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Soc Sci Med. 2004 Aug;59(3):567-71.

Gender and physical violence.

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Bergen Accident and Emergency Department, Vestre Strømkaien 19, Bergen N-5008, Norway.


This study examines incidents of physical violence in relation to the sex of both assault victim and attacker. A survey of all assault victims attending an urban accident and emergency department (AED) in Norway during a 2-year period was carried out. All the assault victims were interviewed using a structured questionnaire administered by the attending physician as part of the initial consultation at the AED. During this interview, information about the victims, the attackers and the assaults was collected from the victims. Information on the sex, age, alcohol state of victims, and any referral to hospitals and specialists, was collected from the victim's medical notes at the AED. The severity of the victim's injuries was rated retrospectively using Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS) and Shepherd's Injury Severity Scale for rating of injuries of assault. A total of 1234 men (74%) were attacked by other men, 354 women (21%) were attacked by men, 33 men (2%) by women, and 59 women (4%) by other women. The characteristics of the assaults carried out amongst female victim-female attacker and male victim-male attacker groups had many similarities. The same was found for the female victim-male attacker and male victim-female attacker groups. We conclude that changes in the traditional behaviour associated with women and men in relation to physical violence may be taking place.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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