Relationships can be an emotional rollercoaster. Throughout the ride, men and women can be everything from loving and nurturing, to sometimes verbally and even physically abusive during fights. While aggression in heterosexual relationships is believed to stem from men, a recent study presented on June 25 at a symposium on intimate partner violence (IPV) at the British Psychological Society’s Division of Forensic Psychology annual conference in Glasgow, found women are more likely to be “intimate terrorists,” or physically aggressive to their partners than men.
Michael P. Johnson, an American sociologist coined the term “intimate terrorism,” or batterers or abusers, in the 1990s to define an extreme form of controlling relationship behavior involving threats, intimidation, and violence. Men were almost always responsible for these heinous acts. This belief is further supported by statistics highlighting nearly three in 10 women (29 percent), and one in 10 men (10 percent) in the U.S. have experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by a partner, affecting some form of their functioning, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most of these cases fall under domestic violence, battery, etc where someone could be wrongly accused. Here, the help of a criminal defense attorney from the likes of Salwin Law Group could be sought.
That said, in order to observe the dynamic and prevalence of intimate partner violence of men and women in heterosexual relationships, Dr. Elizabeth Bates from the University of Cumbria and colleagues from the University of Central Lancashire, conducted a survey collecting data from a large cohort of students. More than 1,000 students – 706 women and 398 men with an average age of 24 – responded to the questionnaires. The students were asked about their physical aggression and controlling behavior to partners, and to same-sex others, including friends.
The findings revealed just as many women as men could also be classed as abusive, coupled with controlling behavior with serious levels of threats, intimidation, and physical violence. Women were more likely to verbally and physically aggressive to their partners than men. “This study found that women demonstrated a desire to control their partners and were more likely to use physical aggression than men. “It wasn’t just pushing and shoving,” said Bates, Medical Xpress reported. Some of the survey respondents circled boxes for things like beating up, kicking, and even threatening to use a weapon.