Violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim is dating violence.Unfortunately, teen dating violence—the type of intimate partner violence that occurs between two young people who are, or who were once in, an intimate relationship—is a serious problem in the United States.It is important to create spaces, such as school communities, where the behavioral norms are not tolerant of abuse in dating relationships.The message must be clear that treating people in abusive ways will not be accepted, and policies must enforce this message to keep students safe.
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.
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.
Almost half of the boys in physically aggressive relationships reported mutual aggression, nearly half reported they were the sole victim, and 6 percent reported that they were the sole perpetrator.These findings are generally consistent with another study that looked at more than 1,200 Long Island, N. [note 27] Fredland, "The Meaning of Dating Violence." [note 28] Larson, R.