Literature Review on Domestic Violence Essay

2309 Words Jun 26th, 2013 10 Pages
What Makes a Person Violent: Literature Review
Since the beginning of the human race, domestic violence has been present. However, it was not until recent centuries that people began to look at it as a crime. To many people, in many cultures, domestic violence was seen as not only acceptable, but necessary in some situations.
In a study conducted by Hines and Saudino (2002), domestic violence in close, intimate relationships is a country wide problem within the United States. The last nationally conducted survey found that an estimated 16 percent of married Americans experienced domestic violence within the previous year. That means that approximately 8.7 million couples have been affected by domestic violence (Hines, Saudino 2002).
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Weldon and Gilchrist (2012) interviewed six male perpetrators serving prison sentences in Scotland. They asked the offenders general questions about their thoughts and feelings in regards to violence. They also included questions about each offenders past and childhood experiences. The most common answer given by the perpetrators was that violence was normal to them (Weldon and Gilchrist 2012). It was something that they were used to and had seen many times. These findings however, did not only apply to intimate relationships, but rather to life in general. They exhibited violent behaviors throughout their life.
Overall, studies that focus on the power of the social learning theory, have found that there is a strong correlation between witnessing or being victim to abuse in childhood, and being violent towards your intimate partner in adulthood.
Physiological Factors
Research on domestic violence has focused on several areas which are believed to play a role in explaining abusive behavior. The first area discussed is a predisposition to increased heart response to slight agitation.
Lavinia et. al. (2010) describes a study that calculated physiology factors on a person’s predisposition to aggression in intimate relationships. The study looked at physiological reactivity, which is defined as changes to a person’s body brought about by a stimulus. The study found that individuals that are antisocial and violent are…