Sexual harassment, child abuse, incest, rape, murder, war, it’s impossible today to hear a news report that doesn’t talk about violent acts perpetrated by men. There are no easy answers to the problem of male violence particularly in a world that seems to thrive on aggression and physical force. Men’s Work reaches straight to its root causes. Men need to confront the political, social, and personal forces that generate and reward misogyny, hatred, anger, and violent behavior.
Seeing an image of a violent adult, it’s hard to imagine the innocent baby they once were. Is there such thing as being born violent? Are there really “bad seeds” when it comes to a human life? Like so many qualities, violence involves a real interaction between genetics and environment. We may not be able to alter the DNA we are born with, but we can strongly influence how these genes are expressed. With all the factors proven to contribute to violence risk, we can no longer say that violent individuals are just “born that way.” There is a lot we can do to prevent violence, and hardly anyone at any age is hopeless or beyond help.
Violence is the result of a combination of biological, social, and psychological factors, especially those that increase exposure to vulnerability, shame, and humiliation. Preventing violence must involve the opposite: making sure people feel safe, cared about, and connected, while ensuring they have a healthy and realistic sense of self-esteem and self-worth.
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