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[ Giordano is one of the authors of this article.] More than half of the girls in physically aggressive relationships said both they and their dating partner committed aggressive acts during the relationship. About a third of the girls said they were the sole perpetrators, and 13 percent reported that they were the sole victims. Yonas, "The Meaning of Dating Violence in the Lives of Middle School Adolescents: A Report of a Focus Group Study," 4 (1998): 180-194. However, we find that this adult framework does not take into account key differences between adolescent and adult romantic relationships.And so, to help further the discussion, we offer in this article a gender-based analysis of teen dating violence with a developmental perspective. We look at what we know — and what we don't know — about who is the perpetrator and who is the victim in teen dating violence.The Department of Justice reports that women between the ages of 16 and 24 are at the greatest risk of becoming domestic violence victims.According to Breakthe Cycle.org, violent relationships during adolescence put the survivors at higher risk for substance abuse, eating disorders, risky sexual behavior and further domestic violence.
These numbers were reversed for the boys: 5 percent said they were the sole perpetrator; 27 percent the sole victim.
These lessons shouldn’t end when kids leave the playground and become teenagers.
Promoting nonviolent relationships can be a vital step to preventing domestic abuse in adulthood.
In a third study, teen couples were videotaped while performing a problem-solving task.
Researchers later reviewed the tapes and identified acts of physical aggression that occurred between the boys and girls during the exercise.
Although both boys and girls report that anger is the primary motivating factor for using violence, girls also commonly report self-defense as a motivating factor, and boys also commonly cite the need to exert control. Boys are also more likely to react with laughter when their partner is physically aggressive. Girls experiencing teen dating violence are more likely than boys to suffer long-term negative behavioral and health consequences, including suicide attempts, depression, cigarette smoking and marijuana use.Why do teenagers commit violence against each other in romantic relationships? Kilpatrick, "Prevalence and Correlates of Dating Violence in a National Sample of Adolescents," 47 (2008): 755-762). [note 5] A developmental perspective considers changes over time.