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The literature on IPV among adolescents indicates that the rates are similar for the number of girls and boys in heterosexual relationships who report experiencing IPV, or that girls in heterosexual relationships are more likely than their male counterparts to report perpetrating IPV. stated that, unlike domestic violence in general, equal rates of IPV perpetration is a unique characteristic with regard adolescent dating violence, and that this is "perhaps because the period of adolescence, a special developmental state, is accompanied by sexual characteristics that are distinctly different from the characteristics of adult." Wekerle and Wolfe theorized that "a mutually coercive and violent dynamic may form during adolescence, a time when males and females are more equal on a physical level" and that this "physical equality allows girls to assert more power through physical violence than is possible for an adult female attacked by a fully physically mature man." Regarding studies that indicate that girls are as likely or more likely than boys to commit IPV, the authors emphasize that substantial differences exist between the genders, including that girls are significantly more likely than boys to report having experienced severe IPV, such as being threatened with a weapon, punched, strangled, beaten, burned, or raped, and are also substantially more likely than boys to need psychological help or experience physical injuries that require medical help for the abuse, and to report sexual violence as a part of dating violence.They are also more likely to take IPV more seriously.It is important to note that although male and female adolescents do not differ in "overall frequency of violence in dating relationships," females are subject to "significantly higher levels of severe violence".This fact begs the question of whether abuse should be evaluated based on “severity” and how that can and should be measured, or if all abuse should be considered equally harmful.
There are a number of states in which "age of consent statutes are used to prosecute consensual sex between two persons both under the age of consent." This type of prosecution has been deemed unconstitutional in some states by citing violation of privacy rights, but remains in effect in other states.A survey conducted by Teenage Research Unlimited stated that " percent of teens have been threatened physically via e-mail, IM, text messaging, chat rooms, etc." A 2008 meta-analysis, which examined 62 empirical research studies between 19, relating to domestic violence in heterosexual intimate relationships from adolescence through to adulthood in the United States, reported on research findings that consistently show that adolescent females commit significantly more acts of domestic violence in intimate relationships than adolescent males.It stated, however, that the "data also suggest that females who commit acts of domestic violence may experience more violent or frequent IPV victimization than males" and that "[t]he highest rates [for female-perpetrated IPV] were found for emotional violence, followed by physical and sexual violence.Other research indicates that boys who have been abused in childhood by a family member are more prone to IPV perpetration, while girls who have been abused in childhood by a family member are prone to lack empathy and self-efficacy; but the risks for the likelihood of IPV perpetration and victimization among adolescents vary and are not well understood.There is a common misconception that aggression is stable over time.