Martin S. Fiebert

Department of Psychology

California State University, Long Beach



SUMMARY: This bibliography examines 95 scholarly investigations, 79 empirical studies and 16 reviews and/or analyses, which demonstrate that women are as physically aggressive, or more aggressive, than men in their relationships with their spouses or male partners. The aggregate sample size in the reviewed studies exceeds 60,000.


Aizenman, M., & Kelley, G. (1988). The incidence of violence and acquaintance rape in dating relationships among college men and women. Journal of College Student Development, 29, 305-311. (A sample of actively dating college students <204 women and 140 men> responded to a survey examining courtship violence. Authors report that there were no significant differences between the sexes in self reported perpetration of physical abuse.)

Archer, J., & Ray, N. (1989). Dating violence in the United Kingdom: a preliminary study. Aggressive Behavior, 15, 337-343. (Twenty three dating couples completed the Conflict Tactics scale. Results indicate that women were significantly more likely than their male partners to express physical violence. Authors also report that, "measures of partner agreement were high" and that the correlation between past and present violence was low.)

Arias, I., Samios, M., & O'Leary, K. D. (1987). Prevalence and correlates of physical aggression during courtship. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 2, 82-90. (Used Conflict Tactics Scale with a sample of 270 undergraduates <95 men, 175 women> and found 30% of men and 49% of women reported using some form of aggression in their dating histories with a greater percentage of women engaging in severe physical aggression.)

Arias, I., & Johnson, P. (1989). Evaluations of physical aggression among intimate dyads. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 4, 298-307. (Used Conflict Tactics Scale-CTS- with a sample of 103 male and 99 female undergraduates. Both men and women had similar experience with dating violence, 19% of women and 18% of men admitted being physically aggressive. A significantly greater percentage of women thought self-defense was a legitimate reason for men to be aggressive, while a greater percentage of men thought slapping was a legitimate response for a man or woman if their partner was sexually unfaithful.)

Bernard, M. L., & Bernard, J. L. (1983). Violent intimacy: The family as a model for love relationships. Family Relations, 32, 283-286. (Surveyed 461 college students, 168 men, 293 women, with regard to dating violence. Found that 15% of the men admitted to physically abusing their partners, while 21% of women admitted to physically abusing their partners.)

Billingham, R. E., & Sack, A. R. (1986). Courtship violence and the interactive status of the relationship. Journal of Adolescent Research, 1, 315-325. (Using CTS with 526 university students <167 men, 359 women> found Similar rates of mutual violence but with women reporting higher rates of violence initiation when partner had not--9% vs 3%.)

Bland, R., & Orne, H. (1986). Family violence and psychiatric disorder. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 31, 129-137. (In interviews with 1,200 randomly selected Canadians <489 men, 711 women> found that women both engaged in and initiated violence at higher rates than their male partners.)

Bookwala, J., Frieze, I. H., Smith, C., & Ryan, K. (1992). Predictors of dating violence: A multivariate analysis. Violence and Victims, 7, 297-311. (Used CTS with 305 college students <227 women, 78 men> and found that 133 women and 43 men experienced violence in a current or recent dating relationship. Authors reports that "women reported the expression of as much or more violence in their relationships as men." While most violence in relationships appears to be mutual--36% reported by women, 38% by men-- women report initiating violence with non violent partners more frequently than men <22% vs 17%>).

Brinkerhoff, M., & Lupri, E. (1988). Interspousal violence. Canadian Journal of Sociology, 13, 407-434. (Examined interspousal violence in a representative sample of 562 couples in Calgary, Canada. Used Conflict Tactics Scale and found twice as much wife-to-husband as husband-to-wife severe violence <10.7% vs 4.8%>. The overall violence rate for husbands was 10.3% while the overall violence rate for wives was 13.2%. Violence was significantly higher in younger and childless couples. Results suggest that male violence decreased with higher educational attainment, while female violence increased.)

Brush, L. D. (1990). Violent Acts and injurious outcomes in married couples: Methodological issues in the National Survey of Families and Households. Gender & Society, 4, 56-67. (Used the Conflict Tactics scale in a large national survey, n=5,474, and found that women engage in same amount of spousal violence as men.)

Brutz, J., & Ingoldsby, B. B. (1984). Conflict resolution in Quaker families. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 46, 21-26. (Used Conflict Tactics Scale with a sample of 288 Quakers <130 men, 158 women> and found a slightly higher rate of female to male violence <15.2%> than male to female violence <14.6%>.)

Burke, P. J., Stets, J. E., & Pirog-Good, M. A. (1988). Gender identity, self-esteem, and physical and sexual abuse in dating relationships. Social Psychology Quarterly, 51, 272-285. (A sample of 505 college students <298 women, 207 men> completed the CTS. Authors reports that they found "no significant difference between men and women in reporting inflicting or sustaining physical abuse." Specifically, within a one year period they found that 14% of the men and 18% of the women reported inflicting physical abuse, while 10% of the men and 14% of the women reported sustaining physical abuse.

Carlson, B. E. (1987). Dating violence: a research review and comparison with spouse abuse. Social Casework, 68, 16-23. (Reviews research on dating violence and finds that men and women are equally likely to aggress against their partners and that "the frequency of aggressive acts is inversely related to the likelihood of their causing physical injury.")

