The punch-drunk boxer and the battered wife: Gender and brain injury research

AHP readers may be interested in a piece published earlier this year in Social Science & Medicine, “The punch-drunk boxer and the battered wife: Gender and brain injury research” by Stephen T. Casper and Kelly O’Donnell. Abstract:

This essay uses gender as a category of historical and sociological analysis to situate two populations—boxers and victims of domestic violence—in context and explain the temporal and ontological discrepancies between them as potential brain injury patients. In boxing, the question of brain injury and its sequelae were analyzed from 1928 on, often on profoundly somatic grounds. With domestic violence, in contrast, the question of brain injury and its sequelae appear to have been first examined only after 1990. Symptoms prior to that period were often cast as functional in specific psychiatric and psychological nomenclatures. We examine this chronological and epistemological disconnection between forms of violence that appear otherwise highly similar even if existing in profoundly different spaces.

About Jacy Young

Jacy Young is a professor at Quest University Canada. A critical feminist psychologist and historian of psychology, she is committed to critical pedagogy and public engagement with feminist psychology and the history of the discipline.