The Human Science of Violence: Research on Roots of

The Human Science of Violence: Research on Roots of

The Human Science of Violence: Researching Roots & Prevention Greg Malszecki, Ph.D LaMarsh Research Centre on Violence & Conflict Resolution & School of Kinesiology & Health Science in the new Faculty of Health, York University Forms of Violence in Interpersonal Conflicts, Militarism, Eco-killing Violence is the antithesis of creativity and

wholeness. It destroys community and makes humanity impossible. Martin Luther King, Jr. There can be no peace as long as there is grinding poverty, social injustice, inequality, oppression, environmental degradation, and as long as the weak and small continue to be downtrodden by the mighty and powerful.--Dalai Lama What is Violence? Use of physical force to hurt, damage, or kill a person, persons, property, communities, or earth

Domestic violence of spouse, children, family, elders either physical/sexual abuse Interpersonal violence in schools, sports, dating, assault, rape, murder, war, ethnic cleansing Corporate violence on workers, people, ecology Political violence of sexism/racism, policing, ethnic cleansing, genocide, and war continuum of violence from threat to genocide Inadequate Theories of Violence Biological explanations: genetics, drives,

testosterone, teeter-totter brain, no signals Behavioural explanations: human instinct a la Freud, learned aggression, frustration, wrong parenting, violent subcultures, ethnic disposition, faulty role-playing, media-generated imagery, psychological deficiencies, criminal personality Evolutionary explanations: birthing trauma, animal regression, differentiating sexes, manthe-hunter, historical imprints, moral/legal civilizing processes & definitions, violent cultures Problems in these Approaches

Violence has a gender: males excel at it! Biological explanations do not account for individual agency/cross-cultural patterns Behavioural explanations do not account for the complex social causes of violence, e.g. unemployment nor refusal of violence Violence does not occur spontaneously Violence often instrumental to prove masculinity & virility by males, yet not all Recent Examples

American school shootings Gang shootings in Toronto Domestic violence & child assault reporting

Catholic priests convictions for pedophilia Impact of cumulative increase in media violence Light penalties for environmental criminals Increased need for respect in the face of equalizing of sexes: Montreal Massacre89 At the beginning of 2003, there were thirty wars (conflicts claiming more than 1000 lives) Violence increasing, not decreasing: torture acceptable Sample: Testosterone=Aggression Robert Sapolsky, Tesosterone rules! (1998): t-levels

cannot predict which males will be violent boys will be boysbut environmental triggers of aggression work to release the hormone into the system Even if much higher levels are introduced, social environment plays a major role in subsequent behaviour Biology is NOT destiny in the male: stereotype disproved in labs & field studies; normal N.A. males not violent Even castration does not result in no aggression Critical to remember the limits of biology: meaningless outside of the context of social factors of human milieu

Preventing Violence James Gilligan (2000): almost every act of violence preventable, if it is a priority Abolish moral/legal approach as vicious cycle but treat it as a public health threat Shame & perceived disrespect triggers for violencerestores self-esteem (but not females) Social causes: relative poverty/jobless rate, caste rankings, shame culture, wars, gender role Violence proves masculinity (as homophobia)

On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War & Society Lt. Col. Dave Grossman (1996): most researchers + gen. public never recognize resistance to killing as nearly universal Killing is traumatic: easier from a distance Factors: demands of authority, group absolution, emotional distance, type of victim, killers predisposition, death-math: training, recent experiences, temper What are we doing to our children? Media!

What Every Person Should Know about War (2003) Chris Hedges, NY Times war correspondent, authored War is a Force that gives us meaning Bullets travel 730 m/s over a kilometre; 40% combat deaths = head/neck wounds Of past 3400 years, humans have been entirely at peace for 8% of them Between 1900-1990, 43 million soldiers died but 62 million civilians; in the 1990s, civilian deaths

were between 75-90% of all war deaths Most recruits MUST be trained to kill (Pavlovian) Investigating War as Violence

Gwynne Dyer, War, New Edition (2004) Joshua Goldstein, War & Gender (2001) Barbara Ehrenreich, Blood Rites (1997) David Jones, Women Warriors (1997) Joseph Kuypers, Mans Will to Hurt (1992) Glen Stassen, Just Peacemaking (1998) Howard Zinn, Just War (2005) Elimination of Violence Elizabeth Stanko, Violence Research

Program, (London, England) Centre for Peace Studies (U of T) & LaMarsh Research Centre (York U.) UN Declaration of Human Rights (1948) authored by John Peters Humphrey (Can.) UN Sec-Gens Study of Violence Against Children (June 2005) Covers family, community, schools, media, other institutions + esp. vulnerable kids Identifies gaps in research & stats info

Evidence demonstrates that these violationshave serious & lifelong effects on childrens devel. & society as a whole what happens to you as a child will stay with you the rest of your life 13 yr old girl Situation Urgent: Global Priority Annual estimates US $ billions: UN (1998) basic education for all humanity: 6 water/sanitation for all: 9 basic health/nutrition for all: 13

Ice cream bought in EU: 11 Pet Food costs in USA & Europe: 17 Narcotic Drugs globally: 400 Military Spending globally: 780 Youth: Take a look at choices

3rd Marines at Fallujah (music--Korn) Free Hugs Campaign (music-sick puppies) Howard Zinn on war (Youtube) VRP Site Peace Brigades War Child site UNICEF

PAEP LaMarsh Research [email protected] Focuses on violence, youth, & health has Child/Youth Violence Research Group Home of Canadian Initiative for Prevention of Bullying (develops awareness & tools) Offers Brazilian Ball funds for Seed Grants & Research Development Grants aimed at reducing violence in the lives of children & youth, plus Graduate Awards for students

Faculty Research [email protected] LaMarsh {contact Centre Coordinator, Irene Backhouse } Dr. Jennifer Connolly: Teen Relationship Project on dating violence & harassment Dr. Debra Pepler: CIPB national program to study & stop bullying in school/ peers Dr. Des Ellis: Risk Management for predicting domestic [email protected] Dr. Greg Malszecki: research on violence in sport

at all levels & gender/homophobia Dr. Trevor Hart: Teen Sexuality/SelfHealth&Peers What to do? Support anti-violence education and anti-bullying along with peace efforts & personal responses Acknowledge the male gender of violence: key Redefine theories by including social context Take profit/pleasure out of pain: cruelty desensit. Destroy weapons and use of force: end fighting culture and refuse it as a solution to all conflict

Admit negative role of media: inform investors Seek partnerships & promote health through absolute insistence on all essential human rights Conclusion What is conditioned can be deconditioned. Men can change -Catherine Itzin Witnessing violence teaches you violence and makes you hate. -Adolescent, Sask. Youth in Care & Custody Network

if it is to be, it is up to me The state of inner readiness is known as hope Spring when flowers burst out of hard patches of wintered land makes growth look so easy, but do not be fooled; growth is the process of staying with what seems futile and useless and ungiving and barren until it becomes

something that we know was worth doing. Growth is the process of finally finding good where for a while no good seemed to be Joan Chittister, feminist theologian & ecologist This is where you come in

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