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Gender Paradigm in Domestic Violence Research and Practice Part II: The Information Website of the American Bar Association

NCJ Number
Aggression and Violent Behavior: A Review Journal Volume: 14 Issue: 1 Dated: January/February 2009 Pages: 30-38
Donald G. Dutton; Kenneth N. Corvo; John Hamel
Date Published
January 2009
9 pages
This study examined the Web site of the American Bar Association’s (ABA's) purported myths about domestic (DV) or intimate partner violence (IPV).
Findings revealed that the ABA’s listing of the “10 Myths About Custody and Domestic Violence and How to Counter Them” is the sort of superficial treatment of DV that is excused when it represents a perspective that is ideologically congruent with a gender-based paradigm. The view that patriarchy is the sole cause of DV is accepted by advocates and some practitioners but has much less support in the research community. The article states that lawyers are not using the best information available from rigorous behavioral science research, and in doing so, ignore the best evidence in favor of ideologically acceptable perspectives, and ultimately the legal process becomes distorted. It creates unsupported presumptions of blame, presumptions of merit, and presumptions of what may be in the best interests of children. Custodial issues should not be evaluated by overlaying a framework of non-scientific prejudicial assumptions. Rather than setting-up and then dispensing with 10 straw-man myths, the ABA might better provide its members with a rigorous review of the literature. Justice cannot be served when paradigmatic views hold one group as homogeneously guilty on the basis of group membership. References