Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

  • Authors:
  • M-L Corr
  • D. Gadd
  • I. Butler
  • C.L Fox


This document reports on the findings of the second phase of The From Boys to Men Project. This entailed thirteen focus group discussions with 69 young people, aged 13-19. The focus groups explored young men’s attitudes to domestic abuse by inviting responses to a government anti-violence publicity campaign and a series of hypothetical vignettes. Groups were selected on the basis that they may have apotentially distinctive relationship to violence and/or intimacy and so included;young people who had completed a school-based domestic abuse prevention programme;young people who were attending an alternative education programme;school students attending an anger management programme;two groups of young men undergoing Youth Offending Team supervision, one with a history of violence towards their girlfriends;young gay men;young Asian men;young men attending a substance use programme;young men who had witnessed violence at home.Differences between the groups in terms of their attitudes towards violence, however, were not as overt and consistent as might have been expected. For example, in general terms at least, there was broad consensus in every group that abuse in relationships is wrong. Abuse encompassed controllingbehaviour, including the exercise of emotional control, as much as physical and/or sexual violence. Participants’ initial reactions to televised scenes of domestic abuse were universally condemnatory. Despite this broad condemnation, it was quite common for participants to justify the use of controlling behaviour – and in fewer cases, physical violence – where low levels of trust were identified in arelationship. While trust was regarded by the young men we spoke to as a fundamental feature of any good relationship, romantic relationships lacking in trust were described as not worth having, even if providing sexual gratification. Leaving a relationship lacking in trust was regarded as a better option than violence. But some young men thought a breach of trust, for example when a partner has been –or has the potential to be – unfaithful, justified controlling behaviour. Others viewed controlling behaviour as necessary to protect naïve young women from the risks posed by dangerous men, or even to avoid a report to the police if accusations of rape might be made.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationUniversity of Manchester
PublisherUniversity of Manchester
Number of pages32
Publication statusPublished - 2013