This article on partner violence in intimate relationships attempts to distinguish between four types of partner violence based on power and control. Partner violence is divided into intimate terrorism, violent resistance, situational couple violence, and mutual violent resistance. All the categories are organized around attempts to gain or prevent relationship control.
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Intimate terrorism: in intimate terrorism, one partner is violent while the other is not. It is mainly perpetrated by men in heterosexual relationships. The perpetrator seeks to exercise general control over his partner. To achieve this, the intimate terrorist uses many tactics. First, he uses economic abuse. In this situation, the intimate terrorist controls all the economic resources regardless of who earned them. The victim is not allowed to keep her money separately. The male privilege may be used to justify economic abuse. The perpetrator views himself as ‘the man of the house’. He presumes that this gives him the right to control everything and everybody in the family. The intimate terrorist may use children to support his course. He may use the children to further humiliate the victim. He may also threaten to separate her from the children. Isolation of the victim is used to cut off the victim from family and friends. Once the victim has been isolated, the perpetrator can then proceed to brainwash and torment her. Isolation is followed by emotional abuse. Minimizing his abuse and blaming the victim serves to show her that he is only doing it in her best interest. Intimidation and threats like threatening to physically harm her are deployed when the other tactics do not work. All or a combination of these tactics can be used to gain full control of the victim. Actual violence links all these tactics giving rise to intimate terrorism.
Violent resistance: this is characterized by violent resistance to intimate terrorism. It may either be spontaneous (a natural reaction to violence for many people) or premeditated. Violent resistance may be deployed for several reasons. The victim may think that she can stop the violence by fighting back or she may want to send a message to her tormentor that whatever he is doing is not right.
Situational couple violence: this is characterized by the absence of the desire to gain power and control. The violence is triggered by specific situations. It may be rare or frequent. One partner may think that violence is the only way to settle a conflict.
Mutual violent resistance: this refers to partner violence in which both partners are violent and the motive is to gain general control.
Adoption and (Un) Desirable Children
This article examines the various ways in which children were sorted and ranked during the adoption process. The author refers to data obtained from parents who adopted Korean children in the 1980s and 1990s. The adopting parents were predominantly white. The article gives an analysis of how race shaped American parents’ thinking on who was a desirable or undesirable potential family member.
During the adoption process, parents looked for healthy American children. It appears that good health was the sorting criterion for many parents. Parents were concerned about the health of the potential family member. However, it is the narrow application of the word ‘American children’ that the author seeks to highlight. During the adoption process, the word was understood by both the adoption agencies and the parents to mean white children. This notion is supported by the fact that parents had to wait for a long time before they could be matched with a potential white child. However, children from minority groups like African Americans and Hispanics did not have a long waiting time. Characterization of white children as desirable may have been contributed in part by adoption stigma that existed at the time. Parents wanted their children to look like them. This would aid in concealing their adoption status. Due to the long waiting time associated with adopting white American children, some parents began to think about the possibility of adopting children who were not white.
Parents opted to adopt from other nationalities. However, as it turned out, the majority of the adopted children were from Korea. Some factors could have contributed to Korean children being viewed as desirable by the adopting parents. First, some parents may have wanted children who were not very different from them physically. Secondly, racial privilege meant that Asian children were considered more desirable than African American and Hispanic children. It was thought that Asian children would fit easily into the culture of their white parents.
African American children may not have been considered as desirable due to factors other than racism. The rejection of black children may have been motivated by cultural dynamics and race relations at the time. Some parents may have been worried about their children not being able to fully delink themselves from the stereotyped African American culture. Family members of the potential parents may also have influenced their choices.
Race played a role in sorting and ranking children. For African American children, the only exclusion criterion was a race and not poor health as was the case for their white counterparts.