Chapter

Deconstructing Gendered Discourses of Love, Power, and Violence in Intimate Relationships: Portuguese Women's Experiences

Sofia Neves and Conceição Nogueira

in Silencing the Self Across Cultures

Published in print March 2010 | ISBN: 9780195398090
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199776900 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195398090.003.0012
Deconstructing Gendered Discourses of Love, Power, and Violence in Intimate Relationships: Portuguese Women's Experiences

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This chapter examines the connections between self-silencing and gendered discourses about love, power, and violence in intimate relationships. The context of this analysis is current day Portuguese society, and the authors present their findings from an exploratory research project with Portuguese women using as their measures the Silencing the Self Scale and their Discourses about Intimacy questionnaire. The chapter argues that women's silence is linked to cultural norms and a rigid gender hierarchy that define self-sacrificing love as a natural characteristic of women while assuming that men naturally will take on a position of authority. The authors argue that these essentialist notions restrict women's self-determination and provide men with the social license to engage in physical, psychological, and sexual violence.

Keywords: self-silencing; portuguese society; intimacy; violence; gender roles; silencing the self scale

Chapter.  8601 words. 

Subjects: Social Psychology

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