|| Violence and Sexual Abuse at Home: Current Issues in Spousal Battering and Child Maltreatment
|| Robert Geffner, Susan B. Sorenson, and Paula K. Lundberg-Love
|| The Haworth Press, ©1997
The Haworth Press
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Binghamton, NY 13904-1580
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Selective attention is a phenomenon fairly well known in the perceptual research literature. This book is a demonstration that selective attention may also be observed in the reporting and interpretation of putative research data. Violence among humans is as old as humans. Violence is a constant in nature and the theory of evolution relies upon the scenario of survival of the
fittest as the engine driving the evolutionary process.
Throughout the chapters of this 371-page book there is evident choice to refer to and cite claims and reports that draw a picture of increasing violence and rapid escalation of violence to epidemic frequencies. Yet never does there appear any concept or theory offering a causal hypothesis for this sudden contemporary burst of great mayhem, murder, and malicious mischief. There is no recognition of a possible moral or even spiritual dimension to the tragedy of human violence.
A more balanced literature search and the exercise of some critical acumen and critical thinking about the status and reliability of the reports peppering the chapters in this book might lead to a more fruitful understanding and a more effective response. An example is the treatment of domestic violence by females in the chapter by Hamberger. Women who assault men are justified in their violence because they are victims of the men. The credible research evidence does not support this view.
While acknowledging in one sentence that there is some disconfirming evidence, Lundberg-Love proceeds to describe as a real taxon what used to be called multiple personality disorder and is now called dissociative identity disorder. At no point is any caution or hesitancy evident in the convoluted and speculative reification of all manner of intervening variables to account for the emergence of several conscious entities within one person. The treatment regimen prescribed is highly vulnerable to producing iatrogenic creation of the malady supposedly being treated.
Ideologically, the book is positioned to the comfort of the radical feminist perception of violence in a male-dominated world, and to the discomfiture of any who pursue rationality rather than emotionalism. Do not look to this volume for a reasoned and objective attempt to deal with the brute fact of human violence.
Reviewed by Ralph Underwager, Institute for Psychological Therapies, Northfield, Minnesota.