Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 31, Issue 8, pp 1013–1018 | Cite as

Understanding Gender Symmetry within an Expanded Partner Violence Typology

  • Annelise Mennicke
  • Shanti Kulkarni
Original Article


Controversies persist regarding the pervasiveness of gender symmetrical patterns of intimate partner violence (IPV) perpetration even as IPV research has proliferated. Johnson’s typology accounts for gender symmetrical and asymmetrical patterns of partner violence; unfortunately this framework has been poorly integrated into our research methods resulting in a fragmented knowledgebase. The original typology can be expanded to account for patterns of control absent of physical violence at the dyadic level. Measures based upon an expanded typology will allow us to better explore the theoretical underpinnings of gender symmetry in partner violence categories, and facilitate category-specific intervention development.


Typology of IPV Categories of domestic violence Coercive control Situational violence Male and female IPV 


  1. Archer, J. (2000). Sex differences in aggression between heterosexual partners: A meta-analytic review. Psychological Bulletin, 126, 651–680.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Basile, K. C., Arias, I., Desai, S., & Thompson, M. P. (2004). The differential association of intimate partner physical, sexual, psychological, and stalking violence and posttraumatic stress symptoms in a nationally representative sample of women. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 17(5), 413–421.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Coker, A. L., Davis, K. E., Arias, I., Desai, S., Sanderson, M., Brandt, H. M., & Smith, P. H. (2002). Physical and mental health effects of intimate partner violence for men and women. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 23(4), 260–268.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Dobash, R., & Dobash, R. (1979). Violence against wives: A case against patriarchy. New York. NY: Free Press.Google Scholar
  5. Dobash, R. P., Dobash, R. E., Wilson, M., & Daly, M. (1992). The myth of sexual symmetry in marital violence. Social Problems, 39(1), 71–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Dutton, M. A. (1992). Understanding women's responses to domestic violence: A redefinition of battered woman syndrome. Hofstra Law Review, 21, 1193–1208.Google Scholar
  7. Dutton, M. A., Goodman, L., & Schmidt, R. J. (2006). Development and validation of a coercive control measure for intimate partner violence: Final technical report. Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice.Google Scholar
  8. Evans, M., Gergory, A., Feder, G., Howarth, E., & Hegarty, K. (2016). “Even ‘daily’ is not enough”: how well do we measure domestic violence and abuse? – A think-aloud study of a commonly used self-report scale. Violence and Victims, 31, 3–26.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Fiebert, M. S. (2010). References examining assaults by women on their spouses or male partners: An annotated bibliography. Sexuality and Culture, 14(1), 49–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Graham-Kevan, N., & Archer, J. (2003). Intimate terrorism and common couple violence: a test of Johnson’s predictions in four British samples. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 18, 1247–1270.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Johnson, M. P. (2006). Conflict and control: gender symmetry and asymmetry in domestic violence. Violence Against Women, 12, 1003–1018.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Johnson, M. P. (2008). A typology of domestic violence: intimate terrorism, violent resistance and situational couple violence. Lebanon, NH: Northeastern University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Kulkarni, S. J., Woods, S. J., & Mennicke, A. M. (2016). Intimate partner violence (IPV) in the workplace: Exploring gender differences in current health outcomes. Health and Social Work.Google Scholar
  14. Langhinrichsen-Rohling, J. (2010). Controversies involving gender and intimate partner violence in the United States. Sex Roles, 62, 221–225.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Langhinrichsen-Rohling, J., Mirsa, T. A., Selwyn, C., & Rohling, M. (2012). Rate of bidirectional versus unidirectional intimate partner violence across samples, sexual orientations, and race/ethnicities: a comprehensive review. Partner Abuse, 3(2), 199–230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Loseke, D. R., & Kurz, D. (2005). Men’s violence toward women is the serious social problem. In D. R. Loseke, R. J. Gelles, & M. M. Cavanaugh (Eds.), Current Controversies on Family Violence (pp. 79–95). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Pence, E., & Paymar, M. (1993). Education groups for men who batter: The Duluth model. Springer Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  18. Ross, J. M., & Babcock, J. C. (2009). Gender differences in partner violence in context: deconstructing Johnson’s (2001) control-based typology of violent couples. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma, 18, 604–622.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Smith, P. H., Earp, J. A., & DeVellis, R. (1995). Measuring battering, Development of the Women’s Experience with Battering (WEB) Scale. Women's Health, 1(4), 273–288.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Smith, P. H., Smith, J. B., & Earp, J. L. (1999). Beyond the measurement trap: a reconstructed conceptualization and measurement of woman battering. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 23, 179–195.Google Scholar
  21. Stark, E. (2007). Coercive control: How men entrap women in personal life. New York. NY: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  22. Straus, M. A. (2010). Thirty years of denying the evidence on gender symmetry in partner violence: implications for prevention and treatment. Partner Abuse, 1, 332–362.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Straus, M. A., Hamby, S. L., Boney-McCoy, S., & Sugarman, D. B. (1996). The Revised Conflict Tactics Scales (CTS2): development and preliminary psychometric data. Journal of Family Issues, 13, 283–316.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Tjaden, P., & Thoennes, N. (2000). Full report of the prevalence, incidence, and consequences of violence against women: Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Social WorkUniversity of North Carolina at CharlotteCharlotteUSA

Personalised recommendations