These studies tend to show that women report perpetrating slightly more physical violence than men. It is interesting to note that most studies on teen dating violence that have been conducted to date have relied primarily on "act" scales.
Another group of experts holds that men generally perpetrate serious intimate partner violence against women.
And so, to help further the discussion, we offer in this article a gender-based analysis of teen dating violence with a developmental perspective. We look at what we know — and what we don't know — about who is the perpetrator and who is the victim in teen dating violence.
We also discuss how adult and adolescent romantic relationships differ in the hope that an examination of existing research will help us better understand the problem and move the field toward the creation of developmentally appropriate prevention programs and effective interventions for teenagers.
In 2001-2005, Peggy Giordano and her colleagues at Bowling Green State University interviewed more than 1,300 seventh, ninth and 11th graders in Toledo, Ohio. Wood, "The Emotions of Romantic Relationships: Do They Wreak Havoc on Adolescents?
[ Giordano is one of the authors of this article.] More than half of the girls in physically aggressive relationships said both they and their dating partner committed aggressive acts during the relationship.
We have already touched on the existing body of research on perpetration and victimization rates. Other studies have also found sex-based differences in rates of sexual victimization and perpetration in adolescent relationships (e.g., O'Keefe, M., "Adolescents' Exposure to Community and School Violence: Prevalence and Behavioral Correlates," 7 (2000): 1-4). This can include, for example, behavioral, biological, social and emotional changes.
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. As a result, practitioners and researchers in the field tend to apply an adult intimate partner violence framework when examining the problem of teen dating violence. A split currently exists, however, among experts in the adult intimate partner violence arena, and attendees at the DOJ-HHS teen dating workshop mirrored this divide. Some experts hold that men and women are mutually combative and that this behavior should be seen as part of a larger pattern of family conflict. Supporters of this view generally cite studies that use "act" scales, which measure the number of times a person perpetrates or experiences certain acts, such as pushing, slapping or hitting.