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Social learning theory, the theory that human behavior is learned from observing others, is one basis for understanding the etiology of some forms of interpersonal violence: having seen trauma and then subsequently being aggressive. For example, one of the predictors of committing domestic violence (for males) is having witnessed violence at home as a child. Having been beaten as a child is almost equally predictive of being a spouse abuser for males. Although these are clear findings, witnessing or experiencing trauma only accounts for about 20% of the variance in outcomes of domestic violence in most studies.

What about the aggression of sexually abusive individuals? Is that a learned behavior? Is there a cycle of intergenerational transmission? If sexually abusive individuals learned their behavior in a ...

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