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When Men Murder Women$
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R. Emerson Dobash and Russell P. Dobash

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199914784

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199914784.001.0001

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Intimate Partner Murder —Perpetrators

Intimate Partner Murder —Perpetrators

Lifecourse, Orientations, and Cognitions

(p.67) 4 Intimate Partner Murder —Perpetrators
When Men Murder Women

R. Emerson Dobash

Russell P. Dobash

Oxford University Press

This focus on the perpetrators of intimate partner murders includes their lifecourse from childhood to adulthood and after imprisonment for murder. Adversity in childhood and problems in adulthood including unemployment, alcohol abuse, offending, and violence were reasonably common among men who killed an intimate partner. Most had problems in their relationships with women and a history of using violence against an intimate partner. For those with previous convictions for violence, the usual victim was a woman which suggests that these men “specialized” in using violence against women. However, around one-quarter had no previous convictions prior to the murder, and thus appeared to come “out of the blue” when they killed their intimate partner. Although the backgrounds of the men without previous convictions might be described as relatively “conventional”, they were similar to the men with previous convictions in terms of their orientations to women, and many had unreported histories of violence against the woman they killed. Rationalizations, justifications, and minimization of violence to present and previous intimate partners were common as was a lack of remorse for the murder or feelings of empathy for the victim. Finally, the lifecourse of Intimate Partner Murderers and Male-Male Murderers are compared using graphics in the chapter and corresponding tables in Appendix III.

Keywords:   lifecourse, intimate partner, murder, childhood, adulthood, alcohol, offending, behavior, “out of the blue”, orientations to women, empathy, remorse

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