Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Intimate Partner Violence, Perceptions, Gender, Same-Sex, Sexual Orientation, Injury, Seriousness

Major Advisor

Michelle K. Williams

Associate Advisor

Stephanie Milan

Associate Advisor

Vicki Magley

Field of Study



Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Open Access


The current research investigated the impact of perceiver attitudes (i.e., homonegativity, traditional gender-roles, and same-sex violence misconceptions) and victim injury on perceptions of intimate partner violence (IPV). Due to gender-role stereotypes about different injury capabilities for men and women, it has been proposed that such stereotypes alone are substantial enough to explain why prototypical IPV (i.e., male-on-female) is perceived as more serious than non- prototypical IPV (i.e., male-on-male, female-on-female, and male-on-male). Study 1 found that prototypical IPV was perceived as significantly more serious than non-prototypical IPV, with the female-on-male incident rated as the least serious among all incidents. These results are consistent with gender-role stereotypes and physical sex differences which hold that males are more capable of injuring victims than females, while females are more likely to be injured than males. However, this study also found that perceiver attitudes influenced evaluations of seriousness for all instances of non-prototypical IPV in unique ways. In addition, individuals appeared to create a gendered framework for victims (i.e., feminine) and perpetrators (i.e.,masculine) of IPV regardless of sex. Relatedly, study 2 found a non-significant difference in evaluations of seriousness between an incident of prototypical and non-prototypical IPV (i.e., female-on-female) when the degree of victim injury was controlled. Taken together, these findings suggest that gender-role stereotypes, perceiver attitudes, and degree of injury all influence evaluations of seriousness for both prototypical and non-prototypical IPV.