Healthy relationships involve trust, integrity, respect, and cooperation. Unfortunately, teen dating violence is a serious problem and there has been a consensus that it has severe consequences on the victims’ physical and psychological health. It can negatively influence the development of healthy sexuality, intimacy, and identity of adolescents as they transition into adulthood. This study examined the gender differences in teen dating violence among 336 Italian adolescent students from four secondary schools in Reggio Emilia, aged 14 to 20 years. The study used questionnaires for data collection and the results revealed that both genders have a significantly greater acceptance of control behavior when compared to their acceptance of aggressive behavior. In addition, boys accepted interpersonal violence more than girls. A Significant high percentage of girls reported victimization, with physical, emotional, and threatening violence perpetrated more against them. Most of the teens were aware of TDV among peers, and an experience of TDV was among the causal attributions mentioned. Others reported the fear of losing a partner and reaction to a provoking behavior. The recommendations drawn included the importance of addressing masculinity models that see aggressiveness as part of their gender identity and the relevance of raising awareness of control behaviors as antecedents of teen dating violence.
Keywords: Dating Violence, Adolescents, Gender, Victimization, Perpetration