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Sex Differences in Aggression Between Heterosexual Partners: A Meta-Analytic Review

John Archer, PhD
Psychological Bulletin
Vol. 126, No. 5, pages 651-680, 2000

Following is the Abstract of Dr. Archerís scholarly and widely-reported investigation, which reveals the following:

1. Women were slightly more likely than men to use physical aggression, especially among younger women

2. 62% of all injured persons were female and 38% male

“Meta-analyses of sex differences in physical aggression to heterosexual partners and in its physical consequences are reported. Women were slightly more likely (d = -.05) than men to use one or more act of physical aggression and to use such acts more frequently. Men were more likely (d = .15) to inflict an injury, and overall, 62% of those injured by a partner were women. The findings partially support previous claims that different methods of measurement produce conflicting results, but there was also evidence that the sample was an important moderator of effect size. Continuous models showed that younger aged dating samples and a lower proportion of physically aggressive males predicted effect sizes in the female direction. Analyses were limited by the available database, which is biased toward young dating samples in the United States. Wider variations are discussed in terms of two conflicting norms about physical aggression to partners that operate to different degrees in different cultures.”

Dr. Archer also summarized the findings of research studies that examined the effects of partner aggression on the need for medical treatment. These findings are reported in Table 5 of his article.

Sex Break-Down of Persons Who Required Medical Treatment as a Result of Partner Aggression:

Male 35%
Female 65%