IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Dominance and symmetry in partner violence by male and female university students in 32 nations

Listed author(s):
  • Straus, Murray A.
Registered author(s):

    The study investigated the widely held beliefs that physical violence against partners (PV) in marital, cohabiting, and dating relationships is almost entirely perpetrated by men, and that the major risk factor for PV is male dominance in the relationship. The empirical data on these issues were provided by 13,601 university students in 32 nations who participated in the International Dating Violence Study. The results in the first part of this paper show that almost one-third of the female as well as male students physically assaulted a dating partner in the previous 12 months, and that the most frequent pattern was bidirectional, i.e., both were violent, followed by "female-only" violence. Violence by only the male partner was the least frequent pattern according to both male and female participants. The second part of the article focuses on whether there is gender symmetry in a crucial aspect of the etiology of partner PV -- dominance by one partner. The results show that dominance by either the male or the female partner is associated with an increased probability of violence. These results, in combination with results from many other studies, call into question the assumption that PV is primarily a male crime and that, when women are violent, it is usually in self-defense. Because these assumptions are crucial elements in almost all partner PV prevention and treatment programs, a fundamental revision is needed to bring these programs into alignment with the empirical data. Prevention and treatment of PV could become more effective if the programs recognize that most PV is bidirectional and act on the high rate of perpetration by women and the fact that dominance by the female partner is as strongly related to PV as dominance by the male partner.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0190-7409(07)00185-5
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Children and Youth Services Review.

    Volume (Year): 30 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 3 (March)
    Pages: 252-275

    as
    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:30:y:2008:i:3:p:252-275
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/childyouth

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as
    in new window


    1. David Sugarman & Murray Straus, 1988. "Indicators of gender equality for American states and regions," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 20(3), pages 229-270, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:30:y:2008:i:3:p:252-275. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.