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In Search of Love

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(includes DVD, report and guide)

Produced in 1995, this powerful video (and companion report) uncovers the dynamics of intimate relationships that turn violent within the urban youth sub-culture. The video is the perfect companion to the study that focuses on the early dating stages of male/female interaction -- the teen and young adult years.

Captured on video are the compelling stories and accounts described by youth during a six-month video-documented study of dating violence among Black urban teens in five urban areas: Gary, IN; Baltimore, MD; Atlanta, GA; Philadelphia, PA; and Los Angeles, CA. The objective of this study was to understand the dynamics of urban youth culture, which allow, support, and even encourage violence in male/female relationships.

In Search of Love is a companion to the report and provides a first-hand account of how young urban males and females see each other and define their relationship. The study addresses a number of underlying factors, which contribute to dating violence, including identifying the provocative acts that may lead to violent and aggressive behavior.

In Search of Love was the “Community Choice Winner” at the 1997 National Black Programming Consortium's Prized Pieces International Film and Video Competition.

Click Here to view a trailer.

This excerpt is from a section of the In Search of Love report that describes how intimate violence is viewed differently than "street violence," and its ramifications.

"The acceptance of dating violence in adolescence is a precursor to family violence in adulthood. The problems that emerge during this crucial time period are often carried forward into adult life. As young males progress to adulthood, they learn that there are consequences to traditional male-on-male street violence. You either end up seriously hurt, in jail, or dead. However, young males believe that there are far fewer consequences resulting from beating up their girlfriends.

They believe that they can get away with it. Moreover, there are far fewer sanctions by their peers against physical domination in the privacy of one's relationship. The all important peer group will not 'get on you' for hitting your girlfriend. In some cases, it is even seen as necessary because as a man you 'have to keep your girl in check.'"

This excerpt from the In Search of Love report analyzes the concept of respect that arises in male-female relationships, and presents ways to possibly change this current relationship.

"In generalizing about respect/disrespect as perceived by our respondents, we see that respect can take many forms and is not bound by what mainstream or adult values might suggest. For these respondents, respect/disrespect is situational and contextual and framed by their own value system. One implication here is that interventions teach young people to 'respect themselves and each other' as a form of conflict and violence avoidance.

From the way the young people describe social interactions with each other, it seems difficult for young men to show the respect expected by relational partners without sacrificing some of their own street respect. It seems as if the culture forces a zero-sum game on giving and receiving respect. A relational partner who shows respect is forcing the giver to give up some of his or her own respect. Another goal of intervention strategies could be to reframe win-win outcomes."

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