University of Georgia Study Examines Gender Differences in Teen Dating Violence

A new study conducted at the University of Georgia finds that one third of the students in middle and high schools who are dating have experienced  dating violence. The researchers surveyed a large group of students in northeastern Georgia from 6th to 12th grade. Participants were surveyed each year for seven straight years.

The results showed that the cycle of dating violence increased as the students grew older. Among sixth grade daters, 14 percent of the boys and 24 percent of the girls reported committing at least one act of physical violence. In 12th grade, 14 percent of the boys and 32 percent of the girls said that they had committed dating violence.

orpinas“This is usually shocking for people not in the field, but in middle and high school, the girls consistently report more perpetration of violence and the boys report more victimization,” according to Pamela Orpinas, lead author of the study and professor in the College of Public Health at the University of Georgia. “Girls are more likely to report hitting, slapping and pushing their boyfriends than the boys. It is important to clarify, however, that the girls are more likely than boys to be the victims of sexual violence and to be injured.”

Dr. Orpinas holds a master of public health degree from the University of California at Los Angeles and a doctorate in public health from the University of Texas at Houston.

The research was published on the website of the Journal of Youth and Adolescence. The article may be accessed here.

Filed Under: Research/Study

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