The Morality of Men Convicted of Domestic Violence: How It Supports the Maintenance of the Moral Self-Concept


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Abstract

The phenomenon of abuse toward women is a prevalent social problem in most societies. In the present work, we take into consideration the abusive man's point of view with particular reference to the sphere of their morality and set as aims: (a) to show that high levels of self-deception are mediating between an extreme moral worldview, called moral absolutism, and a functional high moral self-concept, (b) to analyze the relation of the five moral foundations (Harm, Fairness, Ingroup, Authority, and Purity) with this moral absolutism, and (c) to test a comprehensive model of the relationships between the individuated variables in the preceding hypotheses.Participants are 264 men convicted of domestic violence offenses, who, having begun court-mandated psychological treatment lasting 12 weeks, have filled out a self-report questionnaire during the second meeting.The results reveal that (a) self-deception is as a full mediator between moral absolutism and moral self-concept in men convicted of domestic violence and in such a way that the more they felt right about their moral beliefs, the more they deceived themselves, and the more they felt good about themselves, (b) the moral foundations could be explaining moral absolutism understood as a rigid moral vision of the world, and (c) the tested model produces satisfying fit indices.Finally, we discuss the applied implications, for example, a key role can be played by the family and the school: Moral socialization begins within the family and there finds the first push that will accompany it the rest of life.

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