide an empirical base for the development of an appropriate predictive model of marital violence and to improve treatment provided to this population. Method. The sample of study included 44 men participating in programs for batterers and 71 men in programs for substance abusers. Subjects were compared according to approval and severity of use of physical violence, childhood history of violence, level of alcohol use, and sex-role attitudes. Results. Results of the study indicated that level of sex-role egalitarianism was not significantly related to use of marital violence. However, level of violence in childhood, level of alcohol abuse and level of approval of marital violence were related to the use of violence by men in a family context.

Statistical analysis of the data revealed no significant differences between the batterers and substance abusers on the level of sex-role egalitarianism, the level of violence in childhood, nor on the level of approval of marital violence. Significant differences were revealed between the groups on their level of the use of alcohol. Similarities between the two groups suggest joint treatment potential.