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Critical Thinking on Female Perpetrators

Critical Thinking on Female Perpetrators:
While conducting the following literature review of female perpetrators committing violence towards their spouse and children, many ideas and practices discussed are the same, yet some were reviewing violence from both male and females point of view. Nonetheless, it appears that, in all the reviewed articles, the researchers tend to agree that cases of female perpetrators committing violence towards their spouses and children are indeed there. It is undoubtedly that most researches address male-to-female violence, although the articles reviewed here are among those addressing male victimization by female spouses. Physical abuse and violence between spouses and children is the focus of this literature review and it has continued to spark more debate within areas of social policy, practice, and research. In the discussion that will follow, the focus will be on comparing and contrasting the articles, analyzing them critically, and looking at the key concepts.

According to Wilkes & Cho (2009), violence taking place within a relationship, which is intimate in nature is a big social problem. In their observation, the victims, be it children or spouses suffer intense psychological, mental, and physical impacts of violence. It is only after police intervened that most perpetrators have been arrested. In contrast, Feldman and Ridley (2003) hold that, in the last ten years, there has been witnessed increased awareness in the public regarding domestic violence and the consequences it has on the well-being of the family and individuals involved. Although most attention has been geared towards male violence on their spouses and children, studies show that female violence towards their spouses is evident in intimate relationships. In view of Feldman and Ridley (2003), there tends to be equal percentages of females (12%) and males (11%) recorded of being violent towards their partners. In a study of 272 couples intending to get married, majority of females than males recorded cases of being violent towards their spouses at (44% vs. 31%) in pre-marriage, and (36% vs. 27%) in post-marriage of 18 months, and (32% vs. 25%) in a post-marriage of 30 months.

While comparing Sarantakos (2004), and Taylor et al. (2009), it is obvious that maltreatment of both spouses and children is real owing to female perpetrators. According to Taylor et al. (2009), close to one million cases of physical abuse and other children maltreatment cases were reported in America in 2005. Unfortunately, high victimization rate is evident in kids who are below three years of age. In their observation, children who are victimized by their mothers suffer behavioral, mental, physical, and social problems and this might lead to problems of health such as smoking, alcoholism, STDs, heart disease, and obesity. In the 83% of the maltreatment meted on children, the mother alone contributes 40%, while the father is rated at 17%, and the rest 6% is from other people. Nonetheless, the mothers are associated with the highest percentage because they spend most time with children that anybody else (Taylor et al. 2009). In contrast, Sarantakos (2004) observes that there is diversity regarding how the society is responding towards ‘wives’ violence against their husbands (p.1). However, irrespective of irrefutable evidence that female are assaulting their male counterparts, most people tend to hold that the violence comes in equal proportions, an idea echoed by Feldman and Ridley (2003). In his study Sarantakos (2004) found out that, female-to-male violence was evident even with the males being peaceful in their homes. In a separate study by Kern smith and Kern smith (2009), the last two decades have seen policymakers in the United States maximizing their attention towards domestic violence. Unlike Sarantakos (2004), and Taylor et al. (2009) who focus on increased violence by females towards their males, Kern smith and Kern smith (2009) strive to examine recommendations of changing policies and intervention services to guide perpetrators.

At a glance, these articles are characterized by themes, disagreements, and commonality. In view of Kern smith and Kern smith (2009) article, the authors have focused on providing recommendations to policy makers on what should be done to perpetrators of violence be it males or females. The two assert that, considering men are known for being violent towards their female counterparts, they have suffered more arrests. These findings, therefore, indicate that, the motivations and context of males being arrested for being violent are different from females arrested for committing similar crime. In the articles by Sarantakos (2004), Taylor et al. (2009), Wilkes & Cho (2009), and Feldman and Ridley (2003) the thematic concerns of violence and its consequences on spouses is common. The authors tend to agree that violence in relationships lead to physical, psychological, health, and mental consequences to both children and spouse under violence. Additionally, in order to substantiate their claims, Wilkes & Cho (2009), and Feldman and Ridley (2003) have employed statistics to show the extent of violence reported among spouses. Most spouses in violent relationships suffer ridiculing, name-calling, instances of blaming, criticizing, threatening, and accusing. Spouses do these actions mutually, and in some cases by spouse unilaterally, while in some cases some spouses did not participate (Feldman & Ridley, 2003).

