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J Interpers Violence. 2013 May;28(8):1693-708. doi: 10.1177/0886260512468324. Epub 2012 Dec 21.

Confronting the gender myth: an exploration of variance in male versus female experience with sibling abuse.

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  • 1Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, IN 46383,, USA.


Research on family violence has overwhelmingly focused on a patriarchal model, which inaccurately depicts men as exclusively perpetrators and women as exclusively victims of abusive family acts. In addition, empirical research on sibling abuse in families has been significantly absent from the professional literature. This exploratory study used a survey instrument based on an altered version of the Conflict Tactics Scale (CTS) to investigate the question of whether significant gender differences exist in the experience of sibling abuse as a child, either as perpetrator or victim. MANOVAs (multivariate analyses of variance) indicate that there are no gender differences related to surviving sibling abuse or perpetrating emotional and physical abuse, whereas it was found that women had a significantly higher rate of perpetration related to sibling sexual abuse. Specific results related to the gender variance of perpetrators are explored. Limitations as well as implications of these findings on treatment, counselor education, and future research are discussed.

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