MU Extension MU Extension       University of Missouri    ●    Columbia    ●    Kansas City       Rolla     ●    St. Louis - Adults and Children - Adolescents


Quick Answers...


What is the difference in dating violence for boys and girls?

One study showed that a little over one-third of both girls and boys said they had been physically abused by a dating partner, but the experience was much worse for girls than boys. Girls experienced the more severe forms of violence and the boys experienced less severe forms. For example, girls "are much more likely to be punched and forced to engage in sexual activity against their will" (rape).

Boys are more likely "to be pinched, slapped, scratched, and kicked" (Molidor: 2000). Boys also said that when they did experience physical violence they usually did not get hurt. However, almost 50% of the girls said the violence was severe, that their dating partner "hurt me a lot" and "caused bruises", and/or they "needed medical attention" because of their injuries.

Because girls often fight back, it is likely that many of the physically violence experiences the boys report are due to girls defending themselves against their boyfriends abusing them or forcing them to have sex. Also, girls said that it was the boys who most often started the physical violence (70% of abusive acts) while boys said the girls started the abuse less than one third of the time (27%).


For more information see Dating Violence and Your Teen.




Diane G. Kuschel, Former Extension Associate, College of Human Environmental Sciences, University of Missouri Extension





Can't Find Your Question Here? Try Searching Our Quick Answer Knowledge Base

Last update: Thursday, February 21, 2013




University of Missouri logo links to

Site Administrator: 
Copyright  ADA  Equal Opportunity

MissouriFamilies is produced by the College of Human Environmental Sciences,
Extension Division, University of Missouri-Columbia