In order to explain theories of violence against women, one should know what a theory is. In the academic context, theory is a set of explanations for any issue based on empirical evidence and profound thinking. It is given by the expert in the field based on his deep knowledge. Theories are used to explain complex phenomena and make predictions about future events. Since it is a theory, it could be proved wrong and is not 100 percent right. It might be modified after the passage of time or when the new event takes place.
In terms of gender studies, theories of violence against women refers to the set of ideas that try to explain why men use physical, emotional, and sexual violence against women.
The theories of violence against women are mentioned below:
Social learning theory:
According to this theory, violence against women is socially constructed. It is not naturally inherited in men but taught to him by society and culture. For instance, when a boy sees his father inflicting violence on his mother, he adopts the same behavior against his wife in the future. He learns the violence and considers it a method to solve problems and exert control over women. Since the violence is witnessed and learnt, there seems no taboo on carrying out it against women.
Personality characteristics theory:
According to this theory, individuals who are involved in violence against women have some sort of mental illness or personality disorder. It further says that some men are more hostile, aggressive, and lack sympathy for others. They most likely inflict violence against women. Besides, some men develop personality characteristics when they undergo physical or emotional abuse in childhood. As a result, they also contribute to violence against women.
The resource theory suggests that men commit violence against women to maintain their hegemonic position and retain full control over resources like money, assets, and power. According to this theory, when a man is unemployed and a woman earns more, he feels that his masculinity is challenged, and out of frustration and to maintain his dominant position, he uses violence against women.
As per the biological theory, violence against women is natural and caused by the biological difference between men and women. The theory suggests that men have high levels of the testosterone hormone, which makes them more rational and aggressive. On the other hand, women are naturally emotional. Besides, the chemistry of their brain is also different. Thus, it is a natural phenomenon for a man to inflict violence on a woman.
According to feminist theory, violence against women is caused by patriarchy. It is the social system in which men dominate the society by holding the power and authority while women and other groups are given subordinate positions in the society. In this system, women are meant to be obedient to men’s authority and power. There is male dominance in the entire world, and the feminist theory considers it to be the main cause of violence against women. It suggests dismantling the patriarchy system and giving equal rights to men and women to solve the problem of violence.
This theory suggests that violence against women is deeply rooted in culture. Culture is defined as a unique way of life observed by the people. In some culture, women are given subordinate position and treated like an object. In this culture, women are not considered equal to men, but as an object of entertainment. Thus, owing to these beliefs, violence against women is considered normal and as a part of culture.
Thus, these above-mentioned theories of violence explain why men inflict violence against women. These theories just explain the causes and might not be 100 percent true.