Sex Roles

, Volume 62, Issue 3–4, pp 179–193 | Cite as

Controversies Involving Gender and Intimate Partner Violence in the United States

  • Jennifer Langhinrichsen-RohlingEmail author
Feminist Forum Review Article


This paper summarizes five challenging ongoing controversies involving gender and U. S. intimate partner violence (IPV) (i.e., gender symmetry of perpetration; utility of typologies; understanding bi-directionally violent couples; violence motivations and self-defense, and treatment effectiveness). Reviewed evidence support three central theses that: 1) there are subtypes of IPV; 2) women are as involved as men with some but not all subtypes of IPV, and 3) recognition of these gender-related challenges will improve policy, treatment, and working models of IPV. Within this paper, a dyadic culture-family-attachment-skill deficit model of IPV is conceptualized and three types of bi-directionally violent couples are named and described (dyadic dominance, dyadic dysregulation, and dyadic couple violence). Practice and policy implications of these advances are articulated.


Gender Intimate partner violence Controversies 



This paper was supported by Grant # 2005-JL-FX-0118 awarded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Points of view or opinions in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentUniversity of South AlabamaMobileUSA

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