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Of Men, Macho, And Marital Violence

A. Rosenbaum
Published 2004 · Psychology

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Recent evidence suggests that there may be a relationship between marital satisfaction and the sex role identities of the couple. Specifically, couples in which the husband is either feminine or androgynous appear to be happier. Conversely, couples in which the husband is classified as undifferentiated are apparently more dissatisfied. There is some evidence, as well as theoretical speculation, that abusive husbands may be low in femininity, less likely to be classified as androgynous, and more likely to be classified as undifferentiated. This investigation compared the sex role identification of abusive husbands to that of comparison samples of both discordant, and satisfied, nonviolent husbands. The results indicated that batterers were lower in masculinity, less likely to be classified as androgynous, and more likely to be classified as undifferentiated than husbands in either of the comparison groups. Lack of differentiation between the two nonviolent groups suggests the possibility that findings of previous investigations supportive of a relationship between sex role identity and discord, in general, might be artifactual. The theoretical and methodological implications of these findings are discussed.
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