‘Don’t Blame Single-Mother Households for Violence’ says Anthropologist

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Lecturer in the Department of Sociology, Psychology and Social Work at the University of the West Indies, Dr. Herbert Gayle, is challenging the notion that the prevalence of single mother households is the root of violence in Jamaica.

Dr. Gayle says it’s a commonly held perception that children, especially boys, who grow up without a father present in the household usually grow up to be more violent.

The noted academic was addressing a conference of educators and board chairpersons from schools in the Education Ministry’s regions 1, 2 and 6 yesterday.

Jamaica recorded it’s third highest ever murder figure last year. More than 1,600 people were killed.

Dr. Gayle says the murder rate in Jamaica is almost 60 murders per 100,000. That’s twice the international standard for a civil war.

Dr. Gayle says Jamaica has become more violent as more fathers are present in the home.

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Speaking with the media following the event at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown, Kingston, Dr. Gayle says his presentation isn’t seeking to lay blame on mothers or fathers.

He says it’s important for educators to have a more inclusive perspective when it comes to preventing violence through education.

Meanwhile, Dr. Gayle also sought to provide research-based insight into why boys join gangs.

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William Mitchell is a sports-fanatic turned journalist. He graduated from CARIMAC in 2016. He interned at the Jamaica Gleaner covering sports and joined NNN in 2017. Mitchell covers crime for Nationwide. He’s been to every single zone of special operations across the island.