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Women more aggressive to partners than men
26/06/2014
Women may be more likely to be aggressive to their partners than men, according to a study presented this
week as part of a symposium on intimate partner violence (IPV) at the British Psychological Society's Division of
Forensic Psychology annual conference i n Gl asgow (http://www.bps.org.uk/events/conferences/division-forensic-
psychology-annual-conference-2014) .
Dr Elizabeth Bates from the University of Cumbria and colleagues from the University of Central Lancashire gave
a total of 1104 students (706 women and 398 men; aged between 18 to 71 with an average age of 24)
questionnaires about their physical aggression and controlling behaviour, to partners and to same-sex others
(including friends).
The fundings showed that women were more likely to be physically aggressive to their partners than men and
that men were more likely to be physically aggressive to their same-sex others.
Furthermore, women engaged in significantly higher levels of controlling behaviour than men, which significantly
predicted physical aggression in both sexes.
Commenting on the findings, lead researcher Dr Elizabeth Bates said: "Previous studies have sought to explain
male violence towards women as rising from patriarchal values, which motivate men to seek to control womens
behaviour, using violence if necessary.
This study found that women demonstrated a desire to control their partners and were more likely to use
physical aggression than men. This suggests that IPV may not be motivated by patriarchal values and needs to
be studied within the context of other forms of aggression, which has potential implications for interventions.
The study has been reported in The Ti mes (http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/uk/article4128993.ece) , The Huffi ngton
Post (http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/06/26/women-more-aggresive-and-controlling_n_5532275.html) and the the Press
Association.
Other papers presented in the symposium are as follows:
Inner Strength Domestic Violence Programme Dr Nichola Graham-Kevan (University of Central Lancashire &
Mid Sweden University)
Men's experiences of victimisation from a female intimate partner: An international study - Louise Dixon
(University of Birmingham).
Reasons for engaging in conflict within and outside of relationships: A comparison of womens responses - Abi
Thornton, (University of Bolton), Nichola Graham-Kevan (University of Central Lancashire) & J . Archer.
Literature review: Mens Experience of Domestic Abuse - Brian Dempsey (University of Dundee).
The Division of Forensic Psychology promotes the professional interests of forensic psychologists and the 2014
annual conference takes place from 25 to 27 J une in Glasgow. Follow the conference on Twi tter
(https://twitter.com/hashtag/DFP2014?src=hash) .
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comment. All comments are submitted for moderation.
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Submitted by J ulie Simpson M... on Fri, 27/06/2014 - 11:00.
Dear Sir/Madam,
There is an argument for this, however there is no epistemological reasons clear as for the clarity of this view.
Individualism and altruistic nature is perhaps thwarted given uninducive conditions for special relationships to
flourish in certain circumstances and the comments above are, perhaps biased.
Submitted by Shirley J oy Pressler on Fri, 27/06/2014 - 09:50.
just seen this annnounced on facebook and have this to say ...
limitations of study mainly concern lack of ecological validity and overstating the findings, possibility that women
simply admit more then men in a questionnaire response (i.e. more honest), student responses are likely to be
different from domestic violence relationships (i.e. dynamics and patterns involved - here a static measure), using
a scale is far removed from anything to do with patriarchy and actually the opposite of what has been concluded
here might play a part (as in more admission from women, possibly exaggeration), this extremely limited study
being seen as important enough to be discussed in the press is slightly embarrassing for the psychology
profession ...
Domestic violence is a serious issue and we should not underplay it - ask anyone who has been on the receiving
end of such, it is a complex matter so we should not over-simplyfy it ...