Women are at least as violent as men, concludes a controversial University of New Hampshire survey of 13,600 college students in 32 nations.
About one-third of students said they were in abusive relationships. Sixty-nine percent said both were violent, 21 percent said women were the sole assaulters and 10 percent said males were the lone batterers.
"Men genuinely believe 'never hit a woman' -- up to a certain point," researcher Murray Strauss told the Trends in Intimate Violence Intervention conference in New York.
"So when she gets angry at him and slaps him, kicks him, throws something, most men don't retaliate," he said. "But if she keeps on doing that, then it moves into the both doing it."
However, Stony Brook University's Ruth Brandwein said there is a big difference when the man is big and the woman is small.
"Her hitting him may be seen as a joke to him and his hitting her may terrorize her," Brandwein told The New York Daily News.
Katie Gentile of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice said men usually use violence to control women while women often attack to prevent an assault.
Copyright 2006 by United Press International
Explore further: The broken symphony of swinging metronomes