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May292010

Domestic violence study reveals gender stereotypes

Most cases of domestic violence are initiated by men, but studies show females can be physically violent as well.

Ongoing ASU research may create more understanding of female perpetrators of “intimate partner violence” and encourage services for both the perpetrators and male victims.

Kellie Palazzolo, an assistant professor in the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication, is the adviser for the research project that began fall 2009.

One goal of the research is to understand how college students perceive female and male perpetrators, she said.

“We can take what we’re learning and turn it into some sort of prevention campaign that treats both male and female equally as having the potential to be aggressive in their relationship,” Palazzolo said.

She said she ultimately wants to prevent violence in intimate relationships.

So far, the research is bringing to light that women can be aggressive.

“It’s often been taken for granted that women can’t really do that much damage, so it’s OK to maybe slap your boyfriend or do something of that nature,” Palazzolo said.

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