The Relevance of Relationship Satisfaction and Continuation to the Gender Symmetry Debate
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In prior research, Ackerman and Field (2011) found that intimate partner violence (IPV) affects the relationship satisfaction of females more than the relationship satisfaction of males. The current research replicated those findings on a different sample of men and women. In addition to confirming past findings, it also found that gendered patterns in IPV differed substantially for current versus former relationships. Subsequent analyses indicated that gendered differences in whether relationships are continued or terminated after IPV apparently explained these patterns. The current analyses illustrate how relationship continuation differences across gender can produce sample selection biases that substantially affect conclusions about whether partner violence is perpetrated equally by men and women. More specifically, the results of this research are consistent with the conclusion that female IPV victims are more likely than are male victims to become dissatisfied with aggressive opposite-sex partnerships and subsequently terminate their aggressive relationships. For this reason, research that relies only upon the analysis of current relationships will underestimate the amount of partner violence committed by men.
Journal of Interpersonal Violence
© 2012 SAGE Publications. This is the author-manuscript version of the paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.