Understanding of the role that attitudes and beliefs may play on the judgments people make about intimate partner violence (IPV) is becoming increasingly important, notably in the context of the criminal justice process and in recognising IPV as a public health issue. This study aims to investigate the importance of several established factors predictive of attitudes towards male-perpetrated IPV, which have never previously been explored in relation to female-perpetrated IPV.
In total, 295 young adults (18–28) from across the UK completed an online survey (M Age = 23.82) comprised of four established psychometric inventories; the Rosenberg Self-esteem scale, Satisfaction with Life scale, Attitudes Towards Female Dating Violence scale and newly developed Modern Adolescent Dating Violence Attitudes (MADVA) scale, alongside a suite of associated demographic factors.
Results derived from a multiple linear regression indicates that three types of attitudes towards male-perpetrated violence against women (physical, sexual, and psychological abuse offline), were significant predictors of attitudes towards female-perpetrated IPV, along with gender and ethnicity. Self-esteem, satisfaction with life, age and education among those surveyed were not associated with attitudes towards female-perpetrated IPV.
The results have important implications in developing educational programmes for those who have committed IPV offences, as well as teaching young people about the nature of partner abuse.
The results suggest that those who endorse attitudes supportive of male-perpetrated IPV in offline environments, also endorse violence-supportive beliefs towards female-perpetrated IPV. In effect, violence-supportive attitudes are held irrespective of the sex of the perpetrator. However, this may differ in terms of how individuals view online types of abuse, where these attitudes appear to be processed differentially to offline attitudes.