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The Extent And Gender Directionality Of Intimate Partner Violence In Different Relationship Types: A Systematic Review And Meta-Analysis

Nir Rozmann, Barak Ariel
Published 2018 · Psychology

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The domestic violence research indicates two different approaches to victims. On one hand, it is argued that violence is a masculine or patriarchal mechanism of control and superiority based on research that shows higher rates of male violence toward women than vice versa. On the other hand, there is ample research that supports the claim of those patterns of violence and rates of victimization are equal between the genders. These contradictory findings call for a systematic review and a meta-analysis of the empirical data in order to establish the extent and directionality of victimization and abuse in violent relationships. To provide a more nuanced overview of this phenomenon, the present review examines the frequency of physical violence in different types of heterosexual relationships—dating, cohabitation, and marriage—according to national surveys and victim self-reports. The analysis is limited to sources in Hebrew and English. The searching procedure and criteria applied in selecting the studies generated 55 published studies from 36 countries. The main conclusion of the review is that the extent and directionality of violence vary with the type of relationship: while dating was reported to have higher rates of male victimization, in cohabitation and marital relationships, females reported higher levels of victimization rather. This article addresses the theoretical and practical implications of these findings.
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