The phrase “boys will be boys” begins to develop in the mind of young children in elementary school when girls and boys begin to interact and play with each other. A boy in your class may have pushed you, pulled your hair, or threw something at you. Upset about what happened you probably rushed to tell your teacher or parents and instead of going to talk to the boy or punishing him they tell you “oh he probably just has a little crush on you so he is being mean to you”. Or some other excuse along the lines of “boys will be boys”. And just like that you begin to accept this behavior of boys being aggressive toward you and putting his hands on you as normal. From then on when guys do these things to you at school you begin let it happen and think either they like you or its just how boys are. Over time this develops into a more serious issue of thinking its okay for a man to put his hands on you and or hit you because that may mean he likes you, cares about you, or even loves you.
The “man box” has some criteria that make a man feel they have to behave a certain way in a relationship that can result in domestic violence situations. Some such behaviors are asserting dominance, being aggressive, and demonstrate power and control. Before the feminist movement began in the 1960’s, women were raised to be less superior and supportive to the dominant head male. They were trained to be submissive to their fathers, boyfriends, and husband throughout their lives.
In the National Statistics Domestic Violence article there are some statistics about domestic violence:
- About 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the U.S.
- 1/3 women and 1/4 men have been victims of some type of violence by an intimate partner.
- 1/5 women and 1/7 men have been victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner.
- Intimate partner violence accounts for 15% of all violent crime
Although domestic violence and abuse of men is not weighted as heavily as it should in society, domestic abuse agaisnt women are still at much higher rates and more common. This is due to issues in our society having to do with gender norms justifying certain behaviors and actions.
Jones, David. “TRIAL DYNAMICS AND FEDERAL RULE 403.” Volunteer Opportunity to Serve as Judge: 10.