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Teenagers in Intimate Relationship and Abuse part 2

#abuse #domesticviolence #emotionalabuse #trauma #healing #teenagers #relationships #intimacy

Today I’d like to continue talking about teenagers in abusive relationships. Adolescence is a difficult period for every person; you are not a child anymore and you are not an adult. You are already shaped to some extent regarding your views and behavioural patterns but still not fully. If we add hormonal and social aspects of that period of life, there may be a recipe for a disaster. So, what are the figures and findings in the research world and how can we anticipate some abusive behaviours?

Forms of Abuse

Following my previous post, I’d like to say that it was found that there is no high level of agreement for abuse and control but a high level of agreement for abuse. It is rather surprising that young people respond with the greatest level of agreement with violence in relationships. It would be rather more predictable that teenagers respond with a greater agreement for abuse and control. Based on previous research violence, abuse and control not only exist but are common in young people's relationships. Barter et al. (2009) researched 13-16 years old, thus even younger than the presented above sample that addressed teenagers at age 16 -19 years old. Barter et al. (2009) found that young people, especially girls do not agree with violence, abuse, and control. However, boys are more prone to administer violence, abuse, and control and to minimise the impact of their actions. Thus, they have a positive attitude towards violence in relationships. Those figures state generally the attitude towards control, violence, and abuse in relationships, although, this is a small sample of teenagers, only 20 participants, it is still a warning sign in the context of domestic abuse, even though the reliability and credibility of the results might be inconclusive due to a small sample. Further research in the context of gender differences might bring more clarity. A bigger sample of participants could help to find out more about the correlation between gender and attitude to control, abuse, and violence in relationships. Still, any level of agreement with control, violence and abuse in teenagers is a warning sign.

Girls vs Boys

Accordingly, to this data more males than females tend to be single or in an OnOff relationship. 4 (57.1%) males and 3 (42.9%) females were single, 2 (66.7 %) males and 1 (33.3%) females were in an On-Off relationship. These results can be supported by previous findings that show that young men prefer their freedom, go out with friends, and do not need as much emotional connection in intimate relationships as their female peers. Boys feel comfortable in casual relationships without commitments. Also, a bigger percentage of boys in OnOff relationships can be explained in this way. Less young girls are single or in OnOff relationships and this might be due to their need for stronger emotional connection in intimate relationships. Thus, boys and girls have different emotional needs and attitudes towards relationships. This also may create conflict and lead to unhealthy relationships.

What to do?

In conclusion, one can say that most young people are in heterosexual relationships but some of them have bisexual or homosexual relationships. Based on the presented data set boys and girls evenly engage in long-term relationships but previous findings show that girls are more into long-term relationships while boys are into casual ones that do not require much emotional connection. There were not found significant differences between gender and sexual orientation as well as age and sexual orientation.

Previous research shows that teenagers, mostly girls and those in homosexual relationships experience violence, abuse, and control. Girls are more exposed to violence than boys but also use more control and abuse towards boys. This shows gender differences in attitudes to violence, abuse, and control in relationships. This shows that young people have a positive attitude towards violence and less agreement with abuse and control.

Future research with a bigger sample might address the gender differences in relationships and abuse among teenagers. Still, it is appalling and a red flag to our society as today teenagers are future adults. We cannot accept tolerance for any type of abuse in any type of relationship and any age group. Abuse is abuse and it should be addressed adequately. Victims must be protected, and perpetrators should be punished. We cannot be bystanders if we do not act, we take part in the criminal act.

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