Carrado, M., George, M. J., Loxam, E., Jones, L., & Templar, D. (1996). Aggression in British heterosexual relationships: a descriptive analysis. Aggressive Behavior, 22, 401-415. (In a representative sample of British men <n=894> and women <n=971> it was found, using a modified version of the CTS, that 18% of the men and 13% of the women reported being victims of physical violence at some point in their heterosexual relationships. With regard to current relationships, 11% of men and 5% of women reported being victims of partner aggression.)

Cascardi, M., Langhinrichsen, J., & Vivian, D. (1992). Marital aggression: Impact, injury, and health correlates for husbands and wives. Archives of Internal Medicine, 152, 1178-1184. (Examined 93 couples seeking marital therapy. Found using the CTS and other information that 71% reported at least one incident of physical aggression in past year. While men and women were equally likely to perpetrate violence, women reported more severe injuries. Half of the wives and two thirds of the husbands reported no injuries as a result of all aggression, but wives sustained more injuries as a result of mild aggression.)

Caulfield, M. B., & Riggs, D. S. (1992). The assessment of dating aggression: Empirical evaluation of the Conflict Tactics Scale. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 4, 549-558. (Used CTS with a sample of 667 unmarried college students <268 men and 399 women> and found on a number of items significantly higher responses of physical violence on part of women. For example, 19% of women slapped their male partner while 7% of men slapped their partners, 13% of women kicked, bit, or hit their partners with a fist while only 3.1% of men engaged in this activity.)

Deal, J. E., & Wampler, K. S. (1986). Dating violence: The primacy of previous experience. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 3, 457-471. (Of 410 university students <295 women, 115 men> responding to CTS and other instruments, it was revealed that 47% experienced some violence in dating relationships. The majority of experiences were reciprocal. When not reciprocal men were three times more likely than women to report being victims. Violent experiences in previous relationships was the best predictor of violence in current relationships.)

DeMaris, A. (1992). Male versus female initiation of aggression: The case of courtship violence. In E. C. Viano (Ed.), Intimate violence: interdisciplinary perspectives. (pp. 111-120). Bristol, PA: Taylor & Francis. (Examined a sample of 865 white and black college students with regard to the initiation of violence in their dating experience. Found that 218 subjects, 80 men and 118 women, had experienced or expressed violence in current or recent dating relationships. Results indicate that "when one partner could be said to be the usual initiator of violence, that partner was most often the women. This finding was the same for both black and white respondents.")

Ernst, A. A., Nick, T. G., Weiss, S. J., Houry, D., & Mills, T. (1997). Domestic violence in an inner-city ED. Annals of Emergency Medicine, 30, 190-197. (Assessed 516 patients <233 men, 283 women> in a New Orleans inner-city emergency Department with the Index of Spousal Abuse, a scale to measure domestic violence. Found that 28% of the men and 33% of the women <a nonsignificant difference>, were victims of past physical violence while 20% of the men and 19% of the women reported being current victims of physical violence. In terms of ethnicity, 82% of subjects were African-American. Authors report that there was a significant difference in the number of women vs. men who reported past abuse to the police ,19% of women, 6% of men.>)

Feather, N. T. (1996). Domestic violence, gender and perceptions of justice. Sex Roles, 35, 507-519. (Subjects <109 men, 111 women> from Adelaide, South Australia, were presented a hypothetical scenario in which either a husband or wife perpetrated domestic violence. Participants were significantly more negative in their evaluation of the husband than the wife, were more sympathetic to the wife and believed that the husband deserved a harsher penalty for his behavior.)

Fiebert, M. S., & Gonzalez, D. M. (1997). Women who initiate assaults: The reasons offered for such behavior. Psychological Reports, 80, 583-590. (A sample of 968 women, drawn primarily from college courses in the Southern California area, were surveyed regarding their initiation of physical assaults on their male partners. 29% of the women, n=285, revealed that they initiated assaults during the past five years. Women in their 20's were more likely to aggress than women aged 30 and above. In terms of reasons, women appear to aggress because they did not believe that their male victims would be injured or would retaliate. Women also claimed that they assaulted their male partners because they wished to engage their attention, particularly emotionally.)

Fiebert, M. S. (1996). College students' perception of men as victims of women's assaultive behavior. Perceptual & Motor Skills, 82, 49-50. (Three hundred seventy one college students <91 men, 280 women> were surveyed regarding their knowledge and acceptance of the research finding regarding female assaultive behavior. The majority of subjects (63%) were unaware of the finding that women assault men as frequently as men assault women; a slightly higher percentage of women than men (39% vs 32%) indicated an awareness of this finding. With regard to accepting the validity of these findings a majority of subjects (65%) endorsed such a result with a slightly higher percentage of men (70% vs 64%)indicating their acceptance of this finding.)

Flynn, C. P. (1990). Relationship violence by women: issues and implications. Family Relations, 36, 295-299. (A review/analysis article that states, "researchers consistently have found that men and women in relationships, both marital and premarital engage in comparable amounts of violence." Author also writes, "Violence by women in intimate relationships has received little attention from policy makers, the public, and until recently, researchers...battered men and abusive women have receive 'selective inattention' by both the media and researchers.")

Follingstad, D. R., Wright, S., & Sebastian, J. A. (1991). Sex differences in motivations and effects in dating violence. Family Relations, 40, 51-57. (A sample of 495 college students <207 men, 288 women> completed the CTS and other instruments including a "justification of relationship violence measure." The study found that women were twice as likely to report perpetrating dating violence as men. Female victims attributed male violence to a desire to gain control over them or to retaliate for being hit first, while men believed that female aggression was a based on their female partner's wish to "show how angry they were and to retaliate for feeling emotionally hurt or mistreated.")

Gelles, R. J. (1994). Research and advocacy: Can one wear two hats? Family Process, 33, 93-95. (Laments the absence of objectivity on the part of "feminist" critics of research demonstrating female perpetrated domestic violence.)

George, M. J. (1994). Riding the donkey backwards: Men as the unacceptable victims of marital violence. Journal of Men's Studies, 3, 137-159. (A thorough review of the literature which examines findings and issues related to men as equal victims of partner abuse.)

Goldberg, W. G., & Tomlanovich, M. C. (1984). Domestic violence victims in the emergency department. JAMA, 251, 3259-3264. (A sample of 492 patients <275 women, 217 men> who sought treatment in an emergency department in a Detroit hospital were survey regarding their experience with domestic violence. Respondents were mostly African-American (78%), city dwellers (90%), and unemployed (60%). Victims of domestic violence numbered 107 (22%). While results indicate that 38% of victims were men and 62% were women this gender difference did not reach statistical signficance.

Gonzalez, D. M. (1997). Why females initiate violence: A study examining the reasons behind assaults on men. Unpublished master's thesis, California State University, Long Beach. (225 college women participated in a survey which examined their past history and their rationales for initiating aggression with male partners. Subjects also responded to 8 conflict scenarios which provided information regarding possible reasons for the initiation of aggression. Results indicate that 55% of the subjects admitted to initiating physical aggression toward their male partners at some point in their lives. The most common reason was that aggression was a spontaneous reaction to frustration).

Hampton, R. L., Gelles, R. J., & Harrop, J. W. (1989). Is violence in families increasing? A comparison of 1975 and 1985 National Survey rates. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 51, 969-980. (Compared a sample of 147 African Americans from the 1975 National Survey with 576 African Americans from the 1985 National Survey with regard to spousal violence. Using the CTS found that the rate of overall violence (169/1000) of husbands to wives remained the same from 1975 to 1985, while the rate of overall violence for wives to husbands increased 33% (153 to 204/1000) from 1975 to 1985. The rate of severe violence of husbands to wives decreased 43% (113 to 64/1000) from 1975 to 1985, while the rate of severe violence of wives to husbands increased 42% (76 to 108/1000) from 1975 to 1985. In 1985 the rate of abusive violence by black women was nearly 3 times greater than the rate of white women.)

Henton, J., Cate, R., Koval, J., Lloyd, S., & Christopher, S. (1983). Romance and violence in dating relationships. Journal of Family Issues, 4, 467-482. (Surveyed 644 high school students <351 men, 293 women> and found that abuse occurred at a rate of 121 per 1000 and appeared to be reciprocal with both partners initiating violence at similar rates.)

Jouriles, E. N., & O'leary, K. D. (1985). Interpersonal reliability of reports of marital violence. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 53, 419-421. (Used the Conflict Tactics Scale with a sample of 65 couples in marriage therapy and 37 couples from the community. Found moderate levels of agreement of abuse between partners and similar rates of reported violence between partners.) Kalmuss, D. (1984). The intergenerational transmission of marital aggression. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 46, 11-19. (In a representative sample of 2,143 adults found that the rate of husband to wife severe aggression is 3.8% while the rate of wife to husband severe aggression is 4.6%.)

Kim, K., & Cho, Y. (1992). Epidemiological survey of spousal abuse in Korea. In E. C. Viano (Ed.) Intimate Violence: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. (pp. 277-282). Bristol, PA: Taylor and Francis. (Utilized the Conflict Tactics scale in interviews with a random sample of 1,316 married Koreans <707 women, 609 men>. Compared to findings with American couples, results indicate that Korean men were victimized by their wives twice as much as American men, while Korean women were victimized by their spouses three times as much as American women.)

Lane, K., & Gwartney-Gibbs, P.A. (1985). Violence in the context of dating and sex. Journal of Family Issues, 6, 45-49. (Surveyed 325 students <165 men, 160 women> regarding courtship violence. Used Conflict Tactics Scale and found equal rates of violence for men and women.)

Laner, M. R., & Thompson, J. (1982). Abuse and aggression in courting couples. Deviant Behavior, 3, 229-244. (Used Conflict Tactics Scales with a sample of 371 single individuals <129 men, 242 women> and found similar rates of male and female violence in dating relationships.)

Langhinrichsen-Rohling, J., & Vivian, D. (1994). The correlates of spouses' incongruent reports of marital aggression. Journal of Family Violence, 9, 265-283. (In a clinic sample of 97 couples seeking marital therapy, authors found, using a modified version of the CTS, that 61% of the husbands and 64% of the wives were classified as aggressive, 25% of the husbands and 11% of the wives were identified as mildly aggressive and 36% of husbands and 53% of wives were classified as severely aggressive. Sixty-eight percent of couples were in agreement with regard to husband's overall level of aggression and 69% of couples were in agreement on wive's overall level of aggression. Aggression levels were identified as "nonviolent, mildly violent, or severely violent." Where there was disagreement, 65% of husbands <n=20> were under-reporting aggression and 35% of husbands <n=11> were over-reporting aggression; while 57% of wives <n=17> were under-reporting aggression and 43% of wives <n=13> were over-reporting aggression.)

