Handbook on Gender and Health
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Handbook on Gender and Health

Edited by Jasmine Gideon

This Handbook brings together a groundbreaking collection of chapters that uses a gender lens to explore health, healthcare and health policy in both the Global South and North. Empirical evidence is drawn from a variety of different settings and points to the many ways in which the gendered dimensions of health have become reworked across the globe.
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Chapter 22: Cycles of violence in gendered social contexts: why does child maltreatment lead to increased risk of intimate partner violence in adulthood?

Karen Devries, Heidi Grundlingh and Louise Knight


This chapter explores how experiences of maltreatment in childhood lead to both use and experience of violence in adulthood. The authors draw on literature from the diverse disciplines of genetics, developmental biology, psychology and psychiatry, and consider how gendered social contexts interact with children’s biology and psychology to shape development. Early experiences of violence can lead to changes in children’s cognitions and behaviours and poor mental health; gendered contexts teach and reinforce the acceptability of certain forms of violence. These in turn can affect interactions with early intimate partners, increasing or decreasing the risk of violence. There are a range of intervention strategies that can interrupt this cycle: parenting interventions, school-based interventions and social norm change interventions all hold promise.

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