Despite equivocal findings on whether men or women are more violent, the negative impact of violence is greatest for women. To determine how gender asymmetry in perpetration affects women's health status, we conducted a study in two phases with 835 African American, Euro-American, and Mexican American low-income women in Project HOW: Health Outcomes of Women. In Phase 1, we used severity and frequency of women's and male partners' violence to create six groups: nonviolent (NV), uni-directional male (UM) perpetrator, uni-directional female (UF) perpetrator and, when both partners were violent, symmetrical (SYM), male primary perpetrator (MPP), and female primary perpetrator (FPP). The MPP group sustained the most threats, violence, sexual aggression, and psychological abuse. They also reported the most fear. Injury was highest in the MPP and FPP groups. In Phase 2, we examined group differences in women's health status over time for 535 participants, who completed five annual interviews. Surprisingly, women's health in the MPP and FPP violence groups was similar and generally worse than if violence was uni-directional.
- Low-income women
- Partner violence
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Health(social science)