Feminist theory, and corresponding research, is a critical theory perspective that mainly concerns itself with personal experiences and subjective feelings, making it difficult, if not highly impossible, to generalize to an entire population, considering subjective judgments cannot be made into statistically valid standpoints. It focuses on the differing views of insiders and outsiders, in regards to the subjective experiences of women, which can be influenced further by intersectional components such as socioeconomic status, culture, and their norms, race, and sexuality. Furthermore, the feminist theory asserts an overarching theme of an unbalanced patriarchal power dynamic, historical oppression, suppression, and other assaults on the freedoms and civil rights of women. The goal of the use of this theory in social research is ultimately to empower women to voice their needs, opinions, and fight for the maintenance of equal rights (Engel & Schutt, 2017).
The Effects of Gender on Experiences of Domestic Violence Through the Lens of Feminist Theory:
Feminist theory may help to shed light on how domestic violence may be perpetrated against women by seeing it as a direct result of the patriarchal standards that encourage violence, control, and exploitation seen in different societies around the world. Through the use of feminist theory practices and research, domestic violence against women has come to be recognized as a serious crime, in need of serious response from law and justice systems, despite once being acceptable in previous generations of American society. While the feminist theory has historically created this push to speak out against, increase the punishment for, and reduce the cycles of domestic violence for women, it has been suggested that domestic violence also be viewed through a family dynamic theory lens for modern-day research and law responses. This is important to consider as domestic violence may appear to happen to women at higher rates, but it is hard to say this is true due to the shame that may surround men who speak out about female abuse, both in their inner social circles and in our society as a whole (Houston, 2014).
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