Unpleasant stories about men's aggression and violence towards their family members continue to surface. And violent behaviour can be assimilated through the family environment as children grow up. Boys who witness or even fall victim to domestic violence tend to use violence to deal with problems.
Dr Panpimol Wipulakorn, deputy director of the Department of Mental Health, Ministry of Public Health, said that fathers play a pivotal role in shaping their sons' attitudes and behaviour, including violence against women. She observed that domestic violence can occur when a father feels the need to control family members and assert dominant masculinity in the family; for example, a man may think he has the right to punish his wife when she behaves inappropriately.
"Parents' attitudes can positively or negatively affect their sons' lives," Dr Panpimol said. "Some families think it's fine to let boys fight and get hurt as the result of their decisions." The psychiatrist added that a boy usually learns from watching how his father reacts to different situations and how he solves problems, particularly whether he handles a challenge to his masculinity using violence.
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