Male Perpetrators, the Gender Symmetry Debate, and the Rejection-Abuse Cycle

Implications for Treatment

Jac Brown*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

    11 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This review article examined the gender symmetry debate in light of recent research relating to the feminist and family research perspectives on intimate partner violence, providing a context for rethinking perpetrator programs. The concept of coercive control is considered as an explanatory factor in an attempt to integrate the feminist and family research perspectives. The limited effectiveness of perpetrator programs is examined. Research highlighting potential factors that could improve the effectiveness of perpetrator programs is introduced, followed by a discussion of the rejection-abuse cycle, one attempt to incorporate current research into a more inclusive program. The rejection-abuse cycle identifies a pattern of perpetrator behavior, which links rejection, threat to self, defense against threat, and abuse. Finally, suggestions for changing perpetrator programs are elaborated, incorporating past research, which would make them appropriate for both male and female perpetrators. These implications are contextualized within a meta-theory to provide greater clarity for the development of future perpetrator programs.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)331-343
    Number of pages13
    JournalAmerican Journal of Men's Health
    Volume6
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012

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