Gender symmetry and asymmetry in violent relationships: Patterns of mutuality among racially diverse women

Rebecca Weston, Jeff R. Temple, Linda L. Marshall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Scopus citations


Three patterns of mutual intimate partner violence (IPV) are proposed, based on frequency and severity: Male primary perpetrator (MPP), female primary perpetrator (FPP), and symmetrical (SYM). Patterns and effects of ethnicity were examined with 445 African American, Euro-American, and Mexican American low-income women experiencing mutual IPV. More relationships were classified as MPP (54%) than SYM (35%) or FPP (11%). Comparing women's and men's perpetration of several types of IPV (e.g., threats, severe physical) indicated MPP-pattern women experienced all IPV types more often and were more likely to sustain injury than their male partners. Fewer gender differences were found in the FPP pattern. Racial/ethnic groups were more similar than different; previously reported differences may be explained by variation in socioeconomic status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)553-571
Number of pages19
JournalSex Roles
Issue number7-8
StatePublished - Oct 1 2005
Externally publishedYes



  • Gender differences
  • Injury
  • Low-income
  • Male and female perpetration
  • Physical violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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