With regard to violence men are predominately seen as the problem so they should also be seen as part of the solution (Flood, 2001; Berkowitz, 2004). Not to say that woman cannot be violent but figures for Australia and worldwide indicate there is a 90% chance that if an incident of violence is recorded the fact is it will predominantly be a male who is the perpetrator (Flood, 2011; Hautzinger, 2003). Discovering why men are more prone to violence has seen decades of discourse and research surrounding this issue with varying aetiologies and epistemology of their violence such as cultural constructionist theories and biological/ psychological, or known as instinct theories (Monahan, 2010; Pease, 2008; Pepler & Slaby,1994). The past fifteen years has seen the emergence, through a pro-feminist ideology (Tysion, 2013; Ruspini, Hearn, Pease & Pringle, 2011), where men themselves are tackling the issue of men’s violence through preventive and peer based programs. This essay will investigate the benefits and criticisms of such an approach to see if there is potential to alleviate this issue and examine contemporary discourse of its future.
Initial psychological investigation in questioning where violence originates has been explored from a biological perspective that all humans have an instinctual endowment similar to animals that reacts to external stimuli that are not taught but are derived as a survival determination (Forgas, Kruglanski & Williams, 2011). Instinct that Freud believes stems from the Eros (positive) and Thanatos (destructive) that are internal forces that allow humans to be aggressive (Pepler & Slaby, 1994). It is with these internal forces that give reason to the possibility of controlling this aggression (Forgas, Kruglanski & Williams, 2011; Pepler & Slaby, 1994) as not all men are violent (Flood, 2012; Pease, 2008). This enters the debate into the area of cultural constructionist theories. Contemporary research indicates that violence is not random but learnt and if so can be unlearned (Eron & Slaby, 1994). For men the learning of this violence or culturally constructed usually takes in credits of power that is reinforced through a dominant patriarchal society (Hamilton, 2009) through gender based privilege and status that lead to this inequality of power (Jenkins, 1990). Once determining how this aggression or violence has evolved and in what capacity it presents will then determine what action is taken to rectify the situation (Scott & Wolfe 2000). With many of the programs being implemented over the past 30 years, with mixed results in inhibiting the issue contemporary research and discourse are now focussed on preventative measures (Scott, 2004; Mills, 2006; Flood, 2010; Pease, 2008).
Historically programs dealing with men’s violent behaviour came through feminist approaches (Forbes, Adams-Curtis, Pakalka 7 White, 2006; Flood, 2004; Orme, Dominelli & Mullender, 2010). These predominantly dealt in working with the victims through women-centred practice to give safety and empowerment to deal with leaving violent situations, particularly with domestic violence but they did not deal with address the main issue of the violent men themselves (Orme et al 2010). So inevitably it was these programs that were tweaked and then used in an attempt as preventative for these violent men. Being the most used approach the feminist ideologies derived from the perception that men needed to be accountable for their violence (McPhail, Busch, Kulkarni & Rice, 2007). Such methodologies though have come in for numerous criticisms especially from the radical feminist movement that heavily relies on the State to intervene particularly with punitive approaches. Current data though reveals that such methods only result in a 35% success rate of eliminating or reducing such violence and aggression (Mills, 2006; Scott, 2004). With such limiting success a new