Lillja, C. M. (1995). Why women abuse: A study examining the function of abused men. Unpublished master's thesis, California State University, Long Beach. (A review of the literature examining the issue of men as victims of female assaults. Includes an original questionnaire to test assumption that women who lack social support to combat stress are likely to commit domestic violence.)

Lo, W. A., & Sporakowski, M. J. (1989). The continuation of violent dating relationships among college students. Journal of College Student Development, 30, 432-439. (A sample of 422 college students completed the Conflict Tactics Scale. Found that, "women were more likely than men to claim themselves as abusers and were less likely to claim themselves as victims.")

Macchietto, J. (1992). Aspects of male victimization and female aggression: Implications for counseling men. Journal of Mental Health Counseling, 14, 375-392. (Article reviews literature on male victimization and female aggression.)

Makepeace, J. M. (1986). Gender differences in courtship violence victimization. Family Relations, 35, 383-388. (A sample of 2,338 students <1,059 men, 1,279 women> from seven colleges were surveyed regarding their experience of dating violence. Courtship violence was experienced by 16.7 % of respondents. Authors report that "rates of commission of acts and initiation of violence were similar across gender." In term of injury, both men (98%) and women (92%) reported "none or mild" effects of violence.)

Malone, J., Tyree, A., & O'Leary, K. D. (1989). Generalization and containment: Different effects of past aggression for wives and husbands. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 51, 687-697. (In a sample of 328 couples it was found that men and women engaged in similar amounts of physical aggression within their families of origin and against their spouses. However, results indicate that women were more aggressive to their partners than men. Aggression was more predictable for women, i.e., if women observed parental aggression or hit siblings they were more likely to be violent with their spouses.)

Margolin, G. (1987). The multiple forms of aggressiveness between marital partners: how do we identify them? Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 13 , 77-84. (A paid volunteer sample of 103 couples completed the Conflict Tactics Scale. It was found that husbands and wives perpetrated similar amounts of violence. Specifically, the incidence of violence, as reported by either spouse was: husband to wife =39; wife to husband =41.)

Marshall, L. L., & Rose, P. (1987). Gender, stress and violence in the adult relationships of a sample of college students. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 4,

299-316. (A survey of 308 undergraduates <152 men, 156 women> revealed that 52% expressed and 62% received violence at some point in their adult relationships. Overall, women report expressing more physical violence than men. Childhood abuse emerged as a predictor of violence in adult relationships.)

Marshall, L. L., & Rose, P. (1990). Premarital violence: The impact of family of origin violence, stress and reciprocity. Violence and Victims, 5, 51-64. (454 premarital undergraduates <249 women, 205 men> completed the CTS and other scales. Overall, women reported expressing more violence than men, while men reported receiving more violence than women. Female violence was also associated with having been abused as children.)

Mason, A., & Blankenship, V. (1987). Power and affiliation motivation, stress and abuse in intimate relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 52, 203-210. (Investigated 156 college students <48 men, 107 women> with the Thematic Apperception Test <TAT>, Life Experiences Survey and the CTS. Found that there were no significant gender differences in terms of the infliction of physical abuse. Men with high power needs were more likely to be physically abusive while highly stressed women with high needs for affiliation and low activity inhibition were the most likely to be physically abusive. Results indicate that physical abuse occurred most often among committed couples.)

Matthews, W. J. (1984). Violence in college couples. College Student Journal, 18, 150-158. (A survey of 351 college students <123 men and 228 women> revealed that 79 <22.8 %> reported at least one incident of dating violence. Both men and women ascribed joint responsibility for violent behavior and both sexes, as either recipients or expressors of aggression, interpreted violence as a form of "love.")

Maxfield, M. G. (1989). Circumstances in supplementary homicide reports: Variety and validity. Criminology, 27, 671-695. (Examines FBI homicide data from 1976 through 1985. Reports that 9,822 wives & common law wives <57%> were killed compared to 7,433 husbands and common law husbands <43%>).

McKinney, K. (1986). Measures of verbal, physical and sexual dating violence by gender. Free Inquiry in Creative Sociology, 14, 55-60. (Surveyed 163 college students, 78 men, 85 women, with a questionnaire designed to assess involvement in dating abuse. Found that 38% of women and 47% of men indicated that they were victims of physical abuse in dating relationships. Also found that 26% of women and 21% of men acknowledged that they physically assaulted their dating partners.)

McLeod, M. (1984). Women against men: An examination of domestic violence based on an analysis of official data and national victimization data. Justice Quarterly, 1, 171-193. (From a data set of 6,200 cases of spousal abuse in the Detroit area in 1978-79 found that men used weapons 25% of the time while female assailants used weapons 86% of the time, 74% of men sustained injury and of these 84% required medical care. Concludes that male victims are injured more often and more seriously than female victims.)

McNeely, R. L., & Mann, C. R. (1990). Domestic violence is a human issue. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 5, 129-132. (A review article which discusses the findings that women are more prone than men to engage in severely violent acts and that "classifying spousal violence as a women's issue rather than a human issue is erroneous.")

McNeely, R. L., & Robinson-Simpson, G. (1987). The truth about domestic violence: A falsely framed issue. Social Work, 32, 485-490. (A review article which concludes that women are as violent as men in domestic relationships.)

