However, when it comes to for using violence and the consequences of being a victim of teen dating violence, the differences between the sexes are pronounced. Although both boys and girls report that anger is the primary motivating factor for using violence, girls also commonly report self-defense as a motivating factor, and boys also commonly cite the need to exert control. Boys are also more likely to react with laughter when their partner is physically aggressive. Girls experiencing teen dating violence are more likely than boys to suffer long-term negative behavioral and health consequences, including suicide attempts, depression, cigarette smoking and marijuana use. Why do teenagers commit violence against each other in romantic relationships? Consequently, those in the field have to rely on an framework to examine the problem of teen dating violence.However, we find that this adult framework does not take into account key differences between adolescent and adult romantic relationships.According to the 2007 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, approximately 10 percent of adolescents nationwide reported being the victim of physical violence at the hands of a romantic partner during the previous year. The rate of psychological victimization is even higher: Between two and three in 10 reported being verbally or psychologically abused in the previous year, according to the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. As for perpetration rates, there are currently no nationwide estimates for who does the abusing, and state estimates vary significantly.In South Carolina, for example, nearly 8 percent of adolescents reported being physically violent to a romantic partner.These studies tend to show that women report perpetrating slightly more physical violence than men. It is interesting to note that most studies on teen dating violence that have been conducted to date have relied primarily on "act" scales. Cascardi, "Gender Differences in Dating Aggression Among Multiethnic High School Students," 12 (1997): 546-568.  Dobash, "The Myth."  Archer, "Sex Differences."  Wekerle, C., and D. Wolfe, "Dating Violence in Mid-Adolescence: Theory, Significance, and Emerging Prevention Initiatives," 115 (1994): 197-209. Another group of experts holds that men generally perpetrate serious intimate partner violence against women. O'Leary, "Multivariate Models of Men's and Women's Partner Aggression," 75 (2007): 752-764).  Molidor, "Gender and Contextual Factors."  Ackard, D.
will experience physical, sexual or emotional abuse by someone they are in a relationship with before they become adults.
One difference between adolescent and adult relationships is the absence of elements traditionally associated with greater male power in adult relationships. 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. Although most research tends to indicate that more severe forms of physical violence are disproportionately experienced by girls, this is not a universal finding (O'Leary, K.  Giordano, P., "Recent Research on Gender and Adolescent Relationships: Implications for Teen Dating Violence Research/ Prevention," presentation at the U. Departments of Health and Human Services and Justice Workshop on Teen Dating Violence: Developing a Research Agenda to Meet Practice Needs, Crystal City, Va., December 4, 2007.
The study of seventh, ninth and 11th graders in Toledo, for example, found that a majority of the boys and girls who were interviewed said they had a relatively "equal say" in their romantic relationships.
In 17 percent of the participating couples, only the girls perpetrated physical aggression, and in 4 percent, only the boys were perpetrators. The findings suggest that boys are less likely to be physically aggressive with a girl when someone else can observe their behavior.
Considered together, the findings from these three studies reveal that frequently there is mutual physical aggression by girls and boys in romantic relationships.
About a third of the girls said they were the sole perpetrators, and 13 percent reported that they were the sole victims.