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Sex Differences in Stalking and Obsessive Relational Intrusion: Two Meta-Analyses

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Two data sets (21 studies of college students; N = 6,820; 274 studies of stalking, N = 331,121) are meta-analyzed to identify the extent to which (a) stalking is experienced differently by women and men and (b) stalking and unwanted pursuit vary by sample type (clinical/forensic, general population, college). Women are significantly more likely to experience persistent unwanted pursuit, more likely to view such pursuit as threatening, and are two to three times as likely as men to be victims of stalking, but men report longer durations of unwanted pursuit. Most of these gender differences were small in effect size. Stalking labeling and perceived severity of unwanted pursuit and stalking depended in part on the type of sample from which the data were drawn and the locus of perception, whether victim or perpetrator. The type of sample revealed a number of differences, including in the relationship between threats and violence, which caution against generalizing results from one set of studies to another. Implications for progress in stalking theory and research are discussed.
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Keywords: HARASSMENT; SEX; STALKING; THREAT; VIOLENCE

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2010

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