Cathy Gordon

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Zoann Snyder

Second Advisor

Dr. Ron Kramer

Third Advisor

Dr. Paula Brush

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Because contemporary families represent an increasingly diverse and complicated range of relationships and values, individuals engaged in traditional gender roles may find it difficult to challenge gender biased institutions or abandon abusive relationships. While family violence continues to be linked with economic and social power, interpersonal relationships based on traditional gender roles, which require conformity to social expectations, can also be a contributing factor. Feminist theory, which links patriarchal ideology with family violence, is used to explore culturally defined gender roles and the influence of social forces or social institutions that produce conflict, strain or violent behaviors. The influences of patriarchy on risk preference in battered women is also explored. The personal experiences of women staying at domestic violence shelters are examined through both interviews and questionnaire. Family life trends, social attitudes and beliefs about gender roles are identified and implications for intervention are also addressed.

Included in

Sociology Commons