Women are more likely than men to be aggressive and controlling towards their partner, according to a study.
The research found that women showed controlling behaviour along with serious levels of threats, intimidation and physical violence when in a relationship more often than men.
More than 1,000 young men and women were questioned about any “Intimate Partner Violence” (IPV) they had inflicted on a girlfriend or boyfriend, or been subjected to themselves.
The results are in contrast to earlier studies which suggested women are almost always the victims of such behaviour.
Dr Elizabeth Bates, who led the study at the University of Cumbria, said: “Previous studies have sought to explain male violence towards women as arising from patriarchal values, which motivate men to seek to control women’s behaviour, using violence if necessary.”
“This study found that women demonstrated a desire to control their partners and were more likely to use physical aggression than men.
“It wasn’t just pushing and shoving,” said Dr Bates, who presented the results at a meeting of the British Psychological Society in Glasgow. “Some people were circling the boxes for things like beating up, kicking, and threatening to use a weapon.
“In terms of high levels of control and aggression, there was no difference between men and women.”