Girls commit dating violence as often as boys, studies show

More girls – 43 percent – than boys – 28 percent – reported committing an act of physical dating violence, said researchers who are presenting their findings beginning Wednesday at the American Psychological Association’s annual meeting. Slightly more boys – 23 percent – than girls – 18 percent – reported perpetrating at least one act of sexual violence. …

The study looked at a spectrum of behaviors, ranging from name calling and expressing anger, spreading rumors, and using controlling behaviors such as keeping track of dating partners, to physical violence such as slapping, hitting and biting, and sexual violence including forced kissing. Taken as a whole, one in three reported being the victim of at least one of the behaviors on that spectrum.

While most of us may not rank name-calling, or bad-mouthing another to their friends as “violence,” the researchers say they included the psychological and relationship tactics because they can have a profound impact.