Men common victims of domestic abuse

One of the common themes of male-bashing feminism is that men are the source of all violence.  A recent study has demonstrated that, in fact, men are frequent victims of domestic abuse at the hands of their spouses.  The difference, of course, is that it is socially acceptable for a woman to be the victim, but not acceptable for the man.  Thus, men are less likely to report abuse, and much less likely to be believed.

 In a recent study published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine,  almost 30% of men reported abuse at the hands of their spouses (compared to approximately 44% of women).  Older men who had been abused had higher rates of depression and lower overall mental health scores.

Personally, I don’t believe either of those statistics.  I don’t believe that 30% of men have been the victim of *significant* abuse nor that 44% of women have.  My personal opinion is that most of these surveys ask such broad questions that non-abusive behavior is being classified as abuse. 

To give you an example, one of the questions is whether or not a partner has ever “hit, slapped, shoved, choked, kicked, shaken, or otherwise physically hurt you?” 

Perhaps we are just more physical than other folk, but in fact my wife has hauled off and slugged me in the arm on occasion.  Of course, I am eight inches taller and 90 pounds heavier than my wife, and she could pummel me all day long with me barely noticing.  And she knows that. She has never knowingly caused me harm.  However, if I were to strictly answer that question,  I would answer “yes.”  The idea that I am a victim of “spouse abuse” is simply silly, though.

Similarly, one of the questions is whether or not one’s spouse has ever “put you down” or “controlled your behavior.”  Well, perhaps they’ve never heard of a “honey do” list. Any wife who doesn’t modulate her spouse’s behavior at least a little isn’t doing her job. And vice versa.  In 18 years of marriage, I doubt that any couple has managed to go without at least one argument in which somebody “put” somebody “down.”  I guess I’d have to answer that one with a yes as well.

So, here we are.  Almost two decades of marriage, deeply in love, very supportive, and never hurt each other, but if we were to answer the questions literally, we’d both be “victims” of abuse.

Domestic violence is real.  And it’s bad.  But these measures are simply not realistic, and any studies of them overstate the real rates by a great amount, I suspect.  Goose and gander, though.  If these studies paint us men as such brutes, they don’t paint women much better.