Y., high school students who were currently dating.
In that 2007 survey, 66 percent of boys and 65 percent of girls who were involved in physically aggressive relationships reported mutual aggression. Twenty-eight percent of the girls said that they were the sole perpetrator; 5 percent said they were the sole victim.
However, when it comes to for using violence and the consequences of being a victim of teen dating violence, the differences between the sexes are pronounced. O'Leary, "Multivariate Models of Men's and Women's Partner Aggression," 75 (2007): 752-764). [note 10] Molidor, "Gender and Contextual Factors." [note 11] Ackard, D.
Although both boys and girls report that anger is the primary motivating factor for using violence, girls also commonly report self-defense as a motivating factor, and boys also commonly cite the need to exert control. Boys are also more likely to react with laughter when their partner is physically aggressive. Girls experiencing teen dating violence are more likely than boys to suffer long-term negative behavioral and health consequences, including suicide attempts, depression, cigarette smoking and marijuana use.Why do teenagers commit violence against each other in romantic relationships? Kilpatrick, "Prevalence and Correlates of Dating Violence in a National Sample of Adolescents," 47 (2008): 755-762). [note 5] A developmental perspective considers changes over time.
These numbers were reversed for the boys: 5 percent said they were the sole perpetrator; 27 percent the sole victim.
In a third study, teen couples were videotaped while performing a problem-solving task.
Researchers later reviewed the tapes and identified acts of physical aggression that occurred between the boys and girls during the exercise.
They found that 30 percent of all the participating couples demonstrated physical aggression by both partners.
In South Carolina, for example, nearly 8 percent of adolescents reported being physically violent to a romantic partner.
One difference between adolescent and adult relationships is the absence of elements traditionally associated with greater male power in adult relationships. Adolescent girls are not typically dependent on romantic partners for financial stability, and they are less likely to have children to provide for and protect. Huebner, "Severe Dating Violence and Quality of Life Among South Carolina High School Students," 19 (2000): 220-227.
The study of seventh, ninth and 11th graders in Toledo, for example, found that a majority of the boys and girls who were interviewed said they had a relatively "equal say" in their romantic relationships. [note 4] National victimization prevalence estimates from a study of adolescents aged 12 to 17 years showed 0.6 percent for boys and 2.7 percent for girls.
Most of the practitioners in attendance — representing national organizations, schools and victim service community-based agencies — said that they primarily see female victims, and when they discuss teen dating violence with students, they hear that boys are the primary perpetrators. Because teen dating violence has only recently been recognized as a significant public health problem, the complex nature of this phenomenon is not fully understood.
Although research on rates of perpetration and victimization exists, research that examines the problem from a longitudinal perspective and considers the dynamics of teen romantic relationships is lacking.