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Lecture 23

PSYCO347 Lecture 23: Conflict in Intimate Relationships Lecture Notes

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Jennifer Passey

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Psyco 347 Interpersonal Relationships
Conflict in Intimate Relationships
The Prevalence of Violence
- National Violence against Women Survey of 16 000 men and women in the US
o 52% of women and 66% of men had been physically assaulted
o 22% of women and 7% of men had experienced a violent assault by an intimate partner
o The more men there were in a couple, the greater the likelihood that violence would
occur lesbian couples experience only about have these values
o Most common types of violence included hitting/slapping
- Some form of violence has occurred recently in 1 in every 6 couples
- In the US intimate partners violence (IPV) will cost over $8 billion in medical care, psychological
services, and lost time from work this year
Types of Couple Violence
- Situational Couple Violence (SCV): typically erupts from heated conflicts that get out of hand. Both
partners get angry; violence is tied to specific arguments;
o Usually mild (less likely to cause permanent damage/death)
o Most common form of violence
o Tends to be perpetrated by men and women to an equal degree
- Intimate Terrorism (IT): one partner uses violence as a tool to control and oppress the other. The
physical force and coercion may be just one tactic in a general pattern of threats, isolation, and
economic subordination.
o More likely to escalate over time and one-sided
o More likely to lead to serious injury and death
o Often the victims do not fight back; it is dangerous physically and economically
o Almost exclusively perpetrated by men against women
- Violent Resistance: a partner forcibly fights back against intimate terrorism.
o By far the least common
o Much more likely to be perpetrated by women
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Psyco 347 Interpersonal Relationships
The Many Facets of Intimate Terrorism Johnson
Gender Differences in Intimate Violence
- Women are actually slightly more likely to engage in physical violence against their partners than
men are, but:
o Most studies of ouple iolee do ot deterie hether a perso’s atios ere
offensive or defensive in nature
Example: if my partner attacks me with a knife and I hit him twice; I have
engaged in two acts of violence while he has only engaged in one
o In an episode of SCV, men tend to engage in more acts of violence than women do
Men are more likely to strangle, choke, beat & use weapons against their
o Men and women also tend to exhibit violent behaviour of different severity
Men are more likely to do some damage
“tudies of ouples iolee ofte do’t ilude rape or urder of oe’s parter
Despite men being more likely to rape or murder their partners
o Sampling is also an issue
Studies of younger people find mutual perpetration between men and women
Women are just as capable but do not perpetrate violence to the same degree;
in intimate terrorism women face more harm
o Note: Psychological aggression can be very harmful, but do not count as violence
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