Wednesday, October 28, 2020

The overall finding of this study suggests that experiencing a divorce is unlikely to lead to permanent personality change

Does divorce change your personality? Examining the effect of divorce occurrence on the Big Five personality traits using panel surveys from three countries. Sascha Spikic, Dimitri Mortelmans, Inge Pasteels. Personality and Individual Differences, October 27 2020, 110428.

Rolf Degen's take:

Abstract: Experiencing a divorce can be challenging and have a lasting impact on people's lives, but does it change your personality? By making use of large panel surveys from Australia, Germany, and the United Kingdom, intra-individual change in the Big Five personality traits of those who separated during a four-year observation, was compared to that of those who remained married. We tested the replicability of divorce-induced personality change across the three country samples, while also examining gender differences and separation duration. Latent difference score models mostly indicated that divorce is not a consistent predictor of personality change, as only isolated effects were found, and these could not be replicated across samples. Aside from the overall lack of replicable effects a few isolated effects were detected that offer some support for a modified version of the social investment principle. Nonetheless, the overall finding of this study suggests that experiencing a divorce is unlikely to lead to permanent personality change.

Keywords: Personality changeDivorceBig FiveSocial investment theoryLatent difference score

From 2016... Women and girls, too, suffer from relative deprivation & are exposed to the same cultural influences promoting capitalist & individualist materialist acquisition, all of which should give them the motivation needed to commit crimes in rural areas

Contemporary Issues in Left Realism. Walter DeKeseredy. International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy 5(3): 12‐26. 2016. DOI: 10.5204/ijcjsd.v5i3.321

Abstract: Using Roger Matthews' (2014) book Realist Criminology as a launching pad, this article points to some timely issues that warrant attention from Left Realism. Special attention is devoted to rebuilding the Left realist movement and to some new empirical directions, such as critical studies of policing, adult Internet pornography, and rural women and girls in conflict with the law.


Adult Internet pornography consumption and its violent effects

Less than a handful of academics who publicly identify themselves as critical criminologists have focused on adult pornography and its violent consequences. Actually, criminologists in general ‘have not been fleet of foot’ in dealing with Internet porn (Atkinson and Rodgers 2014:1). This is partially due to the fact that numerous academics and university/college administrators view pornography as a topic unfit for scholarly inquiry (DeKeseredy and Corsianos 2016). Nevertheless, there is a growing body of progressive social scientific literature that challenges this belief and some Left realists have recently added to it (DeKeseredy 2015a, 2015b; DeKeseredy and Schwartz 2013). Some realists have also gathered relatively new qualitative data on the relationship between male pornography consumption and various types of violence against women (DeKeseredy and Hall‐Sanchez 2016; DeKeseredy and Schwartz 2009).

Given their keen interest in the mass media, it is logical to assume that cultural criminologists would also study contemporary Internet pornography, including the emergence of amateur online ‘tubes’, such as YouPorn, XTube and Porno Tube, all modeled after the widely used and popular YouTube. YouPorn had 15 million users after launching in 2006 and was growing at a monthly rate of 37.5 per cent (DeKeseredy 2015a; Mowlabocus 2010; Slayden 2010). Yet, as Matthews (2014) states in his critique of cultural criminology:

Surprisingly, there is relatively little discussion of the new social media and their profound impact upon culture, politics and identities (Castells 1996; Ferrell et al. 2008; Young 2007). For a criminology which aspires to be ‘critical and activist’, this is a strange omission since the new social media are widely held responsible for transforming and undermining, as well as challenging, established forms of mass media and facilitating so‐called cyber activism. (Matthews 2014: 100) Matthews’ assessment of cultural criminology is not totally negative and he identifies ‘points of agreement’ that ‘may provide some foundation for developing a cultural realism’ (2014: 108).

As a matter of fact, shortly before his death, Jock Young was very optimistic about such an intellectual and political development. In his foreword to the 40th anniversary edition of Taylor, Walton and Young’s The New Criminology, Young (2013: xxxiv) states, ‘There is a certain serendipity with regards to a synthesis between realism and cultural criminology because both fit together like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle: one depicts the form of the social interaction that we call crime, while the second breathes human life into it’. Young also asserts that cultural criminology brings to the ‘square of crime’ discussed by contributors to this 2013 issue and other publications (Donnermeyer and DeKeseredy 2014; Young 1992) ‘meaning, energy and emotion: it turns its formal structure into a lived reality’ (2013: xxxviii).

