Book Review: The Abuse of Men: Trauma Begets Trauma. Edited by Barbara Jo Brothers. New York: Haworth Press; 2001. 119 pp. $17.95

Book Review: The Abuse of Men: Trauma Begets Trauma. Edited by Barbara Jo Brothers. New York:... P1: ZBU Sex Roles [sers] pp853-sers-465631 May 10, 2003 19:1 Style file version June 3rd, 2002 ° C Sex Roles, Vol. 49, Nos. 1/2, July 2003 ( 2003) Book Review The Abuse of Men: Trauma Begets Trauma. Edited abuse of males in the same heading as a discussion by Barbara Jo Brothers. New York: Haworth of the military as an abusive institution. The article Press; 2001. 119 pp. $17.95. by Nicholls and Dutton rehashes discussions of the validity of measures of domestic violence, mostly in support of the work by Straus and his colleagues, justi- When asked to review this book, I was delighted. fying the use of the Conflict Tactic Scale as a valid mea- Having done antiviolence research and clinical work sure. This support seems to be a response, at least in with women for over 20 years, in the past few years, I part, to criticisms leveled at the instrument, asserting have felt the need to move beyond the dualistic “male- that it measures behavior without a context, that is, the perpetrator; female-victim” stance and actively learn power dynamics in relationships. Many researchers in more about male victim/survivors. This book, how- this field believe the placement of behavior in con- ever, is not a resource to help learn substantively text is crucial when studying domestic violence. More about male victims. interesting questions related to husband abuse were The book was copublished as the Journal of Cou- not addressed at all, such as how patterns of male vi- ples Therapy, Vol. 10 (2001), as is often the case of olence compare to patterns of female violence, and journals published by Haworth Press. However, there how the violence done by each gender may be similar was no attempt by the editor, Barbara Jo Brothers, to or different. A first-person story by Shub is curiously pull the articles into a cohesive theme for the book; included; his superficial gendered analysis of growing indeed, the book begins with a rather strange excerpt up fails to connect to writings in the field of masculin- from a lecture by Virginia Satir. This choppily edited ity, such as the work of Michael Kimmel and John transcription of a lecture at a training seminar jumps Stoltenberg, to name just two. His article’s connection from topic to topic, about relationships, feelings, com- to trauma is weak at best. The book concludes with munication, and therapist role. I found that it served to an overview of trauma from a clinical perspective by cloud rather than elucidate the remainder of the book. Parsons, who presents his intertrauma couples ther- Each chapter stands alone, and in many real ways, apy (InTCT). In my view, this was a nicely presented is unrelated to any other article, the title of the book overview of his approach, albeit largely atheoretical. notwithstanding. The claim that each relates to the Psychologists who work with couples and want to ex- abuse of men is unsubstantiated as well. The chapters’ pand their framework for such work might benefit (articles’) topics range all over the map, are not empir- from reading about his model. ically based, and are poorly documented. The articles I was wholly disappointed by this book. Even in often leave out important current theory and research my limited experience with research and theory about about the topics. For example, in the article by Bloom male victim/survivors of trauma, I did not learn any- and Lyle on vicariously traumatized partners of fe- thing of substance by reading it. This topic is an im- male sexual abuse survivors the authors seem to be portant one, and it is unfortunate that this book does uninformed about the large body of knowledge al- not live up to its title or promise. ready written about secondary and insidious trauma. Matsakis’ article lacks insight, giving simplistic expla- Susan C. Turell nations of why men abuse due to their past abuse his- Department of Psychology tories. She also inexplicably discusses early childhood University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire ° C 93 0360-0025/03/0700-0093/0 2003 Plenum Publishing Corporation http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sex Roles Springer Journals

Book Review: The Abuse of Men: Trauma Begets Trauma. Edited by Barbara Jo Brothers. New York: Haworth Press; 2001. 119 pp. $17.95

Sex Roles , Volume 49 (2) – Sep 28, 2004
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Publisher
Kluwer Academic Publishers-Plenum Publishers
Copyright
Copyright © 2003 by Plenum Publishing Corporation
Subject
Psychology; Gender Studies; Sociology, general; Medicine/Public Health, general
ISSN
0360-0025
eISSN
1573-2762
D.O.I.
10.1023/A:1023969805296
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

P1: ZBU Sex Roles [sers] pp853-sers-465631 May 10, 2003 19:1 Style file version June 3rd, 2002 ° C Sex Roles, Vol. 49, Nos. 1/2, July 2003 ( 2003) Book Review The Abuse of Men: Trauma Begets Trauma. Edited abuse of males in the same heading as a discussion by Barbara Jo Brothers. New York: Haworth of the military as an abusive institution. The article Press; 2001. 119 pp. $17.95. by Nicholls and Dutton rehashes discussions of the validity of measures of domestic violence, mostly in support of the work by Straus and his colleagues, justi- When asked to review this book, I was delighted. fying the use of the Conflict Tactic Scale as a valid mea- Having done antiviolence research and clinical work sure. This support seems to be a response, at least in with women for over 20 years, in the past few years, I part, to criticisms leveled at the instrument, asserting have felt the need to move beyond the dualistic “male- that it measures behavior without a context, that is, the perpetrator; female-victim” stance and actively learn power dynamics in relationships. Many researchers in more about male victim/survivors. This book, how- this field believe the placement of behavior in con- ever, is not a resource to help learn substantively text is crucial when studying domestic violence. More about male victims. interesting questions related to husband abuse were The book was copublished as the Journal of Cou- not addressed at all, such as how patterns of male vi- ples Therapy, Vol. 10 (2001), as is often the case of olence compare to patterns of female violence, and journals published by Haworth Press. However, there how the violence done by each gender may be similar was no attempt by the editor, Barbara Jo Brothers, to or different. A first-person story by Shub is curiously pull the articles into a cohesive theme for the book; included; his superficial gendered analysis of growing indeed, the book begins with a rather strange excerpt up fails to connect to writings in the field of masculin- from a lecture by Virginia Satir. This choppily edited ity, such as the work of Michael Kimmel and John transcription of a lecture at a training seminar jumps Stoltenberg, to name just two. His article’s connection from topic to topic, about relationships, feelings, com- to trauma is weak at best. The book concludes with munication, and therapist role. I found that it served to an overview of trauma from a clinical perspective by cloud rather than elucidate the remainder of the book. Parsons, who presents his intertrauma couples ther- Each chapter stands alone, and in many real ways, apy (InTCT). In my view, this was a nicely presented is unrelated to any other article, the title of the book overview of his approach, albeit largely atheoretical. notwithstanding. The claim that each relates to the Psychologists who work with couples and want to ex- abuse of men is unsubstantiated as well. The chapters’ pand their framework for such work might benefit (articles’) topics range all over the map, are not empir- from reading about his model. ically based, and are poorly documented. The articles I was wholly disappointed by this book. Even in often leave out important current theory and research my limited experience with research and theory about about the topics. For example, in the article by Bloom male victim/survivors of trauma, I did not learn any- and Lyle on vicariously traumatized partners of fe- thing of substance by reading it. This topic is an im- male sexual abuse survivors the authors seem to be portant one, and it is unfortunate that this book does uninformed about the large body of knowledge al- not live up to its title or promise. ready written about secondary and insidious trauma. Matsakis’ article lacks insight, giving simplistic expla- Susan C. Turell nations of why men abuse due to their past abuse his- Department of Psychology tories. She also inexplicably discusses early childhood University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire ° C 93 0360-0025/03/0700-0093/0 2003 Plenum Publishing Corporation

Journal

Sex RolesSpringer Journals

Published: Sep 28, 2004

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