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Psychosocial Intervention

On-line version ISSN 2173-4712Print version ISSN 1132-0559


CANTERA, Leonor M.  and  BLANCH, Josep M.. Social Perception through Gender Stereotypes of Partner Violence. Psychosocial Intervention [online]. 2010, vol.19, n.2, pp.121-127. ISSN 2173-4712.

The overall goal of this research was to assess the degree of social attachment of certain stereotypes about gender (male provider; female caregiver) and violence (violent, peaceful woman) and is framed in the context of a debate about the extent and limits of a gender approach when it comes to understanding and preventing violence in different types of partner. 741 people were involved in the research, two thirds of them women, living in Spain, Mexico, Puerto Rico and El Salvador. In each country, they agreed to a stratified convenience sample according to criteria of gender, age, education level, occupational status and sexual orientation. In one session lasting between 35 and 60 minutes, the participants first answered an IAT (Implicit Association Test) and then a series of items in a questionnaire with closed and open ended questions. One section includes 48 items referring to "activities" that the person must categorize numerically on a scale of 1-7, with a semantic differential format, and whose poles are "male" and "woman." In this series two scales of 24 items each are mixed: hardness and tenderness. From the information obtained it is seen that samples from all countries organize their perception of partner violence according to gender stereotypes. Men and women both perceived attributes of the hardness scale to be masculine, and those of tenderness to be feminine, with these perceived differences in terms of gender role behaviors being even more enhanced and further polarized by the women. The socio-cultural anchor of the gender violence stereotype has theoretical and social implications in that it visualizes abuse from a man to a woman in the heterosexual couple and blurs that which occurs in other forms of partner. This raises topics which should be urgently addressed in the research agenda.

Keywords : violence; couple; gender; stereotypes.

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