Why Men Become Abusive?

Abuse has become more and more of a problem in recent times.  Some even are calling it an “epidemic”.  Though domestic violence is heard of more frequently, it is not an acceptable behavior.  Because of the embarassment and denial that comes with abuse, there is little information on why it exists.   There have been very little research in why men become abusive, but here are some of the theories.

Children who were abused are more likely to become abusers themselves. Boys who are abused are more likely to grow up into an abusive man. Through studies it is recorded that it did not matter if the men were beaten by their fathers, mothers, or even extended or non-family members. If they experienced the abuse, than they were more likely than not to commit to domestic violence as an adult.

Results of studies conducted on abuse tell us that abused boys may learn that violence is the way to handle situations in their lives. “Domestic violence is a learned behavior.”  They are taught that this is the right way to resolve a problem and from what they have seen, it is the only way they know how to resolve conflict. They then use this method they are taught and apply it to difficult situations as an adult.  It is not inherited through genetics and it is not a disease.  It is also a problem for all racial and ethnic groups, regardless of age and education.

According to TIME Healthland and a study performed by the Achrives of Pediatric Adolescent Medicine revealed, “Boys who bully may be more likely to become abusive men”. Read the article here. It stated that boys who are schoolyard bullies are more likely to grow up as abusive partners to their wives. The boys who were violent to other children during their childhood were four times more likely to behave the same way with their partners, than the children who were not known to be bullies.

Other results of the study also revealed that the victims of bullying were more likely to behave violently towards their intimate partner than those peers who were not bullied. Also, children who witnessed abuse between their parents or other violence growing up were more likely to become abusive.

“These findings suggest that individuals who are likely to perpetrate abusive behaviors against others may do so across childhood and into adulthood,” said, Kathryn Falb of TIME Healthland.

If the truth is that abuse is in fact a learned behavior, the question is, can it be “unlearned”?  Experts think so.  Many programs have been developed for men who want to change their abusive habits.  The only problem is that the men have to commit and have to commit fully.  Many treatments are unsuccessful due to the lack of committment and desire to change.  It is only when we can figure out a way to make these men fully commit to change, will we be able to stop and hopefully prevent abuse from reoccurring in the future.

Photo credit: dave apple via flickr

Your thoughts on this article are greatly appreciated.  Please feel free to comment below.


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