Attitudes toward women and dating violence

Swathi Anantha, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Teen dating violence (TDV) is a major public health issue that can be divided into 3 common forms: physical violence, psychological violence, and sexual violence. Substance abuse, risky sexual behaviors (i.e. first intercourse before the age of 15 years and multiple partnering), poor psychological health, disordered eating, child maltreatment, dismissive or justifying attitudes about violence, suicidality and behavioral problems are all correlated with dating violence perpetration and victimization. A women's belief in what her role is in the relationship affects how she responds to and copes with being a victim of violence. The attitudes toward women (ATW) variable was used to evaluate subscription to traditional roles by evaluating perceptions about gender stereotypes. Only female sexual dating violence victimization has been examined in this study because females are more likely than males to be the victims of sexual dating violence. The data analyzed in this project was from the baseline (Wave 1), 1-year follow-up (Wave 2), and 2-year follow-up (Wave 3) of Dating it Safe, an ongoing longitudinal study on teen dating violence and adolescent risk behaviors. Participants were recruited from seven public high schools in four Houston-area school districts during the spring semester of 2010. The association between ATW and victimization in each wave of the "Dating it Safe" study and the trajectory of ATW and how it predicted victimization by sexual dating violence across each wave was evaluated. The logistic regression done on the relationship between sexual victimization in year-two and attitudes towards women at baseline and the logistic regression completed on the relationship between sexual victimization in year-three and attitudes towards women in year-two yielded non-statistically significant results. Although the relationship between attitudes toward women and victimization was not significant, it is important to explore different psychological mechanisms that lead to acceptance of abusive behaviors.

Subject Area

Mental health|Behavioral psychology|Womens studies|Public health

Recommended Citation

Anantha, Swathi, "Attitudes toward women and dating violence" (2014). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1567534.