A Focus on the Positive: Reasons for Not Engaging in Physical Aggression Against a Dating Partner
The current study focuses on reasons why most women do not engage in physical aggression against their partner. The sample consists of 170 women, aged 18–35 from across the US. In an online questionnaire, 34% of the sample reported using physical aggression against a partner. Primary reasons for engaging in aggression were “anger [73%]” and “temper [68%].” For those who were not aggressive, primary deterrents were beliefs that “using aggression is inappropriate [72%]” and “under no circumstances is physical aggression okay [71%].” Physically aggressive females were less satisfied with relationships, more accepting of physical violence, and felt more provoked in conflict situations. Across varied studies assessing reasons for physical aggression against a partner, anger is perceived as most prevalent, though a meta-analysis found that trait anger has a small association with intimate partner aggression. The strikingly different results indicate the need for research to reconcile this discrepancy.