Original Article

Sex Roles

, Volume 58, Issue 11, pp 802-813

Gender Differences in Narcissism and Courtship Violence in Dating Couples

  • Kathryn M. RyanAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Lycoming College Email author 
  • , Kim WeikelAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Shippensburg University
  • , Gene SprechiniAffiliated withDepartment of Mathematics, Lycoming College

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The current study explored the relationship between courtship violence and the exploitativeness/entitlement factor of overt narcissism, covert narcissism, and sexual narcissism. Data were analyzed from 63 currently dating couples on their own and partner’s aggression using the CTS2. All were white, heterosexual students from a small US college in Central Pennsylvania. An interdependence analysis showed that correlations were entirely explained at the individual-level, thus demonstrating that gender is a key element in understanding narcissism and courtship violence. For women, exploitativeness/ entitlement was significantly correlated with sexual coercion in both dating partners. For men, covert narcissism was correlated with physical assault and sexual narcissism was correlated with their partner’s sexual coercion. Narcissism also influenced some discrepancies in self- and partner-rated aggression.


Narcissism Courtship violence Sexual aggression