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Journal Article


Drakulich KM, Rose K. J. Interpers. Violence 2013; 28(9): 1765-1797.


(Copyright © 2013, SAGE Publishing)






While substantial research attention has been paid to the disproportionately high levels of fear of crime among women relative to men, less attention has been paid to the apparent mirror of this: that men have disproportionately more concern for female partners than women do for male partners. The work that does exist on fear for partners has focused exclusively on different-sex partnerships. The present article proposes and explores several explanations for sex differences in fear for partners among different-sex as well as same-sex partnerships. The analysis uses a sample of persons who live with a partner (155 in same-sex and 2,817 in different-sex partnerships) from a Seattle survey that includes measures of altruistic fear, as well as measures of personal, familial, sexual assault, and sexual identity bias victimizations. Results suggest that female partners inspire more fear regardless of the sex of the respondents, that sex differences persist even after perceptions of danger are accounted for, and that personal fears and fears for children are positively associated with fears for partners and do not explain sex differences in such fears. These results are more consistent with explanations rooted in gendered perceptions of vulnerability and the shadow of sexual assault than explanations rooted in the differential gender socialization of men as protectors or of a limited capacity for fear.

Language: en


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