h a l f b a k e r y
"Bun is such a sad word, is it not?" -- Watt, "Waiting for Godot"
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IPV stands for intimate partner violence. It is a problem worldwide. I think a big part of the problem is that due to nature, nurture or both many men are violence prone. Where culture and economics allow, women vote with their feet and can sometimes arrange things such that any IP has less opportunity
for violence (for example, not living under the same roof). But circumstances do not always allow.
Mortality in infancy / childhood is a huge % of the mortality burden for any species, humans included. In animals that live in groups, a substantial contributor to mortality is mortality due to adult non-parental males. This is true for humans to this day and the males which pose the greatest risk are stepdads and boyfriends. Children are not intimate partners but it may be that human children have evolved a pheromonal defensive mechanism. The finding that fathers have decreased testosterone after a baby is in the house suggests to me a pheromonal mechanism. If there has been evaluation of testoterone levels of nonparental males in the house with a baby (eg stepdad, teenaged brother) I have not seen it but it stands to reason a pheromone should have global effect.
If this pheromone exists, it could be used to protect the IP as well (and no doubt a benefit of suppressing testosterone is more mommy time for baby). One could have devices, religious icons or other unobtrusive items which emit this pheromone and suppress aggressive and other testosterone-related impulses by males in the vicinity.
How to test? A difficult thing to field test because of difficulty ascertaining if IPV takes place and also ethical concerns about allowing a person to remain in an envirnoment posing a risk for IPV. I propose to test this effect in a completely different circumstance: prisons. Violence is common in prisons, and one would hope it is tracked. Prison populations could be randomized to pheromone vs control and violent episodes tracked, then the groups switched. If baby pheromone can suppress violence in this population then the next step would be to try it against IPV. Plus keep it in the prisons.
Call for IPV interventions
[bungston, Sep 15 2015]
Baby lowers testosterone
"How?" is easier to answer than "why?" [bungston, Sep 15 2015]
40% of domestic violence victims are male
[Voice, Sep 15 2015]
The oppressed class
[Voice, Sep 15 2015]
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||Because only males perpetrate domestic violence
The perception is so skewed that when honest reporting
started to happen in California feminists started pushing
"predominant aggressor" criteria for arrests requiting
to take into account the size and weight of those
involved. (in practice the criteria are used to skew
arrests heavily toward men, even when the man shows
Then they got to report on arrest statistics instead of
perpetrators. Anything to make women look like victims.
From the linked blog:
societies open their eyes and start seeing reality, instead
of continuing to believe what they are told, we will
continue to see women's violence as what it is not--
excusable, justifiable, less harmful, a righteous rebellion
against tyranny, and a reaching upward for
empowerment--rather than what it actually is.
||/only males perpetrate/
I was careful writing this. IP paragraphs mention gender economics in first paragraph, conspecific non-parental male aggression in context of pheromones but prison section and IP section are gender neutral. IPV is not all male on female. Neither is testosterone the exclusive province of the male.
||Aggression connotes passion although for IPV that is not always the case: violence can be used rationally to control another individual and that type is the hardest of all to address; violence is a tool, not an event.
|| This idea aims at the passionate, irrational type of aggression which does not clearly advance the long term interest of any party. This type, I suspect, is associated with testosterone in both males and females. The prison experiment should include womens and mens prisons both.
||Side thought: what if the fathers in the pheromone experiment are bystanders, and the target is the female? It is very much in the interest of the baby to minimize competition by other babies.
||It would be an interesting study but I think it has less to do with testosterone and more to do with self control and empathy.
||Pump me as full of testosterone as I could live through and I still wouldn't abuse my partner, kids, or anybody else, so I can't help wonder how much nature wins out over nurture.
||It sure wasn't upbringing that instilled that trait. In fact I was kind of taught exactly how to physically, mentally, and emotionally crush your partner and their children by quite a master of the art of abuse.
In fact almost everything I am is based on doing the exact opposite of what I was taught by that man, (yep step-dad, you guessed it) so, people can blame such actions on hormones, or... man-up and get a grip on them.
||It certainly might help those with no grip.
||The many documented cases of child abuse, up to and
including torture and murder, inflicted by natural parents
as well as by step-parents and other home sharers, give the
lie to the notion that a child or infant simply exudes some
||/give the lie/
Sort of like bulletproof vests. Soldiers wearing
bulletproof vests are killed by bullets all the time.
||Although not pheremones, aromatherapy gets moderate
support at the pubmed database. The thing is, can
aromatherapy work without an aroma? Lavender has a
number of publications saying it relaxes people and
reduces anxiety. So, make a few hundred variations on
the lavender scent molecule, perhaps some will be
odorless, and see if any of them are also relaxing.
||Coming soon: a little scented tree for the vehicle that is
measured as causing better driving and reducing
||Then there is also the thing to be tested: Does being
more relaxed and less anxious measurably reduce IPV?