RE: Resocializing &Violence

Linda Purrington (
Thu, 09 Apr 1998 17:00:21 -0700

In the last year or so, I remember seeing a reference to a study that
found violence against women was caused by gender inequity. Does anyone
have a reference/citation to that study? Reading Robert Tighe's
thoughtful answer to my questions, I was wondering if that was why Title
IX is so important--I keep being baffled when people working on violence
in the schools consistently drop Title IX out of consideration.
Linda Purrington
Title IX Advocates

Robert Tighe wrote:
> Linda asked a lot of questions, and I have given a longish
> set of answers (advance warning), and have focused them on
> what we can do in education (Kim's comments about the role
> of parents is true, but, as Linda noted, we have very little
> control over that aspect of socialization):
> >From: Linda Purrington <>
> > ... I have been disturbed that here
> >in Sonoma County (CA) there have been pullout counseling programs for
> >girls, but none for boys. Parents are not contacted about the pullouts,
> >nor are the "counselors" in fact qualified in any special way. The
> >assumption is that somehow the girls are defectively unassertive; but
> >nothing is done about the boys' behavior that suppresses girls'
> >assertion.
> > What kinds of programs should be provided to the boys?
> Girls and boys both need separate support opportunities, for example
> places where they can discuss social problems with a trained counselor
> (i.e., one who is familiar with the negative tendencies of social
> conditioning, and who can encourage students to get to the root of a
> problem, and who has strategies for redirecting negative tendencies).
> The current average ratio of 1 counselor for every 800 students in
> middle schools is extremely inadequate, and very few of our current
> counselors or teachers are knowledgeable enough about soving problems.
> In many schools in Albuquerque, we have seen benefits from training
> students in peer mediation and conflict resolution techniques.
> But mostly, girls and boys need to see adults who are not caught in
> the negative stereotypes and roles favored by our society, adults
> who can model equitable behavior and tolerance for difference in
> everyday interactions, especially in the classroom. Unfortunately,
> I have found that such adults are relatively rare, even in teaching.
> Even teachers who are aware of sexism often have difficulty avoiding
> sexist actions and preferences, especially when dealing with large
> classes.
> Robert Weverka's comments about getting more "non-traditional" males
> into elementary classrooms apply here (perhaps we need more teachers
> of all types, at all levels, with "non-traditional" attitudes).
> If we can find the resources to develop equity programs, perhaps they
> should be focused on training teachers.
> > What role modeling and other types of learning most reduce violent
> >behavior in boys? For example, does doing child care help?
> Boys should be strongly encouraged to find non-violent methods to
> resolve conflicts, and should be shown that their own positive efforts
> can solve most of their problems (which boys tend to blame on others).
> Smaller classes and trained teachers would help us to identify and
> redirect negative behaviors immediately.
> If a boy is trying to identify with and defend a traditional masculine
> image, child care could tend to make him defensive and resentful,
> especially if parents or peers kid him about it. If ALL boys (and
> girls) at a school are required to take Home Economics, Parenting, and
> Conflict Resolution classes, this could be helpful (there will be
> resistance from many parents).
> > What gains for teacher control of the classroom can be anticipated
> >from such programs? What do we do with the teachers who also need to be
> >resocialized?
> And there are many teachers who need to be "resocialized"...
> I would support required classes in equity, taught by a professor
> who really believes in the topic, as part of the teacher training
> schedule. Inservices for current teachers can be counter-productive
> if they are not voluntary, but even voluntary training can help.
> Administrative and peer evaluations can also be helpful, if the
> evaluators really have both the time needed to observe and the
> personnel skills needed to inspire improvements.
> Conflict resolution and tolerance programs are helpful in reducing
> conflicts within a school and classroom. Anything else which increases
> the perception of equitable and caring treatment among students and
> teachers should also help morale and reduce conflicts, both of which
> can greatly improve the classroom environment. Smaller classes
> wouldn't hurt, either (did I say that often enough?).
> -- Bob Tighe
> =========+=+=+=+=+=+===============+=+========================
> Robert Tighe Resource Teacher
> Instructional Technology
> Albuquerque Public Schools Never doubt that a small group of
> 220 Monroe SW thoughtful, committed citizens can
> Albuquerque, NM 87108-2811 change the world; indeed it's the
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> 505-256-4266 -- Margaret Mead
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