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Problematising the Relationship between Teenage Boys and Parent Abuse: Constructions of Masculinity and Violence

  • Helen Baker (a1)

Although research into parent abuse is scant in the context of the UK, there is now a burgeoning of interest into how this form of family violence fits into the historically well-defined arena of domestic violence research. This article investigates one aspect of the phenomena of parent abuse; that is, how teenage boys, who are often perceived as perpetrators of such violence due to problematic ‘cycle of violence’ or ‘intergenerational transmission of violence’ theories, are constructed in relation to it. These now widely discredited theories, which correlate being a man with being violent, are problematic, but may re-emerge as a possible explanation for parent abuse. This article questions these theories in the context of both domestic violence and parent abuse by demonstrating how they are based upon a culturally constructed notion of masculinity.

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