IPV against men is a controversial area of research, with terms such as gender symmetry, battered husband syndrome and bidirectional IPV provoking a great deal of debate.The lines of the debate tend to fall between two basic polemics.In a 2005 report carried out by the National Crime Council in the Republic of Ireland, it was estimated that 5% of men who had experienced IPV had reported it to the authorities, compared to 29% of women.In England and Wales, the 1995 "Home Office Research Study 191" surveyed 10,844 people (5,886 women and 4,958 men) between the ages of 16 and 59, finding that for the twelve-month period preceding the survey, 4.2% of men had experienced IPV.Although the study found that lesbians experienced IPV at higher rates than heterosexual women, it did acknowledge that the majority of IPV perpetrated against both men and women was carried out by men.CDC Director Tom Frieden stated, "This report suggests that lesbians, gay men and bisexuals in this country suffer a heavy toll of sexual violence and stalking committed by an intimate partner." In New Zealand, the twenty-one year Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study, published in 1999, reported that of their sample of 1,037 people, 27% of women and 34% of men reported being physically abused by a partner, with 37% of women and 22% of men reporting they had perpetrated IPV.The 2006 International Dating Violence Study, which investigated IPV amongst 13,601 students across thirty-two-nations found that "about one-quarter of both male and female students had physically attacked a partner during that year".It reported that 24.4% of males had experienced minor IPV and 7.6% had experienced "severe assault".
These reports have consistently recorded significantly higher rates of both male and female victims of IPV than the standard crime surveys.The theory that women perpetrate IPV at roughly similar rates as men has been termed "gender symmetry".The earliest empirical evidence of gender symmetry was presented in the 1975 U. National Family Violence Survey carried out by Murray A. Gelles on a nationally representative sample of 2,146 "intact families".Also in New Zealand, a 2009 report by the Journal of Applied Social Psychology evaluated samples of university students (35 female, 27 male), general population (34 female, 27 male), and incarcerated participants (15 female, 24 male), and found that 16.7% of the male respondents reported physical abuse (12.9% for students and 15.4% for convicts), while 29.5% reported bidirectional (i.e.
both partners commit IPV) violence (14.5% for students and 51.3% for convicts).
Additionally, 0.9% of men reported experiencing domestic violence in the past year, equating to 834,732 men.