This study examines motives for intimate partner violence IPV among a community sample of women who used IPV against male partners. All five motives were related to a greater frequency of perpetrating IPV. To develop effective interventions, researchers "Why do women think they can hit men" service providers working with individuals who use IPV need to understand what the individuals themselves see as their reasons for committing aggressive behaviors.
The purpose of this study is to examine reasons and motives for IPV among a community sample of women who used IPV against male intimate partners.
While reviewing these research findings, it is helpful to keep in mind that aggressors typically have multiple motives for their behavior Fiske, Other reasons for aggression, such as previous abusive relationships, likely are more distally related. One of the primary functions of aggression in general, and IPV in particular, is to express strongly felt negative emotions, such as anger and frustration Fiske, ; Kimmel, Women who engage in IPV commonly report using violence to defend themselves from their partners Babcock et al.
Similarly, in Stuart, Moore et al.
We expect that women in our sample who report that self-defense is never a motive for their violence may be primary aggressors who commit more violence against partners than they receive. These women likely have other, non-defensive motives for their violence, such as expressing negative emotions or control. They may commit higher levels of aggression, relative to women who do have self-defensive motives for their violence. In contrast, women who score high on the self-defense motive — that is, most of the time when they are aggressive, they are defending themselves - may be primarily victims.
In response to their high levels of victimization, these women may commit more aggression than other groups for whom self-defense is not as prominent of a motive. Women in between these two extremes may use aggression less than the other two groups.
These women may be in more mutually aggressive relationships, in which both partners may become aggressive but neither has dominance or control over the other. Some women use IPV in an attempt to control their partners. Stuart, Moore et al.
While some individuals use aggression to increase their feelings of control or power, others attribute their aggression to a lack of control over their emotions and themselves Thomas, In a relationship characterized by IPV, a woman may use aggression to convey the message to her partner that she is not to be trifled with and that he had better take her seriously - there will be violent consequences if he tries to hurt her Thomas, Similarly, studies have found that a relatively small number of women used IPV for purposes of intimidation.
An exploratory factor analysis described in the results section indicated that the Motives and Reasons for IPV scale has five factors: We developed the following hypotheses: Sexual aggression is likely a qualitatively different form of aggression than physical or psychological aggression Frieze, Participants were recruited from a Northeastern city by placing English and Spanish-language brochures and posters in various locations, including medical clinics, stores, churches, libraries, restaurants, and laundromats throughout the city.
The average age of participants was The length of time that the participants had been with their partners ranged from four months to over twenty years; 9.
A short telephone screening was conducted with participants to assess if they met criteria for inclusion in the study. Participants who met study criteria were invited to participate in face-to-face interviews.
Seventy-four of the Latina participants completed the interview in Spanish. Perpetration and victimization were assessed with three measures: The response scale for all items was: The sixth option was recoded to zero, since this study specifically examined aggression committed in the Why do women think they can hit men six months.
The physical aggression perpetration and victimization scales each included 12 items. The reliability alphas for physical aggression perpetration and victimization in this study were. A sample item representing physical aggression is: Did you throw something at your partner that could hurt perpetration ; Did your partner throw something at you that could hurt victimization.
Psychological aggression was assessed by using both the psychological aggression subscale of the CTS-2 Straus et al. The PMWI has demonstrated adequate reliability and validity, and has discriminated between abused and non-abused women Tolman, The combined psychological aggression measure using items from both scales was more reliable than either the CTS-2 or the PMWI psychological aggression subscales. Psychological perpetration and victimization in this study had reliability alphas of.
An example of an item representing psychological aggression is: Did you insult or swear at your partner perpetration ; Did your partner insult or swear at you victimization.
The coercive control perpetration and victimization scales each included seven items. In this study, coercive control perpetration and victimization had reliability alphas of.
An example of an item representing coercive control is: Sexual aggression was examined with the SES Koss et al. The sexual victimization scale included 10 items.