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However, analyses of research indicates that frequently the legal system fails to view women who use IPV against controlling male partners as victims due to gendered high expectations on women to be the "perfect victim" and the culturally pervasive stereotype of the passive, "cowering" battered woman.

Statistics indicate that under-reporting is an inherent problem with IPV irrespective of gender.

The second polemic argues that IPV against men is a significant problem and underreported, and that it puts women in even greater risk of victimization by abusive men, which domestic violence researchers and radical feminists have ignored in order to protect the fundamental gains of the battered women's movement, specifically, the view that intimate partner abuse is an extension of patriarchal dominance..

For a man to admit he is the victim of female perpetrated IPV necessitates the abandonment of the veneer of machismo which society expects from men, and to admit being submissive to a female partner.

Also in New Zealand, a 2009 report by the Journal of Applied Social Psychology evaluated samples of university students (35 female, 27 male), general population (34 female, 27 male), and incarcerated participants (15 female, 24 male), and found that 16.7% of the male respondents reported physical abuse (12.9% for students and 15.4% for convicts), while 29.5% reported bidirectional (i.e.

The earliest empirical evidence of gender symmetry was presented in the 1975 U. National Family Violence Survey carried out by Murray A. Gelles on a nationally representative sample of 2,146 "intact families".

Since 1975, numerous other empirical studies have found evidence of gender symmetry in IPV.

For example, in the United States, the National Comorbidity Study of 1990-1992 found 18.4% of men and 17.4% of women had experienced minor IPV, and 5.5% of men and 6.5% of women had experienced severe IPV.

Since 2004, more detailed annual records have been maintained as a supplementary survey attached to the annual Home Office Crime in England and Wales reports.

These reports have consistently recorded significantly higher rates of both male and female victims of IPV than the standard crime surveys.

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