Abused women or abused men? An examination of the context and outcomes of dating violence

Violence Vict. 2001 Jun;16(3):269-85.


The present study examines the controversial issue of whether women and men are equally abused in dating relationships. Undergraduate and graduate students (n = 874) completed a survey about their experiences and perpetration of psychological, sexual, and physical aggression within dating relationships. To enable a more contextualized understanding of these phenomena, motives for and outcomes of dating violence were also assessed. Women and men reported comparable amounts of overall aggression from dating partners, but differed in the types of violence experienced. Women were more likely to experience sexual victimization, whereas men were more often the victims of psychological aggression; rates of physical violence were similar across genders. Contrary to hypotheses, women were not more likely to use physical violence in self-defense than men. However, although both genders experienced similar amounts of aggressive acts from dating partners, the impact of such violence is more severe for women than men.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Courtship*
  • Crime Victims / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Illinois
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation
  • Sex Distribution
  • Sex Offenses / psychology*
  • Spouse Abuse / psychology*
  • Students / psychology