June 23, 2003

THIS USA TODAY STORY on domestic violence notes new evidence that women are frequently initiators of abuse, and men often the target. That’s not really news, though it’s true that you don’t hear it that much. What interested me was this passage:

Still, the newest findings challenge the feminist belief that “it is men only who cause violence,” says psychologist Deborah Capaldi of the Oregon Social Learning Center. “That is a myth.” . . .

Capaldi and two other female researchers call for a re-evaluation of treatment programs nationwide. Such programs focus on men and ignore women. Men are court-ordered into some type of rehabilitation, and their women are told in support groups or shelters that they had nothing to do with the violence, Capaldi says.

Why, exactly, is it relevant that these researchers are all female? If they were male, would their research be deemed less trustworthy?