Adolescent dating violence refers to interpersonal violence which occurs during young people s romantic relationships. Although current research has focused primarily on physical and sexual violence, it is typically agreed that such violence reflects a range of behaviours that includes physical, sexual, and psychological violence, and coercive control. Current international prevalence estimates vary considerably due to variations in definition, but broadly suggest that between 10% - 30% of both adolescent girls and boys experience physical violence in dating relationships. The aim of the study was to examine young people s attitudes toward dating violence. Swedish, British, German and Dutch young people (N=86), aged 12-18, were interviewed in focus groups. Four superordinate themes were identified from thematic analyses: gender identities, television as the educator, perceived acceptability of dating violence, and the decision to seek help/tell someone. Although violence in relationships was generally not condoned, when violence was used by females, was unintended (despite its consequences), or was in retaliation for infidelity, violence was perceived as acceptable. Young peoples indicated that their views were stereotypical and based solely on stereotypical television portrayals of violence in relationships. Stereotypical beliefs and portrayals generate barriers for victimized males to seek help because of fear of embarrassment. Our findings provide further support for double standards of perceptions of violence used by males and females with female violence perceived as less serious and consequently more acceptable than that of males.Furthermore, as a consequence of the above finding, young peoples reported that males would be too embarrassed to approach anyone for help with this issue.
2016. 71-71 p.
Nordic Youth Research Symposium 15-17 June, 2016. Trollhättan, Sweden