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Violence Vict. 1995 Winter;10(4):251-72.

Beyond the Conflict Tactics Scale: assessing gender differences in partner violence.

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Institute of Behavioral Science, University of Colorado, USA.


Previous studies of partner assault, particularly those using the Conflict Tactics Scales, have produced the controversial finding that women are as likely to assault their partners as are men. Such findings are clearly at odds with medical, legal, and social service agencies which find that women are far more often the victims of partner assault. Self-reported data from a national sample of young adults were used to determine the extent to which this apparent discrepancy could be reconciled. Results confirm previous findings of extensive violence by women, with little evidence of systematic over-or underreporting by either men or women. However, although both men and women engaged in frequent minor assaults, men were more likely than women to repeatedly beat their partner during the course of a year. In addition, women were far more likely than men to suffer physical injury and seek medical treatment as a consequence of incidents of male violence. Taken together, these findings somewhat reconcile the discrepancy regarding partner assault: women are more often than men the victims of severe partner assault and injury not necessarily because men strike more often, but because men strike harder.

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