Gender matters in intimate partner violence

Kathleen J. Ferraro

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

5 Scopus citations


This chapter addresses the gender symmetry debate concerning intimate partner violence (IPV). I argue that: (1) gender matters at the individual psyche, micro-everyday, institutional, structural, and cultural levels of peoples' lives; (2) gender symmetry arguments have been captured by individualistic and binary models of gender that conflate sex and gender, ignore theoretical analyses of both gender and violence and neglect the importance of intersectionality; and (3) symmetry arguments fail to incorporate sustained analyses of forms of IPV that are uniquely gendered. I include in this category rape and sexual coercion, reproductive control, and violence during pregnancy, as well as behaviors that are highly correlated with lethal outcomes, such as strangulation. I illustrate my argument about the importance of intersectionality with a brief case profile of a battered man. I also review narratives from women and men who have been subjected to coercive control and IPV and US national level data reflecting the ongoing significance of gender in people's lives. I conclude with recommendations for research and policy that take seriously the gendered nature of intimate partner violence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPerceptions of Female Offenders
Subtitle of host publicationHow Stereotypes and Social Norms Affect Criminal Justice Responses
PublisherSpringer New York
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781461458715
ISBN (Print)1461458706, 9781461458708
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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