Women More Physically, Verbally Aggressive To Partners Than Men, Study Claims

Women more aggressive than men? That’s what a new study claims on intimate partner violence (IPV).

The findings were part of a symposium entitled “Developments in Intimate Partner Violence Research and Practice,” and it took place Wednesday, June 25.

Presented at the British Psychological Society’s Division of Forensic Psychology annual conference in Glasgow, it found that women were more likely to be both verbally and physically aggressive towards their partners than men.

Dr. Elizabeth Bates from the University of Cumbria and colleagues from the University of Central Lancashire reportedly gave a total of 1,104 students (706 women and 398 men) questionnaires about their physical aggression and controlling behavior, News-Medical.net notes.

The questions regarded behaviors directed at both partners and same-sex others (including friends).

From the report:

“Analysis showed that women were more likely to be physically aggressive to their partners than men and that men were more likely to be physically aggressive to their same-sex others.

“Furthermore, women engaged in significantly higher levels of controlling behavior than men, which significantly predicted physical aggression in both sexes.”

Dr. Elizabeth Bates explained:

“This was an interesting finding. Previous studies have sought to explain male violence towards women as rising from patriarchal values, which motivate men to seek to control women’s behavior, using violence if necessary… This study found that women demonstrated a desire to control their partners and were more likely to use physical aggression than men. This suggests that IPV may not be motivated by patriarchal values and needs to be studied within the context of other forms of aggression, which has potential implications for interventions.”

This study seems to follow a 2009 study conducted by Harvard researchers and published in the American Journal of Public Health.

That research surveyed 11,000 men and women, and found that, according to both men’s and women’s accounts, 50 percent of the violence in their relationships was reciprocal (involving both parties), the Washington Times reported.

In those cases, women were more likely to have struck first. Furthermore, if violence was one-sided, both women and men said women were the perpetrators “about 70 percent of the time.”

Do you think there is anything to these latest findings, readers? Are women really more aggressive than men, both physically and verbally, and if so, what steps should be taken to ensure that this form of domestic violence isn’t being ignored by society?

Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

[Image via ShutterStock]