The following was contributed by Alexis Goodman.

The old-school mantra that is still prevalent today (despite all our fervent attempts to tear down gender barriers) is the “it’s a lose-lose situation when a boy is set to compete with a girl. If he beats her, he has only succeeded in beating a girl. If he loses, his manhood is put into question and will face humiliation.”

All boys will be faced with this dilemma, one wherein they will have to choose: lose or lose?

We have been aware from young ages that men are owners of a physical prowess that they can either control or not control, and ultimately some will fail in their endeavors to discipline themselves. This can result in destruction and damage, and more often than not, its effects are left evident on the woman he is partnered with.

The domestic abuse waylaid on women is a familiar story, but there is a sequel, and it goes something like this: Men face domestic abuse too but they do so silently. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that studies showed one in three men experience physical and sexual abuse and stalking during their life.

The Facts of Male Domestic Abuse

Men do face physical abuse from their partners. In 2009, Chile found that of reported domestic abuse injuries, men accounted for 49% of them and 19% of serious injuries. France documented 26% domestic abuse cases where the victim was male. Recordings taken from victims of domestic abuse showed that 37% were men in Spain in 2011.

If you struggle to see truth where it is evident, remember that earlier this year in 2022, Johnny Depp went head-to-head with his ex-spouse, Amber Heard, to clear his name of domestic abuse. It wasn’t long before the facts were clear: Amber Heard was the liar and domestic abuser who put Mr. Depp through every type of humiliation, pain, and ridicule she could think of. Slicing off the tip of his finger was not enough, she also had to drag his name through mud and challenge his masculinity to the world.

Men do face sexual abuse from their partners. Columbia has reported 20% of their sexual abuse victims being male. In the United States, 15% of rape victims are men. While women are more likely to be the victims of sexual abuse by men, an Australia study found that the predominant perpetrators of sexual abuse against men are women. Other studies have shown that 10-20% of women have committed sexual coercion against men.

If you do not believe this, in the year 2019, the famous American rapper Cardi B admitted in a video that before she became famous, she was a stripper who would drug and rob men who wanted to have sex with her. While they did want the sex, she used their desire to exploit and abuse them in other ways. In 2020, she was given the Billboard Music Award of top rap female artist.

The current attitude towards male abuse is one of laughter. When we hear of men being beaten by a woman or put down verbally by a woman, the world makes light of it. What would the tone of the trial been had the roles been reversed in Amber Heard v. Johnny Depp? It was turned into a reality show and the laughing stock of the world. We eventually saw Amber Heard for the abuser she is, but not without laughing a good deal over the extent to which Mr. Depp was abused. And we award Cardi B still to this day, despite her criminal activities against men. Watch this video as a crowd is rightfully silenced by TV host Jeremy Kyle for this same behavior.

Methodology in Obtaining Data

The Conflict Tactics Scale (CTS), a survey distributed to groups of people with the intention of measuring violence in their intimate relationships, was developed in 1979 by Murray Straus. A sociologist and American professor, his scale would become the most widely used instrument to measure violence in the family. By 1996 it had been utilized in more than 500 studies, 20 countries, had had 400 papers written analyzing the data retrieved from it, and seen over 70,000 participants. It has only grown from there.

It looks at the tactics of abuse that are used and does not reflect attitudes about the conflict or violence. The survey assesses negotiation, physical assault, sexual coercion, and injury. Originally formatted as an interview survey, it then changed to a self-administered survey that contained 80 items to explore inter-family violence. It can be taken to oversee the dynamics between partners, spouses, and parent/child relationships. After taking the survey, the score is tallied to give us an idea as to the possible depth of abuse in a couple. This method is very efficient and quick for those being surveyed, allowing for more participants to join in.

Results of Conflict Tactics Scale

The reliability of its results are consistent: men are not always the partner playing the role of aggressor in a relationship.

For example, in Beverly Hills, California, 485 single college students took the CTS and found that overall, men reported more victimization than women. While 12.8% reported being kicked, hit by a fist, or bit by their partner, 20.7% of men reported they had experienced the same from their partners. Additionally, 3.6% women reported being beat up by their opposite-sex partner while men reported at 6%.

Another study showed that among the 279 undergraduate women surveyed, 29% of South Asian/Middle Eastern women, 21% of East Asia women, and 38% of Latina women at some point were perpetrators of physical abuse against their partners.

For Korea, in a randomized sample of 707 women and 609 men who were married, they found that the Korean men were victimized twice as much as American men are, and Korean women are victimized three times as much by the spouse as American women.