Mercy, J. A., & Saltzman, L. E. (1989). Fatal violence among spouses in the United States, 1975-85. American Journal of Public Health, 79, 595-599. (Examined FBI figures regarding spousal homicides. During the 10 year period from 1975 to 1985 found higher murder rates of wives than husbands <43.4% vs 56.6%>. Black husbands were at the greatest risk of victimization. Spousal homicide among blacks was 8.4 times higher than that of whites. Spouse homicide rates were 7.7 times higher in interracial marriages and the risk of victimization for both whites and blacks increased as age differences between spouses increased. Wives and husbands were equally likely to be killed by firearms <approximately 72% of the time> while husbands were more likely to be stabbed and wives more likely to bludgeoned to death. Arguments apparently escalated to murder in 67% of spouse homicides.)

Mihalic, S. W., & Elliot, D. (1997). A social learning theory model of marital violence. Journal of Family Violence, 12, 21-46. (Based on data from the National Youth Survey <see Morse, 1995> a social learning model of marital violence for men and women was tested. For men ethnicity, prior victimization, stress and marital satisfaction predicted both perpetration and experience of minor violence. With regard to serious violence ethnicity, prior victimization, marital satisfaction predicted men's experience of marital violence, while ethnicity, class and sex role attitudes predicted the perpetration of male marital violence. For women the most important predictor of the experience of both minor and serious marital violence was marital satisfaction, class was also a predictor. With regard to female perpetrators of marital violence the witnessing of parental violence was an important predictor along with class and marital satisfaction. The social learning model worked better for women than men.)

Morse, B. J. (1995). Beyond the Conflict Tactics Scale: Assessing gender differences in partner violence. Violence and Victims, 10 (4) 251-272. (Data was analyzed from the National Youth Survey, a longitudinal study begun in 1976 with 1,725 subjects who were drawn from a probability sample of households in the United States and who, in 1976, were between the ages of 11-17. This study focused on violence as assessed by the CTS between male and female married or cohabiting respondents during survey years 1983 <n=1,496>, 1986 <n=1,384>, 1989 <n=1,436>, and 1992 <n=1,340>. For each survey year the prevalence rates of any violence and severe violence were significantly higher for female to male than for male to female. For example, in 1983 the rate of any violence male to female was 36.7, while the rate of any violence female to male was 48; in 1986, the rate of severe violence male to female was 9.5, while the rate of severe violence female to male was 22.8. In 1992, the rate of any violence male to female was 20.2, with a severe violence rate male to female of 5.7; while the rate of any violence female to male was 27.9, with a severe violence rate female to male of 13.8. Author notes that the decline in violence over time is attributed to the increase in age of the subjects. Results reveal <p. 163> that over twice as many women as men reported assaulting a partner who had not assaulted them during the study year." In 1986 about 20% of both men and women reported that assaults resulted in physical injuries. In other years women were more likely to self report personal injuries.)

Mwamwenda, T. S. (1997). Husband Battery among the Xhosa speaking people of Transkei, South Africa. Unpublished manuscript, University of Transkei, S. A. (Surveyed a sample of 138 female and 81 male college students in Transkei, South Africa, regarding their witnessing husbanding battery. Responses reveal that 2% of subjects saw their mother beat their father, 18% saw or heard female relatives beating their husbands, and 26% saw or heard female neighbors beating their husbands.)

Nisonoff, L., & Bitman, I. (1979). Spouse abuse: Incidence and relationship to selected demographic variables. Victimology, 4, 131-140. (In a sample of 297 telephone survey respondents <112 men, 185 women> found that 15.5% of men and 11.3% of women report having hit their spouse, while 18.6% of men and 12.7% of women report having been hit by their spouse.)

O'Keeffe, N. K., Brockopp, K., & Chew, E. (1986). Teen dating violence. Social Work, 31, 465-468. (Surveyed 256 high school students from Sacramento, CA., 135 girls, 121 boys, with the CTS. Ninety percent of students were juniors or seniors, the majority came from middle class homes, 94% were average or better students, and 65% were white and 35% were black, Hispanic or Asian. Found that 11.9% of girls compared to 7.4% of boys admitted to being sole perpetrators of physical violence. 17.8% of girls and 11.6% of boys admitted that they were both "victims and perpetrators" of physical violence.)

O'Leary, K. D., Barling, J., Arias, I., Rosenbaum, A., Malone, J., & Tyree, A. (1989). Prevalence and stability of physical aggression between spouses: A longitudinal analysis. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 57, 263-268. (272 couples were assessed regarding physical aggression. More women reported physically aggressing against their partners at premarriage <44% vs 31%> and 18 months of marriage <36% vs 27%>. At 30 months there was a nonsignificant but higher rate for women <32% vs 25%>.)

Plass, M. S., & Gessner, J. C. (1983). Violence in courtship relations: a southern sample. Free Inquiry in Creative Sociology, 11, 198-202. (In an opportunity sample of 195 high school and college students from a large southern city, researchers used the Conflict Tactics scale to examine courtship violence. Overall, results reveal that women were significantly more likely than men to be aggressors. Specifically, in, committed relationships, women were three times as likely as men to slap their partners, and to kick, bit or hit with the fist seven times as often as men. In casual relationships, while the gender differences weren't as pronounced, women were more aggressive than men. Other findings reveal that high school students were more abusive than college students, and that a "higher proportion of black respondents were involved as aggressors.")

Riggs, D. S., O'Leary, K. D., & Breslin, F. C. (1990). Multiple correlates of physical aggression in dating couples. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 5, 61-73. (Used CTS and studied 408 college students <125 men and 283 women>. Found that significantly more women <39%> than men <23%> reported engaging in physical aggression against their current partners.)

