'Because they're a couple she should do what he says’: Young people's justifications of violence: heterosexuality, gender and adulthood

Nancy Lombard*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This article is based upon research that explored how 89 eleven- and twelve-year-olds understood and explained men’s violence against women. The research found that young people examined the motivations of individual male perpetrators though the context of heterosexuality. For the young people, adulthood appeared to generate a more rigid framework of heterosexuality, where the gender differences begin to exemplify inequality upon which justifications can be based. Young people’s justifications can be collated into the themes of: heteronormativity, the endorsement of marriage, restrictive gender roles and blaming women for the violence. Violence is justified because inequality is not questioned – it is endorsed and taken for granted as being part of an adult heterosexual relationship. This has implications for young people’s own existing and anticipated relationships.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to) 241-253
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Gender Studies
Volume25
Issue number3
Early online date18 Aug 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 May 2016

Keywords

  • violence
  • heterosexuality
  • gender
  • young people
  • adulthood

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