The Department of Psychology Brown Bag Series continues with Maureen McHugh discussing “Gender and Psychological Abuse: Conceptual and Measurement Issues.” The discussion will be held on Wednesday, November 14, 2012, from 12:20–1:10 p.m. in Uhler Hall, Room 111.
The literature on men’s experience of psychological abuse is reviewed with a focus on our ability to conceptualize and measure such abuse. Scales used to measure psychological abuse based on the experiences of battered women are critiqued as inadequate measures of psychological abuse of men. Evidence that women psychologically abuse male partners is examined, but I argue that gender influences the perpetration, experience, understanding, and impact of psychologically aggressive acts and that new conceptualizations and measures are needed. Adopting a gender role perspective on psychological abuse, I suggest that women may use different strategies to hurt men, including manipulation and gender role harassment. Others have argued that coercive control paired with physical violence may constitute one version of intimate partner violence more frequently perpetrated by men. Directions for future research are identified.