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Risk Factors for Physical Violence Between Dating Partners: Implications for Gender-Inclusive Preventon and Treatment of Family Violence

Medeiros, Rose A.
June 4, 2015

Source: (2007) In John Hamel and Tonia L. Nicholls, Ed., Family Interventions in Domestic Violence. New York, USA: Springer Publishing Company. Pp. 59-85.

“A sometimes bitter debate has waged for more than 25 years over research indicating that women physically assault their male partners at about the same rate as men physically attack female partners. Yet the evidence from almost 200 studies is overwhelming (Archer, 2000; Moffit, Caspi, Rutter, & Silva, 2001; Straus, 1999, 2005b). In recent years, the focus of the debate has shifted somewhat. Although still denying the overwhelming evidence of approximately equal rates of assault by men and women, those who believe that male dominance and male degradation of women is almost always at the root of partner violence now tend to focus on asserting or implying that, when women physically assault a partner, the causes or motives are different than when men attack their partners. Unfortunately, much of what has been written on differences in causes and motives is based on the beliefs and values of the authors rather than on empirical comparisons of men and women. For example, Dobash, Dobash, Wilson, and Daly (1992) asserted that men’s and women’s motivations for violence differ. But the only evidence they referred to is the greater injury rate suffered by woemn. Although it is true that female victims are more often injured, injury is a consequence of assault, not a cause. Neither Dobash et al.’s research nor any of the studies they cited provided evidence on differences in motivation or risk factors.” (excerpt)


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