Gender, violence, and multiple oppressions

Authored by: Katherine Irwin , Lisa Pasko

The Routledge International Handbook of Violence Studies

Print publication date:  October  2018
Online publication date:  October  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138283442
eBook ISBN: 9781315270265
Adobe ISBN:


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As the chapter by Pasko and Chesney-Lind in this book indicates, the history of academic attention to the topic of female violence (including girls’ physical aggression) is vast, stretching back at least as far as Lombroso and Ferrero’s (1895) statements about the passionate and muscular nature of the female criminal. Looking closely at some 19th-century writings about criminality and criminal traits, it becomes clear that researchers at the time often interpreted women, members of the lower classes, and those who were (using the terms of the day) “foreign born,” “dark,” or “Negro” in similar ways. Any people, other than men who had race privileges (usually light-skinned Europeans) and were of the elite economic classes, were thought to be “primitive,” “savage,” and/or “childlike.” It followed that any physical aggression by these inferior humans was natural, given that they were essentially uncivilized, brutal, and infantile.

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