Myths and stereotypes of actors involved in domestic violence: Implications for domestic violence culpability attributions

Lisa A. Harrison, Cynthia Willis Esqueda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

40 Scopus citations

Abstract

Stereotypes exist about actors involved in domestic violence, particularly women of color. It has been suggested that Black women are more aggressive and accustomed to violence than White women. Moreover, victim resistance, marital status, and perceiver's sex have all been found to influence perceptions of domestic violence culpability. Since the 1970s, when domestic violence was acknowledged as a social problem, researchers have examined how the lay person's perceptions of battered women and their batterers are influenced by extralegal factors. Although research on perceptions of domestic violence when White women and men are involved has increased dramatically in recent years, there is a dearth of research on perceptions of such violence when women and men of color are participants. The available findings on the influence of stereotypical notions concerning victims and batterers upon perceptions of domestic violence are examined. This review will provide the available evidence and suggest research areas where information is needed to more fully address the needs of people of color in understanding their own victimization and how actors in the legal system can guard against biased responding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-138
Number of pages10
JournalAggression and Violent Behavior
Volume4
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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