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ACES generally start with a man beating or raping a woman or child.  No boy grows up to say "One day I will be big and strong and will use that strength to hurt other people... especially those people who love me".  Right?  That is not an aspiration for anyone.

So what is the sequence that results in this person hurting others?  What drives that? Anger / annoyance that their family doesn't appreciate them?

Sexual frustration?

An act to overcome a feeling  of powerlessness?

I don't understand.  Can someone explain this to me please?

Allan Friesen

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i work in sexual violence prevention. I think there are a few things. If it is demonstrated to you as a child that the world is a system of power, you just learn that like you learn your native language. We also use the term Toxic Masculinity to discuss the characteristics that our culture (and many cultures) attribute to being a successful man (strong, sexual, money, no emotions, heterosexual, etc). If you aren't given the opportunity to unpack the messages that other men and the media promote its easy to believe this is how you do things. You may want to check out the work of Jackson Katz, he has a few documentaries.

According to the ACE Study, any childhood adversity can lead to any type of acting out.

“Although violence can beget violence, it’s hardly the only cause of violence,” says Dr. Vincent Felitti, co-principal investigator of the CDC-Kaiser Permanente Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACE Study), groundbreaking epidemiological research that showed a direct link between 10 types of childhood trauma and the adult onset of chronic disease, mental illness, violence and being a victim of violence, among many other consequences.

“Basically there’s lots of other ways,” he says. “Humiliating people. Isolating people. Verbally provoking them. All of those have potential for producing violence in response.”

In addition, violence can provoke nonviolent behavior that can be just as damaging as violence.

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