Rollins, B. C., & Oheneba-Sakyi, Y. (1990). Physical violence in Utah households. Journal of Family Violence, 5, 301-309. (In a random sample of 1,471 Utah households, using the Conflict Tactics Scale, it was found that women's rate of severe violence was 5.3% compared to a male rate of 3.4%.)

Rouse, L. P. (1988). Abuse in dating relationships: A comparison of Blacks, Whites, and Hispanics. Journal of College Student Development, 29, 312-319. (The use of physical force and its consequences were examined in a diverse sample of college students. Subjects consisted of 130 whites <58 men, 72 women>, 64 Blacks <32 men, 32 women>, and 34 Hispanics <24 men, 10 women>. Men were significantly more likely than women to report that their partners used moderate physical force and caused a greater number of injuries requiring medical attention. This gender difference was present for Whites and Blacks but not for Hispanics.)

Rouse, L. P., Breen, R., & Howell, M. (1988). Abuse in intimate relationships. A Comparison of married and dating college students. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 3, 414-429. (A sample of 130 married (48 men, 82 women) college students and 130 college students in dating relationships (58 men, 72 women) reported their experience of physical abuse in intimate relationships. Men were more likely to report being physically abused than women in both dating and marital relationships.)

Russell, R. J. H., & Hulson, B. (1992). Physical and psychological abuse of heterosexual partners. Personality and Individual Differences, 13, 457-473. (In a pilot study in Great Britain 46 couples responded to the Conflict Tactics Scale. Results reveal that husband to wife violence was: Overall violence= 25% and severe violence= 5.8%; while wife to husband violence was: Overall violence= 25% and severe violence=11.3%.)

Sack, A. R., Keller, J. F., & Howard, R. D. (1982). Conflict tactics and violence in dating situations. International Journal of Sociology of the Family, 12, 89-100. (Used the CTS with a sample of 211 college students, 92 men, 119 women. Results indicate that there were no differences between men and women with regard to the expression of physical violence.)

Saenger, G. (1963). Male and female relations in the American comic strip. In D. M. White & R. H. Abel (Eds.), The funnies, an American idiom (pp. 219-231). Glencoe, NY: The Free Press. (Twenty consecutive editions of all comic strips in nine New York City newspapers in October, 1950 were examined. Results reveal that husbands were victims of aggression in 63% of conflict situations while wives were victims in 39% of situations. In addition, wives were more aggressive in 73% of domestic situations, in 10% of situations, husbands and wives were equally aggressive and in only 17% of situations were husbands more violent than wives.)

Sigelman, C. K., Berry, C. J., & Wiles, K. A. (1984). Violence in college students' dating relationships. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 5, 530-548. (Surveyed 504 college students <116 men, 388 women> with the Conflict Tactics Scale and found that men and women were similar in the overall amount of violence they expressed but that men reported experiencing significantly more violence than women.)

Sommer, R. (1994). Male and female partner abuse: Testing a diathesis-stress model. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada. (The study was in two waves: the first was from 1989-1990 and included a random sample of 452 married or cohabiting women and 447 married or cohabiting men from Winnipeg, Canada; the second was from 1991-1992 and included 368 women and 369 men all of whom participated in the first wave. Subjects completed the CTS & other assessment instruments. 39.1% of women reported being physically aggressive (16.2% reporting having perpetrated severe violence) at some point in their relationship with their male partner. While 26.3% of men reported being physically aggressive (with 7.6% reporting perpetrating severe violence) at some point in their relationship with their female partner. Among the perpetrators of partner abuse, 34.8% of men and 40.1% of women reported observing their mothers hitting their fathers. Results indicate that 21% of "males' and 13% of females' partners required medical attention as a result of a partner abuse incident." Results also indicate that "10% of women and 15% of men perpetrated partner abuse in self defence.")

Sommer, R., Barnes, G. E. & Murray, R. P. (1992). Alcohol consumption, alcohol abuse, personality and female perpetrated spouse abuse. Journal of Personality and Individual Differences, 13, 1315-1323. (The responses from a subsample of 452 women drawn from a sample of 1,257 Winnipeg residents were analyzed. Using the CTS, it was found that 39% of women physically aggressed against their male partners at some point in their relationship. Younger women with high scores on Eysenck's P scale were most likely to perpetrate violence. Note: The sample of subjects is the same as the one cited in Sommer's 1994 dissertation.)

Sorenson, S. B., & Telles, C. A. (1991). Self reports of spousal violence in a Mexican-American and non-Hispanic white population. Violence and Victims, 6, 3-15. (Surveyed 1,243 Mexican-Americans and 1,149 non-Hispanic whites and found that women compared to men reported higher rates of hitting, throwing objects, initiating violence, and striking first more than once. Gender difference was significant only for non-Hispanic whites.)

Steinmetz, S. K. (1977-78). The battered husband syndrome. Victimology: An International Journal, 2, 499-509. (A pioneering article suggesting that the incidence of husband beating was similar to the incidence of wife beating.)

Steinmetz, S. K. (1980). Women and violence: victims and perpetrators. American Journal of Psychotherapy, 34, 334- 350. (Examines the apparent contradiction in women's role as victim and perpetrator in domestic violence.)