One study said that, “women reported the expression of as much or more violence in their relationships as men,” with women reporting in the survey that they initiated violence with their non-violent partners more frequently than men did, at 22% versus 17%.

These are just a few studies amongst many. In a compilation of 343 scholarly investigations, 166 utilized or analyzed the CTS method, and showed that the results were always pointing at one thing: women were either ahead in the percentages of physical aggression or not very far behind. The CTS is not the only leading method showing male domestic abuse, because the other 177 scholarly investigations did not use it, and many times the CTS was either revised or modified, and used in conjunction with another measuring instrument.

Feminist Denial

Apparently studies like these are not in the best interest of the radical feminist community, as they make strides to obscure, oppress, and fight the possibility of men being abused as well. Feminists’ primary concern: resources and credibility will be pulled away from abused women. For them, the CTS cannot possibly be accurate, and every effort should be made to eliminate its use. The data undermines the feminists’ victimization narrative and they must protect their territory.

In the book, Current Controversies on Family Violence (1993), Demie Kurz, feminist and American Professor, contributed a chapter opposing the issue of female offenders. Throughout the entire chapter she attempts to refute Murray Straus’s statements that feminists are oppressing evidence of male abuse. Despite this, by the end, the reader is aware that while she is not explicitly telling Straus to silence his research, she is subtly doing so.

Her frustration with Straus is that he strips away the notion of “violence as a gendered phenomenon.” His Conflict Tactics Scale shows both men and women as being capable of aggression. This is intolerable for her, violence is predominantly a characteristic of men, and to say otherwise is to put undue blame on women. Straus’s family conflict perspective will be “used to disenfranchise women in general, and individual battered women in particular.” So, by acknowledging that men can be abused as well, she believes this lessens the attention on women.

Kurz bristles at Straus’s statements such as, “The moral justification of assault implicit when a woman slaps or throws something at a partner for doing something outrageous reinforces his moral justification for slapping her when she is obstinate, nasty, or ‘not listening to reason’ as he sees it.” The idea that female violence ups the ante for male violence is grossly unjust to her, making one wonder if she believes that women should be allowed to slap their partners without retribution. If a guy hits a girl, we think it is completely acceptable for her to hit him back, but if the roles are reversed, we think “he needs to control himself.” And he does, but so does she. Both being held accountable for their violence is the only way to achieve a healthy relationship.

The CTS and Straus agree that while women can sometimes be more physically abusive, their hits do not land as hard as a man’s, and therefore women sustain more serious injuries than men. This is where Kurz attacks, attempting to show that because women are hurt far more, they do not deserve the blame that the CTS directs toward them. Straus also agrees with Kurz that resources should be allocated to abused women far more than men, as he says, “first priority in services for victims and in prevention and control must continue to be directed toward assaults by men.”

While her concerns might be understandable, it does not lessen the statistics. Richard Gelles, primary author of Current Controversies on Family Violence, wrote in his commentary on the book, “Academic research is, and should be, objective and dispassionate. The ‘truth’ that is sought in research should not depend on a researcher’s personal beliefs.” He went on to say that when one is attempting to be a feminist, a researcher, and an advocate, they should remember what hat they are wearing at all times. Kurz, as a researcher, let her passion ignore the facts of male domestic abuse.

Murray Straus said in his opposing chapter in the same book, “Women must insist on nonviolence from their sisters, just as they rightfully insist on it from men.” Feminists worry that by shedding light on this data, women’s abuse will be disregarded. They hope by instead casting a shadow on one-half of the population, they can walk away having achieved rights for women. In actuality, what has happened is the dismissal of violence in the world and a lack of accountability for those who perpetrate it.

International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Men

Forty-six organizations from sixteen countries signed a letter to United Nations Women asking them to expand International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women to include men. They want the UN to better reflect their Declaration of Human Rights by recognizing, “…the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life…” We are at our strongest when we are united, and violence does not foster that unification quality we so desperately need.

This upcoming Friday, November 18th, is International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Men, and I hope that awareness is made as to the silent suffering of so many men. This is no small matter, and more attention needs to be brought to it. Males shouldn’t have to choose between losing and losing; when we stop mocking their abuse, they can feel like their defeat isn’t something to be ashamed of, but will be recognized as a serious matter. Violence from either gender should not be tolerated, and by acknowledging that both men and women take part in it, allows us to take important strides towards a violence-free world.