He Said, She Said_ Comparing Men’s and Women’s Descriptions of Men’s Partner Violence

Jasmine Rodriguez, Sandra K. Burge, Johanna Becho, David A. Katerndahl, Robert C. Wood, Robert L. Ferrer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


More than one in three women and one in four men in the United States report victimization by intimate partner violence. Women and men often disagree about the frequency or severity of violent acts, and researchers have proposed various reasons for discordant reports. Using daily surveys and qualitative interviews, we compared men’s and women’s reports about men’s partner aggression and examined language they used to describe their experiences. Fifteen heterosexual couples in violent relationships completed an 8-week study that involved daily telephone surveys about violent behaviors and household environment; baseline and end-of-study surveys addressing predictors and outcomes of violence; and qualitative end-of-study interviews to provide perspective about their relationships. Most participants were Latinos with low income. Relationship length was 5.5 years, median. In daily surveys, both partners reported similar frequencies of men’s physical violence (4% of days), but men reported more physical violence by women than women did (8% vs. 3% of days). The qualitative analysts compared men’s and women’s accounts of male-to-female violence and observed gender-specific variations in style of reporting. Men used indirect language to describe their violent behavior, implied definitions of abuse, and justified their aggression. These findings have implications for clinical guidelines to screen and intervene with victims and perpetrators of intimate partner violence in primary care and emergency settings. Future research should focus on perpetrators of violence and examine effective ways for health care providers to identify and manage their care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)NP11695-NP11716
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Issue number21-22
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • intimate partner violence
  • perpetrators of violence
  • primary care settings
  • qualitative research methods
  • routine screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


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