Masculinities and Emotional Deficit: Linkages between Masculine Gender Pattern and Lack of Emotional Skills in Men who Mistreat Women in Intimacy

Ana Dolores Verdú Delgado, Carmen Mañas Viejo


This paper explores violence against women in the context of partner relationships, through testimonies of professionals from Social Services in five towns in the province of Alicante (Spain), and also of the psychologists who participate in the coordination and implementation of two intervention programs for inmate aggressors in Valencia and Alicante (Spain). Our analysis focuses on the linkages between gender and certain emotional deficits in men who mistreat women in intimacy. Among these deficits, we have stressed: lack of sense of responsibility for one’s own actions, lack of empathy, cognitive distortions related to a sexist system of values, convergence of violence as a strategy and lack of personal abilities, troubled view of the world and of the relationships with others, and emotional constriction. We suggest that the non-development of basic emotional abilities by these men, while connected with their gender socialization, requires particular attention for the purpose of treatment and prevention of this type of violence. Regarding relationships with gender-based violence, other relevant issues are raised, such as instrumentalization of women and dependence.


violence against women; patterns of masculinity; emotional skills; heterosexual couple

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MSC - Masculinities and social change | ISSN: 2014-3605

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