Gender Symmetry in Dating Intimate Partner Violence: Does Similar Behavior Imply Similar Constructs?

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The present study examined the extent to which there is gender symmetry in the topography and experience of dating intimate partner violence (IPV). Self-report data were collected from 450 undergraduate men and women at a large Southeastern university. Perpetration and victimization rates were examined, as were context, function, and experience of fear. Results support the view that dating IPV is generally symmetrical at a topographical level, although significantly more women than men reported perpetration of severe physical assault. However, gender asymmetries were found in the context, function, and experience of fear. These findings suggest that gender-sensitive approaches are crucial to the understanding of dating IPV.

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