chapter  5
21 Pages

Investing in Masculinity: Men Who Use Interpersonal Violence

This chapter focuses on the structure of modern heterosexual intimate relationships. Men who violently attack their (ex)partners are often portrayed by the media as mentally disturbed, abnormal and constituent of a small minority of the male population. Marital rape convictions are difficult because trials primarily consist of the competing testimonies of wife and husband. Gender roles for men invariably centered on work outside the home, assumed to be the defining feature of masculinity. Two of the most frequently cited factors theorized to contribute to male violence against women are television viewing and pornography. Pornography is certainly a means through which many boys and girls learn about female anatomy and a particular version of female sexuality. Whilst television violence and pornography have enjoyed a great deal of exposure to academic study and criticism, the dynamics of intimate relationships has often gone unattended because of its taken-for-granted status in the heteronormative society.