In some articles such as Wilkes & Cho (2009), Taylor et al. (2009), and Feldman and Ridley (2003) there is a common practice regarding the manner in which the researches were conducted. In each case, the authors employed study samples, findings, results, discussion, and conclusion. In their article, Wilkes & Cho (2009) identified their study variables as re-victimization, arrest, and gender. According to their results, male victimization and female victimization differed. Males were meted serious assaults at 28%, while their female counterparts stood at 17%. Additionally, females were fond of using weapons on their spouses although both parties suffered serious injuries. On the other hand, Taylor et al. (2009) based their variables on child-related and child maltreatment. Their results indicated that, mothers recorded over twenty cases of psychological violence, and seventeen cases of physical violence. Most mothers use physical and psychological violence against their loved ones, and cases of neglect of their children. In their conclusion, Taylor et al. (2009) asserted that most females, who mistreated their children, were equally being harassed in their relationships. In their research, Feldman and Ridley (2003) identified their variables such as verbal aggression, withdraw, and cooperation. The two employed questionnaire in their work, which was addressed to the 153 females, who were volunteers. In their results, the researchers asserted that, although studies exist regarding domestic violence severity are limited; a distinction exists between severe and mild types of domestic violence. In their conclusion, the researchers observed that, while 75% of females are reported as physically abused, they are aware that they are likely to be wounded owing to domestic violence.

Although these articles tend to agree on violence orchestrated by female perpetrators, there are some disagreements on opinions explored by the authors. For instance, Wilkes & Cho (2009) observe that men are most victimized in violent relationships while compared with their female counterparts who experience fewer injuries. For that reason, it is apparent that violence among spouses predominantly male. Additionally, the two authors found out that, females are fond of using weapons than their male spouses. Nonetheless, Feldman and Ridley (2003) tend to disagree with the former two regarding violence. Unlike Wilkes & Cho (2009), Feldman and Ridley (2003) hold that women are most victimized, and they are likely to experience injuries because of violence from their spouses. Furthermore, unlike females, males are known for being extremely violent towards their partners. According to Feldman and Ridley (2003), conflicts in relationships are brought mostly by poor communication. Further disagreement is evident, if the observation made by Sarantakos (2004) is anything to put into consideration. According to Sarantakos (2004), husbands play a key role in sparking violence in their marriages. In his findings, the researcher retorts that husbands are fond of sparking aggressions, which in return force their female partners to be violent towards them. Prior to assaulting their partners, females tolerated with the unpleasant behaviors of their males and they only responded on realizing the impending danger (Sarantakos, 2004).

From a critical point of view, some of these articles exhibited limitations from the context of the research. In the article by Wilkes & Cho (2009), there are evident limitations. Firstly, the number of males who were put under re-victimization was extremely small (33 of the possible 298 victims). Additionally, considering that out of the 33 men under re-victimization, less than ten were put behind bars, it is clear that detecting the impacts of arrest would be difficult, in the event there was any. Furthermore, there is a likelihood of underreporting female-oriented violence. In yet another limitation, the research failed to include vital contextual details regarding episodes of violence, and those who initiated it and the reasons for such actions. Moreover, the response by security authority was disregarded, and the actions, which were taken on the perpetrators (Wilkes & Cho, 2009). Limitations are also evident in the article by Feldman and Ridley (2003). For instance, although the research revolves around communication responses as one of the factors contributing towards violence among spouses, the researchers did not explore the connection between psychological types of abuse, and responses of communication. It would have been better if the research by the two authors were based on a wide range of communication trends, which may lead to domestic violence. In view of Kern smith and Kern smith (2009) article, implications are evident. For instance, irrespective of the study suggesting that women needs on intervention services are different from those of men, the research failed to offer an alternative. Although numerous programs have been developed, the study fails to mention that their accountability is minimal. In Taylor et al. (2009), the article only considered limited details regarding psychological, sexual, and physical behaviors of aggression. In the article, the authors excluded confounders such as history of aggression in the female’s origin, thus leading to biasness on estimates of regression.

While reviewing the five articles, key concepts are evident in each of them. In their context, each of the articles has employed unique but important practices while conducting the study. In each of the study, the researchers based their work on a wide range on previous researches. In the journal by Kern smith and Kern smith (2009), the two backdated their research in the last two decades in connection with policymakers in America. Additionally, in order to give the reader a better understanding of the intervention services on batterers, the authors have reviewed the changes, which have been enacted from two decades ago. In Taylor et al. (2009) article, the researchers based their predictions of maternal maltreatment and neglect from a study that run from 2001 to 2004. For that reason, the researchers came up with a study, which was reliable, if the materials used in the research are anything to go by. Sarantakos (2004) made his study more reliable because he based his work on real life experiences issues affecting spouses. Additionally, the research targeted the entire family from children to parents to grandparents. In other words, Sarantakos (2004) bases his findings and results on a specific real-life case, as opposed to generalization.

In view of the above literature review, the authors of the articles conducted studies revolving around the thematic concerns of domestic violence orchestrated by female perpetrators, and its effect on children and spouse. Basing their studies on statistics and findings previously exhibited in previous researches, the authors have assisted the readers to understand the objective of their research.

Nonetheless, the studies are characterized by numerous limitations such as biasness, lack of recommendations, and limited comparisons to warrant the impacts among others. However, the authors have incorporated key concepts in their work thus making it reliable, and of high quality.

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Nov 4, 2011