Sex Roles

, Volume 58, Issue 11–12, pp 802–813 | Cite as

Gender Differences in Narcissism and Courtship Violence in Dating Couples

  • Kathryn M. Ryan
  • Kim Weikel
  • Gene Sprechini
Original Article


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 



The current study was supported by a Professional Development Grant from Lycoming College. Many thanks to Catherine Golden for running the study. Earlier analyses of the data from this study were reported as part of the symposium on The Association between Narcissism and Aggression in Dating Couples at the 29th Annual Association of Women in Psychology, February 27, 2004, Philadelphia, PA, USA.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyLycoming CollegeWilliamsportUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyShippensburg UniversityShippensburgUSA
  3. 3.Department of MathematicsLycoming CollegeWilliamsportUSA

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