If a Cultural Realism is born, perhaps it will follow in the footsteps of its cultural criminological parents (for example, Ferrell, Hayward and Young 2008), continue to examine popular culture, and address Matthews’ call to examine social media. Again, there are social media porn sites and pornography is now an integral part of popular culture. To be sure, these transformations warrant considerable empirical, theoretical and political attention from Cultural Realism. The rationale is as follows. First, we now live in a post‐Playboy world (Jensen 2007) in which adult Internet pornography has become normalized or mainstreamed (DeKeseredy 2015b; Dines 2010). Second, cyber porn images, videos and literature cause much damage to gender relations for these (and other) reasons:

 They are widely accepted, despite becoming increasingly more violent and racist (DeKeseredy and Corsianos 2016). Internet pornography often involves gang rapes and features degrading stereotypical images of people of color, Asian women and Latinas (Bridges et al. 2010; DeKeseredy 2015b; Dines 2010).

 There is a growing body of research showing a strong correlation between male consumption of cyber porn and the abuse of current and former female intimates (DeKeseredy 2015a, 2015b).

 There are over four million Internet pornography sites (Dines 2010), with thousands added every week (DeKeseredy, Muzzatti and Donnermeyer 2014).

 Pornography is a lucrative business and those who produce it aggressively defend their means of profiting off degradation, racism, sexism and suffering. Consider that worldwide pornography from a variety of sources (for example, Internet, sex shops, hotel rooms) recently topped US$ 97 billion. This is more than the combined revenues of these famous technology companies: Microsoft, Google, Amazon, eBay, Yahoo!, Apple, Netflix, and Earthlink (DeKeseredy 2015b).

In addition to adding to a much‐needed critical criminological data base on porn, Cultural Realism would make another important contribution, which is prioritizing gender. ‘Gender matters’ is a call that has thus far received little attention from cultural criminologists around the world (DeKeseredy and Dragiewicz 2013; Dragiewicz 2009). Perhaps this is because cultural criminologists agree with Matthews’ (2014: 11) claim that feminist criminology ‘has lost much of its impetus in recent years’. Nothing could be further from the truth. As Flavin and Artz (2013: 10) remind us in the Routledge International Handbook of Crime and Gender Studies, there has definitely been ‘extensive theoretical and empirical progress’ in the study of crime and gender. In point of fact, feminist analyses of the gendered nature of crime, law and social control are stronger than ever and any variant of realist criminology can only gain by meaningfully engaging with this work.

Nevertheless, Matthews (2014: 12) accurately notes that much of feminism now focuses ‘on specific issues rather than engaging in wider debates about patriarchy and gender inequalities’. This is not a new observation. Nine years ago Meda Chesney‐Lind (2006: 9) asserted, ‘the field must put an even greater priority on theorizing patriarchy and crime’. Feminist scholars who study gender and crime can do a better job of explaining what we mean when we talk about gender and patriarchy. These concepts are complex and their meanings are not self‐evident.

There is a need for theories that explain how patriarchal gender norms shape material realities as well as individual beliefs and behavior. It is the interaction of cultural, institutional and personal manifestations of patriarchy that is truly interesting (DeKeseredy and Dragiewicz 2013).

Rural women and girls in conflict with the law


Left Realism could fill a major void by discerning, through the use of local surveys and other methods, whether rural women and girls are at greater risk of committing crimes than girls and women in urban and suburban places. Our knowledge of similarities and differences in criminal justice system responses to rural and urban women/girls in conflict with the law is also limited (DeKeseredy 2015c). What we do know, however, is that women and girls, too, suffer from relative deprivation, belong to subcultures, and are exposed to the same mass media and cultural influences promoting capitalist and individualist materialist acquisition, all of which should give them the motivation needed to commit crimes in rural areas and to obtain desired objects (DeKeseredy and Schwartz 2005). Still, compared to men and boys, most females do not do this. Left realist research and theory, regardless of whether such work occurs in rural or urban places, are still weak in this case and could again benefit by addressing the work of feminist scholars such as Claire Renzetti (2013), Kerry Carrington (2015) and Meda Chesney‐Lind and Merry Morash (2013).

Left Realism should address these concerns in its future attempts to take new ‘departures from criminological and sociological urbanism’ (Hogg and Carrington 2006: 1). These partings should also take us in new theoretical and methodological directions because rural criminology is largely atheoretical and is mostly quantitative in nature (DeKeseredy and Dragiewicz 2013; Donnermeyer and DeKeseredy 2014).