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Y., high school students who were currently dating. In that 2007 survey, 66 percent of boys and 65 percent of girls who were involved in physically aggressive relationships reported mutual aggression. Twenty-eight percent of the girls said that they were the sole perpetrator; 5 percent said they were the sole victim.
[ 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. Some experts hold that men and women are mutually combative and that this behavior should be seen as part of a larger pattern of family conflict. Supporters of this view generally cite studies that use "act" scales, which measure the number of times a person perpetrates or experiences certain acts, such as pushing, slapping or hitting. 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.We also discuss how adult and adolescent romantic relationships differ in the hope that an examination of existing research will help us better understand the problem and move the field toward the creation of developmentally appropriate prevention programs and effective interventions for teenagers.