Gender Differences in Risk Factors for Physical Violence Between Dating Partners by University Students

Murray A. Straus, University of New Hampshire
Rose A. Medeiros, University of New Hampshire

It is widely believed that partner-assaults perpetrated by women have a different etiology than partner assaults pepretrated by men. This paper reviews previous research on this issue and reports the results of analysis of the extent to which the 21 risk factors measured by the Partner and Relationships Profile are related to assaulting a dating partner by a sample of 232 men and 334 women university students. Both the previous research and the new study show that half or more of the risk factors investigated apply to both men and women offenders. Thus, social scientists who are seeking to explain partner violence, and practitioners engaged in prevention or treatment programs need to be aware of both the ways in which the etiology of partner violence is similiar for men and women, and the ways in which it is different.

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Updated 05/20/2006