Psychosocial Stress such as Violence Against their Partners could Benefit General Immunity in Intimate Partner Violence Perpetrators

Romero-Martínez A, Lila

Abstract

Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) perpetrators use physical and/or psychological abuse to control their partners and achieve a dominant status. As dominance is associated with low disease risk and fast quick illness recovery from an illness, such behaviors may contribute to improving their health at the expense of that of the battered women. Studies with immunological and hormonal parameters have recently revealed that IPV perpetrators present higher general immunocompetence (salivary IgA levels) in response to acute stress, especially during the preparation/anticipation period and when externalizing their anger. Salivary IgA levels have been proved to be increased by hormones, specifically by high testosterone and low cortisol characteristic in IPV perpetrators. Moreover, a high proneness to express anger (defined by high T/C ratio) supposes an increase in self-esteem and mental health. Thus, the use of violence against partners could reinforce their dominant status and, consequently, may serve to indirectly promote IPV perpetrators? immunity.

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