Cadernos de Saúde Pública
Print version ISSN 0102-311X
CASTRO, Roberto and RIQUER, Florinda. Research on violence against women in Latin America: from blind empiricism to theory without data. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2003, vol.19, n.1, pp. 135-146. ISSN 0102-311X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2003000100015.
Research on violence against women in Latin America presents an interesting paradox: while the number of studies is quite small, there also appears to be a sense that research on this topic has been exhausted, despite the lack of any definitive responses to the nature and causes of the problem. This results from the boom in studies with a strong empirical focus, lacking any basis in more general sociological theory. On the other hand, research using social theory tends to ignore the existing mediations between structural arrangements and any individual specific behavior, as well as the interactive nature of domestic violence. Meanwhile, empirical research presents inconsistent results and tends to run into methodological problems such as operational confusion, contradictory findings, and results and recommendations that are too obvious. New research designs must be developed to enrich the field and which are solidly based on the body of conceptual knowledge in social sciences, abandoning designs without theory and those which are merely statistical. Only then will it be possible to imagine the new research questions that the problem of violence requires.
Keywords : Domestic Violence; Women's Health; Methods.