“This is a major adolescent health issue,” says Jay Silverman, associate professor of society, human development and health, who directed the Harvard study.“It affects [girls’] academic lives, lowers their standards for relationships and puts them at great risk for unintended pregnancy and STDs.” No one knows what causes such behavior—theories range from violence in the home to alcohol and drug abuse; others suggest violence in movies and the Internet may play a role.
If a friend called, he’d be like, ‘Why do you want to go out with them?
What is clear: Boy abusers and girl victims, without help, are likely to repeat those roles as adults. Every afternoon she would sit on the front lawn of her house in a suburb of Palo Alto, Calif., hoping to catch a moment with Joe as he walked home from practice.
Getting hurt was the furthest thing from Sarah’s mind when she met Joe at a back-to-school dance in September 2004, the start of her sophomore year. “I was crazy about him and about being in a new fun relationship,” she says. Joe, knowing Sarah left before dawn for crew practice—she eventually became team captain—began sending her text messages at 4 a.m.
Most obvious is the greater physical harm that can be inflicted by male violence due to males' often greater size and strength.
Compared to boys, girls are more likely to sustain injuries and require medical treatment as a result of the violence (Makepeace, 1987).
There is considerable controversy regarding whether violence in teen dating relationships involves mutual aggression and indeed several studies report higher rates of inflicting violence for females (Foshee, 1996; Gray & Foshee, 1997; O'Keefe, 1997).