Due to cultural norms that require men to present a strong façade and that minimize female-perpetrated abuse (Mooney, 2000; Straus et al, 1997; Sorenson & Taylor, 2005), men are less likely to verbalize fear of any kind. (Dutton & Nicholls, 2005; Hines et al, in press)
(Dutton, D., & Nicholls, T. (2005). A critical review of the gender paradigm in domestic violence research and theory: Part I – Theory and data. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 10, 680-714.
Hines, D., Brown, J., & Dunning, E. (in press) Characteristics of callers to the domestic abuse helpline for men. Journal of Family Violence.
Mooney, J. (2000). Gender, violence, and the social order. New York: St. Martin’s Press.
Sorenson, S., & Taylor, C. (2005). Female aggression toward male intimate partners: An examination of social norms in a community-based sample. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 29, 78-96.
Straus, M., Kaufman-Kantor, G., & Moore, D. (1997). Change in cultural norms approving marital violence: From 1968 to 1994. In G. Kaufman-Kantor & J. Jasinski (Eds.), Out of the darkness: Contemporary perspectives on family violence. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.)
Individuals who are controlling of their partners are much more likely to also be physically assaultive, and this holds equally for both male and female perpetrators.
(Felson, R., & Outlaw, M. (2007). The control motive and marital violence. Violence and Victims, 22 (4), 387-407.
Graham-Kevan, N. (2007). Men’s and women’s use of intimate partner violence: Implications for treatment programs. Presented July 9, 2007 at the International Family Violence and Child Victimization Research Conference, Portsmouth, New Hampshire.)
Societal norms support female-perpetrated abuse in the home. (Straus et al., 1997; Straus, 1999) (Straus, M. (1999). The controversy over domestic violence by women. In X. Arriaga & S. Oskamp (Eds.), Violence in intimate relationships (pp. 17-44).)
Structural power does not necessarily translate to individual power.
(Felson, R. (2002). Violence & gender reexamined. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.)
Surveys find that men and women assault one another and strike the first blow at approximately equal rates.
(Archer, J. (2000). Sex differences in aggression between heterosexual partners: A meta-analytic review. Psychological Bulletin, 126 (5), 651-680.
Dutton, D., Kwong, M., & Bartholomew, K. (1999). Gender differences in patterns of relationship violence in Alberta. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science, 31, 150-160
Morse, B. (1995). Beyond the Conflict Tactics Scale: Assessing gender differences in partner violence. Violence and Victims, 10 (4), 251-269.
Straus, M. (1993). Physical assaults by wives: A major social problem. In R. Gelles & D. Loseky (Eds.), Current controversies on family violence (pp. 67-87). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.)
Men and women engage in overall comparable levels of abuse and control, such as diminishing the partner’s self-esteem, isolation and jealousy, using children and economic abuse; however, men engage in higher levels of sexual coercion and can more easily intimidate physically.
(Coker, A, Davis, K., Arias, I., Desai, S., Sanderson, M., Brandt, H., & Smith, P. (2002). Physical and mental health effects of intimate partner violence for men and women. American Journal of Preventative Medicine, 23 (4), 260-268.
Hammock, G., & O’Hearn, R. (2002). Psychological aggression in dating relationships: Predictive models for male and females. Violence and Victims, 17, 525-540.)
*Thanks to John Hamel, LCSW, for assistance with this webpage section.