There are many arguments to be made against this feminist view. One of them is that women commit acts of domestic violence as well. Women have no reason to commit domestic violence to uphold the patriarchy; therefore, there must be other reasons for its existence.
A new study carried out by Dr Elizabeth Bates of the University of Cumbria has found that women are more likely than men to initiate acts of verbal and physical aggression:
Psychologists at the University of Cumbria questioned 1,104 young men and women using a scale of behaviour which ranged from shouting and insulting to pushing, beating and using weapons.
They discovered that women were ‘significantly’ more likely to be verbally and physically aggressive to men than vice versa.
They concluded that violence was linked to controlling behaviour such as checking up on partners and persuading them not to see certain friends.
Interestingly, Dr Bates has drawn the logical conclusion:
Study leader Dr Elizabeth Bates said: ‘The stereotypical popular view is still one of dominant control by men. That does occur but research over the last ten to 15 years has highlighted the fact that women are controlling and aggressive in relationships too.’
She said scientists may have to think again about the reasons for male violence against women, which previous studies said arose from ‘patriarchal values’ in which men are motivated to seek to control women’s behaviour, using violence if necessary.
She said other research also looked at men in prisons and women in refuges, rather than typical members of the public.