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One difference between adolescent and adult relationships is the absence of elements traditionally associated with greater male power in adult relationships.[17] Adolescent girls are not typically dependent on romantic partners for financial stability, and they are less likely to have children to provide for and protect. Huebner, "Severe Dating Violence and Quality of Life Among South Carolina High School Students," 19 (2000): 220-227.

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Interestingly, males involved in relationships in which one or both partners reported physical aggression had a perception of less power than males in relationships without physical aggression.

Meanwhile, the girls reported no perceived difference in power regardless of whether their relationships included physical aggression.[18]It is interesting to note that adults who perpetrate violence against family members often see themselves as powerless in their relationships.

These numbers were reversed for the boys: 5 percent said they were the sole perpetrator; 27 percent the sole victim.

In a third study, teen couples were videotaped while performing a problem-solving task.

Some experts hold that men and women are mutually combative and that this behavior should be seen as part of a larger pattern of family conflict.

Supporters of this view generally cite studies that use "act" scales, which measure the number of times a person perpetrates or experiences certain acts, such as pushing, slapping or hitting.

Researchers later reviewed the tapes and identified acts of physical aggression that occurred between the boys and girls during the exercise.

They found that 30 percent of all the participating couples demonstrated physical aggression by both partners.

And so, to help further the discussion, we offer in this article a gender-based analysis of teen dating violence with a developmental perspective.[5] We look at what we know — and what we don't know — about who is the perpetrator and who is the victim in teen dating violence.

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