Overall, because children are exposed to relationships early in their life through their parents and being so malleable at a young age, most evidence points to an adverse experience or experiences in childhood as fodder for such behavior in adolescence.The literature on IPV among adolescents primarily focuses on Caucasian youth, and there are yet no studies which focus specifically on IPV in adolescent same-sex romantic relationships.A survey conducted by Teenage Research Unlimited stated that " percent of teens have been threatened physically via e-mail, IM, text messaging, chat rooms, etc." A 2008 meta-analysis, which examined 62 empirical research studies between 19, relating to domestic violence in heterosexual intimate relationships from adolescence through to adulthood in the United States, reported on research findings that consistently show that adolescent females commit significantly more acts of domestic violence in intimate relationships than adolescent males.
While dating, domestic and sexual violence affect women regardless of their age, teens and young women are especially vulnerable.
Young people ages 12 to 19 experience the highest rates of rape and sexual assault, and people age 18 and 19 experience the highest rates of stalking.
Higher testosterone levels “manifests itself in various intensities and forms from; thoughts, anger, verbal aggressiveness, competition, dominance behavior, to physical violence.” A study published in the International Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism reported, “Testosterone plays a significant role in the arousal of these behavioral manifestations in the brain centers involved in aggression and on the development of the muscular system that enables their realization.
There is evidence that testosterone levels are higher in individuals with aggressive behavior, such as prisoners who have committed violent crimes.” However, the study also noted that many cases of high testosterone levels are disarmed through socialization.
Prevalence rates varied widely within each population, most likely due to methodological and sampling differences across studies." The authors added, "Few longitudinal studies existed, limiting the extent to which we could identify developmental patterns associated with female perpetrated intimate partner violence." They found a few studies which reported prevalence rates of IPV perpetration among females at two or more time points, which they stated made "it difficult to obtain a clear picture of the developmental patterns associated with this type of violence." There was also only one study that reported on prevalence rates over time for female perpetrated IPV among adolescents.
"This study found a significant increase in prevalence over a six month period; however, they measured lifetime perpetration of IPV, therefore, it is unclear if there was an actual increase or simply an accumulation of violence," stated the authors.
The literature on IPV among adolescents indicates that the rates are similar for the number of girls and boys in heterosexual relationships who report experiencing IPV, or that girls in heterosexual relationships are more likely than their male counterparts to report perpetrating IPV. stated that, unlike domestic violence in general, equal rates of IPV perpetration is a unique characteristic with regard adolescent dating violence, and that this is "perhaps because the period of adolescence, a special developmental state, is accompanied by sexual characteristics that are distinctly different from the characteristics of adult." Wekerle and Wolfe theorized that "a mutually coercive and violent dynamic may form during adolescence, a time when males and females are more equal on a physical level" and that this "physical equality allows girls to assert more power through physical violence than is possible for an adult female attacked by a fully physically mature man." Regarding studies that indicate that girls are as likely or more likely than boys to commit IPV, the authors emphasize that substantial differences exist between the genders, including that girls are significantly more likely than boys to report having experienced severe IPV, such as being threatened with a weapon, punched, strangled, beaten, burned, or raped, and are also substantially more likely than boys to need psychological help or experience physical injuries that require medical help for the abuse, and to report sexual violence as a part of dating violence.
They are also more likely to take IPV more seriously.
Multiple other studies corroborate these findings, citing childhood bullying, assault, and maltreatment as significant indicators for future violence in adolescent dating.