Steinmetz, S. K. (1981). A cross cultural comparison of marital abuse. Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare, 8, 404-414. (Using a modified version of the CTS, examined marital violence in small samples from six societies: Finland, United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, Belize, and Israel <total n=630>. Found that "in each society the percentage of husbands who used violence was similar to the percentage of violent wives." The major exception was Puerto Rico where men were more violent. Author also reports that, "Wives who used violence... tended to use greater amounts.")

Stets, J. E. & Henderson, D. A. (1991). Contextual factors surrounding conflict resolution while dating: results from a national study. Family Relations, 40, 29-40. (Drawn from a random national telephone survey, daters <n=277; men=149, women=128> between the ages of 18 and 30, who were single, never married and in a relationship during the past year which lasted at least two months with at least six dates were examined with the Conflict Tactics Scale. Findings reveal that over 30% of subjects used physical aggression in their relationships, with 22% of the men and 40% of the women reported using some form of physical aggression. Women were "6 times more likely than men to use severe aggression <19.2% vs. 3.4%>...Men were twice as likely as women to report receiving severe aggression <15.7% vs. 8%>." Also found that younger subjects and those of lower socioeconomic status <SES> were more likely to use physical aggression.)

Stets, J. E., & Pirog-Good, M. A. (1987). Violence in dating relationships, Social Psychology Quarterly, 50, 237-246. (Examined a college sample of 505 white students. Found that men and women were similar in both their use and reception of violence. Jealousy was a factor in explaining dating violence for women.)

Stets, J. E. & Pirog-Good, M. A. (1989). Patterns of physical and sexual abuse for men and women in dating relationships: A descriptive analysis, Journal of Family Violence, 4, 63-76. (Examined a sample of 287 college students <118 men and 169 women> and found similar rates for men and women of low level physical abuse in dating relationships. More women than men were pushed or shoved <24% vs 10%> while more men than women were slapped <12% vs 8%>. In term of unwanted sexual contact 22% of men and 36% of women reported such behavior. The most frequent category for both men <18%> and women <19%> was the item, "against my will my partner initiated necking".)

Stets, J. E., & Straus, M. A. (1990). Gender differences in reporting marital violence and its medical and psychological consequences. In M. A. Straus & R. J. Gelles (Eds.), Physical violence in American families: Risk factors and adaptations to violence in 8,145 families (pp. 151-166). New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction. (Reports information regarding the initiation of violence. In a sample of 297 men and 428 women, men said they struck the first blow in 43.7% of cases, and their partner hit first in 44.1% of cases and could not disentangle who hit first in remaining 12.2%. Women report hitting first in 52.7% of cases, their partners in 42.6% and could not disentangle who hit first in remaining 4.7%. Authors conclude that violence by women is not primarily defensive.)

Straus, M. (1980). Victims and aggressors in marital violence. American Behavioral Scientist, 23, 681-704. (Reviews data from the 1975 National Survey. Examined a subsample of 325 violent couples and found that in 49.5% of cases both husbands and wives committed at least one violent act, while husbands alone were violent in 27.7% of the cases and wives alone were violent in 22.7% of the cases. Found that 148 violent husbands had an average number of 7.1 aggressive acts per year while the 177 violent wives averaged 6.8 aggressive acts per year.)

Straus, M. A. (1993). Physical assaults by wives: A major social problem. In R. J. Gelles & D. R. Loseke (Eds.), Current controversies on family violence pp. 67-87. Newbury Park, CA:Sage. (Reviews literature and concludes that women initiate physical assaults on their partners as often as men do.) Straus, M. A. (1995). Trends in cultural norms and rates of partner violence: An update to 1992. In S. M. Stich & M. A. Straus (Eds.) Understanding partner violence: Prevalence, causes, consequences, and solutions (pp. 30-33). Minneapolis, MN: National Council on Family Relations. (Reports finding that while the approval of a husband slapping his wife declined dramatically from 1968 to 1994 <21% to 10%> the approval of a wife slapping her husband did not decline but remained at 22% during the same period. The most frequently mentioned reason for slapping for both partners was sexual unfaithfulness. Also reports that severe physical assaults by men declined by 48% from 1975 to 1992--38/1000 to 19/1000 while severe assaults by women did not change from 1975 to 1992 and remained above 40/1000. Suggests that public service announcements should be directed at female perpetrated violence and that school based programs "explicitly recognize and condemn violence by girls as well as boys.")

Straus, M. A., & Gelles, R. J. (1986). Societal change and change in family violence from 1975 to 1985 as revealed by two national surveys. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 48, 465-479. (Reviewed data from two large sample national violence surveys of married couples and report that men and women assaulted each other at approximately equally rates,with women engaging in minor acts of violence at a higher rate than men. Sample size in 1975 survey=2,143; sample size in 1985 survey=6,002.)

Straus, M. A., Gelles, R. J., & Steinmetz, S. K. (1981). Behind closed doors: Violence in the American family, Garden City, NJ: Anchor. (Reports findings from National Family Violence survey conducted in 1975. In terms of religion, found that Jewish men had the lowest rates of abusive spousal violence (1%), while Jewish women had a rate of abusive spousal violence which was more than double the rate for Protestant women <7%>, pp. 128-133. Abusive violence was defined as an "act which has a high potential for injuring the person being hit," pp.21-2.)

