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Partner violence more likely from women than men, study suggests

When the subject of domestic violence comes up in polite conversation chances are good that the first thing that comes to the minds of Ohio readers is of a man assaulting a woman.

That is a stereotype that researchers acknowledge has formed on the basis of social experience. Formal scientific studies, accepting the premise, have been done looking into the reasons for male violence toward women. The conclusion they have tended to come to is that domestic violence stems from patriarchal conventions that inspire men to try to control female behavior.

But that isn't always the case. Women have the capacity for violence, too. And now there is a study out of England that seems to lend credence to the notion that they are not afraid to be aggressive to exercise control over their partners. 

Without dismissing the reality that women are typically more often victims of domestic violence, the researchers say their findings suggest that the scope of research into what sparks intimate partner violence needs to be expanded so that better interventions can be developed to cover all the possible forms of so-called IPV.

The research was done by scientists at the Universities of Cumbria and Central Lancashire. They surveyed more than 1,100 students, posing questions aimed at revealing their patterns of possible aggression and control efforts toward partners and others of the same sex. The pool was made up of 706 females and 398 males.

What researchers found, to their own surprise, was that women were more inclined to get physically aggressive toward partners than men. Responses from the men in the study showed that they were more likely to direct aggression at other men.

Additionally, the results of the study found that a tendency to try use controlling behaviors on a partner was a significant predictor of physical aggression for both sexes. And women were more likely to engage in such controlling behavior than men.

A charge of domestic violence can seem to come out of the blue under Ohio law. The way things work, the law can be a source of aggression and a person could find themselves facing charges without even knowing why. The right response to such a situation is to contact an attorney experienced in dealing with domestic violence allegations.

Source: Medical Express, "Women more likely to be aggressive than men in relationships," British Psychological Society, June 26, 2014

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