Research on male domestic violence offenders has typically considered them to be highly specialized offenders, and specialized theories and policies have been developed to address this type of offending. Some scholars have suggested that intimate partner violence is not as specialized as has been previously assumed. Especially in terms of gender differences, intimate partner violence research and theory suggest some variability in the level of specialization apparent for offenders. The current study uses the gender symmetry and violent resistance perspectives of women's use of intimate partner violence to examine gender differences in specialization among a sample of intimate partner violence arrestees. Analyses employed multivariate models estimating the diversity index as a measure of specialization in general and multilevel item response theory to assess specialization in intimate partner violence specifically. Results indicate that female arrestees demonstrate significantly greater levels specialization as compared to male arrestees, providing support for the violent resistance perspective. Implications of these results and directions for future research are discussed.
- Intimate partner violence
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine