• Anette Thisgaard Olesen
4. term, Psychology, Master (Master Programme)
The aim of this master thesis is to investigate the relationship between the gender paradigm and intimate partner violence.
This leads to the following thesis statement:
In what way does the gender paradigm effect the understanding of intimate partner violence and the research of this phenomenon?

This master thesis is theoretical, which means that I account for the two main perspectives in the partner violence research: The feministic perspective and the family violence perspective. They have a different ontological and epistemological basis for their research, which results in them having different definitions of violence, whereas a disagreement in how the context of partner violence should affect the definition and understanding hereof emerge. According to the family violence perspectives the motivation and consequences should not affect the definition of partner violence. They focus on men and women’s aggression and argue that even if victims were not harmed or violated by the action it should still be defined as a violent act based on the intention behind the action. On the other hand, the feministic perspective argue that partner violence should be defined by the motivation and consequences. This results in a disagreement in the gender symmetry of partner violence. The family violence perspective argues that gender symmetry exists, and the feministic perspective argue that gender symmetry doesn’t exist. According to the feministic perspective partner violence is gender based where men are the primary perpetrators and women are the primary victims. This understanding of partner violence is called the gender paradigm.
Furthermore, this gender paradigm is also present in the cultural understanding of partner violence. This is seen in different studies, which shows that women are more likely to see themselves as the victim of partner violence. Men do not feel threatened by the female physical violence, whereas they are less affected by it. At the same time men who are the victims of partner violence are often shameful of their situation because of the gender paradigm. They fear that people will not believe them if they tell anyone that they are the victims of partner violence.
This understanding of partner violence can affect the studies of prevalence of partner violence because men who experience physical violence from women are less likely to report the incidents. This means that gender paradigm effect results of the studies of partner violence.
In the end of the master thesis a difference perspective of partner violence is present-ed. Instead of looking at either the perpetrator or the victim they focus on the dynamic between the couple. They argue that by looking at the dynamic you will get a much more nuanced understanding of the phenomenon partner violence.
Publication date31 May 2018
Number of pages54
ID: 280189051