Research Paper: Discriminatory Treatment of Women

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[. . .] The percent of utilization of the Family Violence Unit's protective order division provides a snapshot of the relative differences in utilization for male and female victims. Percentages of utilization are compared, rather than comparing males directly to females because of the assumption that women are more likely to be victimized by domestic violence and more likely to have their assaulters arrested. Establishing a p value of .05, a t-test is utilized to compare the percentages of utilization to see if any differences in utilization are statistically significant.


There were 1534 domestic violence assaults in Brazos County in 2011. Many of those assault involved victims who were minors (child abuse). There were 617 assaults of adults by opposite-gender romantic partners or ex-romantic partners. 451 of those assaults had female victims. 166 had male victims. There were 113 family violence protective orders granted to those victims with those perpetrators in the 12-month period after the assault that prompted the arrest. Of those family violence protective orders, 97 were obtained through the Brazos County Attorney's Family Violence Unit. From those orders, 13 of the applicants were male applicants with female perpetrators, and 84 were female applicants with male perpetrators. This translated to 7.8% of male victims of domestic violence assaults by opposite-gender partners seeking VAWA funded protective orders and 18.6% of female victims of domestic violence assaults by same-gender partners seeking VAWA funded protective orders. The mean for males is .078, the mean for females is .0186. The t-test was two-tailed to examine differences that favor both males or females. The critical value for a two-tail t-test was +/- 1.984467455. The P. value is 0.319773288. The t-stat is -1. Because the t-stat is larger than the p value identified for the two-tail test, the null hypothesis can be rejected; gender does appear to be linked to percent utilization of VAWA funded domestic violence resources.

Ethical Issues / Considerations

VAWA reporting requirements require routine collection of basic reporting data, including gender, and also indicate how the applicants were referred to the VAWA funded agency. The reporting was ancillary to the provision of services and was detached from identifying information for reporting purposes, maintaining their confidentiality. As a result, the study did not impact the availability of services.

The research articles mentioned the possibility that mandatory arrests and other programs developed to help eliminate the discriminatory treatment of women in public safety in the context of police response to domestic violence assaults has actually resulted in higher arrest rates for female perpetrators of domestic assaults. For example, in many jurisdictions, arresting officers who see evidence of mutual assault and are unable to determine the primary aggressor at the scene are required to arrest both parties. However, these mutual arrest policies fail to take into account the underlying dynamics of power and control that frequently make intimate partner so detrimental to female victims while not having the same impact on male victims. Therefore, the literature suggests that these well-intentioned policies need to be reexamined.

Discussions / Recommendations

The data suggest that women are more likely to utilize VAWA services for free protective orders than male victims of opposite-gender partner violence. At first blush, this may seem as if male victims are victims of gender discrimination. However, the research suggests that, while males and females may experience intimate partner violence at similar rates, the rates of underlying patterns of domestic violence differ according to the gender of victim and perpetrator. As a result, it is difficult to conclude why the percentage utilization rates are different. Future research would need to include information from victims about underlying domestic violence in the home.


Cooper, R. (2012). Lack of state accountability in acts of domestic violence: Understanding the contrast between the U.S. And international approaches. Arizona Journal of International and Comparative Law, 29(3), 657-689.

Franklin, E. (2010-2011). When domestic violence and sex-based discrimination collide: Civil rights approaches to combating domestic violence and its aftermath. DePaul Journal for Social Justice, 4(2), 335-348.

Goldfarb, S. (2010). Symposium presentation: Rutgers School of Law- Newark and the history of women and the law: Viewing the Violence Against Women Act through the lenses of feminist legal theory. Women's Rights Law Reporter, 31(2/3), 198-205.

Hines, D. & Douglas, E. (2011). The reported availability of U.S.… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Cite This Research Paper:

APA Format

Discriminatory Treatment of Women.  (2013, October 30).  Retrieved May 21, 2019, from

MLA Format

"Discriminatory Treatment of Women."  30 October 2013.  Web.  21 May 2019. <>.

Chicago Format

"Discriminatory Treatment of Women."  October 30, 2013.  Accessed May 21, 2019.