Adolescent boys and dating
As a result, practitioners and researchers in the field tend to apply an adult intimate partner violence framework when examining the problem of teen dating violence. Although most research tends to indicate that more severe forms of physical violence are disproportionately experienced by girls, this is not a universal finding (O'Leary, K. [note 6] Giordano, P., "Recent Research on Gender and Adolescent Relationships: Implications for Teen Dating Violence Research/ Prevention," presentation at the U. Departments of Health and Human Services and Justice Workshop on Teen Dating Violence: Developing a Research Agenda to Meet Practice Needs, Crystal City, Va., December 4, 2007.
A split currently exists, however, among experts in the adult intimate partner violence arena, and attendees at the DOJ-HHS teen dating workshop mirrored this divide.
Consequently, those in the field have to rely on an framework to examine the problem of teen dating violence.
However, we find that this adult framework does not take into account key differences between adolescent and adult romantic relationships.
In cases in which there was a power imbalance, they were more likely to say that the female had more power in the relationship. [note 4] National victimization prevalence estimates from a study of adolescents aged 12 to 17 years showed 0.6 percent for boys and 2.7 percent for girls.
Although research on rates of perpetration and victimization exists, research that examines the problem from a longitudinal perspective and considers the dynamics of teen romantic relationships is lacking.
One difference between adolescent and adult relationships is the absence of elements traditionally associated with greater male power in adult relationships. Adolescent girls are not typically dependent on romantic partners for financial stability, and they are less likely to have children to provide for and protect.
The study of seventh, ninth and 11th graders in Toledo, for example, found that a majority of the boys and girls who were interviewed said they had a relatively "equal say" in their romantic relationships. Huebner, "Severe Dating Violence and Quality of Life Among South Carolina High School Students," 19 (2000): 220-227.
According to the 2007 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, approximately 10 percent of adolescents nationwide reported being the victim of physical violence at the hands of a romantic partner during the previous year. The rate of psychological victimization is even higher: Between two and three in 10 reported being verbally or psychologically abused in the previous year, according to the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. As for perpetration rates, there are currently no nationwide estimates for who does the abusing, and state estimates vary significantly.
In South Carolina, for example, nearly 8 percent of adolescents reported being physically violent to a romantic partner.