Statistics about violence in teen dating relationships

One difference between adolescent and adult relationships is the absence of elements traditionally associated with greater male power in adult relationships.[17] Adolescent girls are not typically dependent on romantic partners for financial stability, and they are less likely to have children to provide for and protect. Huebner, "Severe Dating Violence and Quality of Life Among South Carolina High School Students," 19 (2000): 220-227.

The study of seventh, ninth and 11th graders in Toledo, for example, found that a majority of the boys and girls who were interviewed said they had a relatively "equal say" in their romantic relationships. [note 4] National victimization prevalence estimates from a study of adolescents aged 12 to 17 years showed 0.6 percent for boys and 2.7 percent for girls.

These numbers were reversed for the boys: 5 percent said they were the sole perpetrator; 27 percent the sole victim.

In a third study, teen couples were videotaped while performing a problem-solving task.

Interestingly, the rates of reported victimization versus perpetration in the state were similar for boys and girls.[3] However, when it comes to severe teen dating violence — including sexual and physical assault — girls were disproportionately the victims.[4]At a recent workshop on teen dating violence, co-sponsored by the U. Departments of Justice (DOJ) and Health and Human Services (HHS), researchers presented findings from several studies that found that girls and boys perpetrate the same frequency of physical aggression in romantic relationships.

This finding was at odds with what practitioners attending the workshop said they encounter in their professional experience.

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Overall, the study found that the boys perceived that they had less power in the relationship than the girls did. They contend that men in patriarchal societies use violence to exert and maintain power and control over women.[13] These experts also maintain that "act" scales do not accurately reflect the nature of violence in intimate relationships because they do not consider the degree of injury inflicted, coercive and controlling behaviors, the fear induced, or the context in which the acts occurred.[14] Studies using "act" scales, they contend, lack information on power and control and emphasize the more common and relatively minor forms of aggression rather than more severe, relatively rare forms of violence in dating and intimate partner relationships.[15] Instead, supporters of this perspective use data on injuries and in-depth interviews with victims and perpetrators.[16]We believe, however, that applying either of these adult perspectives to adolescents is problematic. Although both views of adult intimate partner violence can help inform our understanding of teen dating violence, it is important to consider how adolescent romantic relationships differ from adult romantic relationships in several key areas. According to the 2007 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, approximately 10 percent of adolescents nationwide reported being the victim of physical violence at the hands of a romantic partner during the previous year.[1] The rate of psychological victimization is even higher: Between two and three in 10 reported being verbally or psychologically abused in the previous year, according to the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health.[2]As for perpetration rates, there are currently no nationwide estimates for who does the abusing, and state estimates vary significantly.In South Carolina, for example, nearly 8 percent of adolescents reported being physically violent to a romantic partner.

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