SOCY 305- WEEK 10- GABRIELA MONJE

After reading the case study Intimate Partner Violence Against African American Women: An Examination of the socio-cultural context; it first states how there is the most research of intimate partner violence research grounded on the experiences of Caucasian women. This has been neglecting ethnic minority women, whose cultural context has too been ignored. This is because there is a “one-size-fits-all approach to theory and intervention, but it does not capture the experiences faced by African Americans.  In addition, the National Family Violence Survey, the first survey that was used to examine African American women’s experiences of IPV was conducted in 1975. This was the first survey to report on the prevalence and incidence of IPV in the United States. The NFVS used the Violence subscale of the Conflict Tactics Scale, which included “mild” and “severe” violence, to help assess self and partner reported IPV. They used a sample of 2143 American households and they assessed whether this type of social network and levels of IPV differed among racial groups and different social classes. Their sample consisted of 147 African American married couples and 427 randomly selected Caucasian participants that were drawn from a larger sample. The results showed that African American men evidenced a higher rate of severed IPV than Caucasian men. However, when income levels were taken into account, African American men were less likely to have committed IPV than Caucasian men.Furthermore, Social Economic Status (SES) did not appear to play a statistically significant role when it came to the tendency of IPV.

Unfortunately, an African American woman is 1.23 times more likely to experience minor IPV compared to a Caucasian woman and 2.36 times more likely to endure severe IPV than Caucasian women. The NVAWS, or theNational Violence Against Women Survey, was sponsored by the National Institute of Justice and the Centers for Disease Control and prevention; it measures the incidence of sexual assault, IPV, and stalking victimization among a nationally representative sample of both 8000 men and women. This case study was done via telephone survey, researchers administered the CTS to measure IPV victimization, four items from the National Women’s Study to access sexual assault and used the 13-item Power and Control scale. They found comparable rates of sexual assault, IPV, and stalking among African Americans and Caucasian women. Moreover, the strongest indicator of IPV besides race is income. It is critical since race and income are indistinguishably linked.

There is 11% of Caucasian women living in poverty compared to African American women, who comprise of 25%. This shows how it is more likely that African Americans are likely to live under the stress of strain of poverty. In addition, researchers contributed information by talking about the differences in the way African American men are socialized compared to Caucasian men. They first stated how African American men are not taught and do not expect, to be dominant or to be bearers of such power. It is pointed out how there is the large wage gap and extreme differences in socioeconomic and power status among African American men and Caucasian men. More specifically, African American men are socialized differently, such that there is not a large difference in general role socialization within African American families, whereas, there is in Caucasian families. Other factors include, a lack of access to educational, economic, and political resources contributes to a more egalitarian familial role. While on the other hand, others state how African American men and Caucasian are socialized in a similar way. In the way that they are taught to believe men are superior to women, that they are supposed to dominate their female partner. In addition, hypermasculinity is a way to establish or prove manhood and how African American who are confronted by racism and classism may choose to take on hypermasculine roles.

Some macrostructural factors that can contribute to IPV include, living in areas of extreme poverty, communities having more difficulty regulating local crime when they are impacted by ethnic heterogeneity, and the frequent relocation of residents. These structural factors weaken the ability of the community’s informal institutions, which consist of families, schools, and churches to exert control over the members of the community, which furthermore, results in the disintegration of neighborhood organization and the removal of crime. Social disorganization can also negatively impact a community’s sense of collective efficacy or their willingness to intercede for the betterment of the neighborhood in the case that there may be crime. When a community has a low sense of collective efficacy, social control is reduced, and more specifically, IPV may not be actively condemned. Another important topic is internalized racism, it fosters self-dislike on an individual level and discord within the community. This plays a big role in the development of African Americans’ self-esteem. It potentially effects African American families because it is possible that internalized oppression leads to the harming of others, more specifically, African American women. Moreover, in mainstream American culture, African American women are represented as non-feminine, independent, and overpowering. They are often portrayed as being unnaturally powerful, regarding relationships, sex, finances, and physical prowess. These representations have incorrectly lead some social scientists to hold African American women accountable for issues that interrupt the African American community. This includes the downfall of community and family and the “psychological castration” of African American men. This often leads to individuals believing that the female victims provoked their abusers.

The dangers of the stereotype of African American women as “Superwomen,” heighten their risk for and exposure to IPV. These stereotypes feed the long-held perception of “African American women being invulnerable, insensitive, and in need of control and domestication.” This is also problematic because of the lack societal response, to the victimization of these women. These images may prevent society from seeing African American women as vulnerable, which limits the empathic concern of society as a whole, and more specifically therapists, which contributes to the lack of advocacy for African American victims of IPV. Another danger is the potential for the internalization of such ideas by African American women, now these women might be reluctant to share details about their situations to others, such as their therapists or seek for support. Instead, they will rely on the inner resources of the superwoman stereotype she believes she is. In addition, African American women who are victims of IPV less likely turn to shelters than Caucasian women. Researchers have stated this is because they are unaware of the services available to them or because they think the services to be a poor fit. However, when African American women do enter shelters, they require a longer time to leave shelters than Caucasian victims of a similar background. Moreover, some responses to IPV is on the mental health, PTSD, depression, substance abuse, and suicidality. Lastly, one issue with intervention programs is how they ignore cultural differences and treat all clients with the same standardized group treatment approach. There is an absence of programs that are culturally tailored to service minority clients. Men are more likely to not partake in these programs.

1 comment for “SOCY 305- WEEK 10- GABRIELA MONJE

  1. November 6, 2017 at 7:36 pm

    Good job.

    Considering the way black males are portrayed via the media and other outlets it is no surprise that they may have some self-esteem issues.

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