Straus, M. A., Hamby, S. L., Boney-McCoy, S., & Sugarman, D. B. (1996). The Revised Conflict Tactics Scales (CTS2). Development and preliminary psychometric data. Journal of Family Issues, 17, 283-316. (The revised CTS has clearer differentiation between minor and severe violence and new scales to measure sexual coercion and physical injury. Used the CTS2 with a sample of 317 college students <114 men, 203 women> and found that: 49% of men and 31% of women reported being a victim of physical assault by their partner; 38% of men and 30% of women reported being a victim of sexual coercion by their partner; and 16% of men and 14% of women reported being seriously injured by their partners.)

Straus, M. A., & Kaufman Kantor, G. (1994, July). Change in spouse assault rates from 1975-1992: A comparison of three national surveys in the United States. Paper presented at the Thirteenth World Congress of Sociology, Bielefeld, Germany. (Reports that the trend of decreasing severe assaults by husbands found in the National Survey from 1975 to 1985 has continued in the 1992 survey while wives maintained higher rates of assault.)

Straus, M. A., Kaufman Kantor, G., & Moore, D. W. (1994, August). Change in cultural norms approving marital violence from 1968 to 1994. Paper presented at the American Sociological Association, Los Angeles, CA. (Compared surveys conducted in 1968 <n=1,176>, 1985 <n=6,002>, 1992 <n=1,970>, and 1994 <n=524>, with regard to the approval of facial slapping by a spouse. Approval of slapping by husbands decreased from 21% in 1968 to 13% in 1985, to 12% in 1992, to 10% in 1994. The approval of slapping by wives was 22% in 1968 and has not declined over the years.)

Sugarman, D. B., & Hotaling, G. T. (1989). Dating violence: Prevalence, context, and risk markers. In M. A. Pirog-Good & J. E. Stets (Eds.) Violence in dating relationships: Emerging social issues (pp.3-32). New York: Praeger. (Reviewed 21 studies of dating behavior and found that women reported having expressed violence at higher rates than men--329 per 1000 vs 393 per 1000.)

Szinovacz, M. E. (1983). Using couple data as a methodological tool: The case of marital violence. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 45, 633-644. (Used Conflict Tactics Scale with 103 couples and found that the wives' rates of physical aggression was somewhat higher than husbands'.)

Tang, C. S. (1994). Prevalence of spouse aggression in Hong Kong. Journal of Family Violence, 9, 347-356. (Subjects were 382 undergraduates <246 women, 136 men> at the Chinese University in Hong Kong. The CTS was used to assess students' evaluation of their parents responses during family conflict. 14% of students reported that their parents engaged in physical violence. "Mothers were as likely as fathers to use actual physical force toward their spouses.")

Thompson Jr., E. H. (1990). Courtship violence and the male role. Men's Studies Review, 7, (3) 1, 4-13. (Subjects were 336 undergraduates <167 men, 169 women> who completed a modified version of the CTS. Found that 24.6% of men compared to 28.4% of women expressed physical violence toward their dating partners within the past two years. Found that women were twice as likely as men to slap their partners.)

Thompson Jr., E. H. (1991). The maleness of violence in data relationships: an appraisal of stereotypes. Sex Roles, 24, 261-278. (In a more extensive presentation of his 1990 article, the author concludes that, "a more masculine and/or less feminine gender orientation and variations in relationship seriousness proved to be the two strongest predictors of both men's and women's involvement in courtship violence.")

Tyree, A., & Malone, J. (1991). How can it be that wives hit husbands as much as husbands hit wives and none of us knew it? Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association. (Reviews the literature and discusses results from their study attempting to predict spousal violence. Found that women's violence is correlated with a history of hitting siblings and a desire to improve contact with partners.)

Vivian, D., & Langhinrichsen-Rohling, J. (1996). Are bi-directionally violent couples mutually victimized? In L. K. Hamberger & C. Renzetti (Eds.) Domestic partner abuse (pp. 23-52). New York: Springer. (Authors found using a modified version of the CTS, that in a sample of 57 mutually aggressive couples, there were no significant differences between husbands' and wives' reports concerning the frequency and severity of assault victimization. With regard to injuries, 32 wives and 25 husbands reported the presence of a physical injury which resulted from partner aggression.)

White, J. W., & Humphrey, (1994). Women's aggression in heterosexual conflicts. Aggressive Behavior, 20, 195-202. (Eight hundred and twenty nine women <representing 84% of entering class of women> 17 and 18 years old, entering the university for the first time completed the CTS and other assessment instruments. Results reveal that 51.5% of subjects used physical aggression at least once in their prior dating relationships and, in the past year, 30.2% reported physically aggressing against their male partners. Past use of physical aggression was the best predictor of current aggression. The witnessing and experiencing of parental aggression also predicted present aggression.)

White, J. W., & Kowalski, R. M. (1994). Deconstructing the myth of the nonaggressive woman: A feminist analysis. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 18, 487-508. (A review and analysis which acknowledges that "women equal or exceed men in number of reported aggressive acts committed within the family." Examines a variety of explanations to account for such aggression.)

White, J. W., & Koss, M. P. (1991). Courtship violence: Incidence in a national sample of higher education students. Violence and Victims, 6, 247-256. (In a representative sample of 2,603 women and 2,105 men it was found that 37% of the men and 35% of women inflicted some form of physical aggression, while 39% of the men and 32% of the women received some form of physical aggression.)

An earlier version of this paper appeared in Sexuality and Culture, 1997, 1, 273-286.

Portions of this paper were also presented at the American Psychological Society Convention in Washington, D.C. May 24, 1997.