The concept of gender symmetry in intimate partner violence (IPV) may be an artifact of three factors. 1) Methodology: Subject recruitment frequently excludes clinical samples. Cross-sectional designs negate the ability to evaluate recidivism and do not account for women’s greater likelihood of leaving violent relationships. 2) Narrow Focus: Researchers focus on frequency of physical aggression, while excluding other types of aggression (e.g., sexual IPV, life-threatening violence, use of firearms), or the impact of such aggression (e.g., fear, depression, injury). 3) Measurement: Surveys are hindered by varying interpretations of seemingly face-valid items, effects of item instructions, and lack of multi-method assessment approaches. Strategies for addressing these problems and resolving the gender symmetry controversy are outlined.
- Gender symmetry
- Intimate partner violence
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Psychology
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Sociology and Political Science