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Girls were more likely to say they had physically abused their partners; boys were "much more likely" to say they had sexually abused someone, the association says.
But it did not provide specific numbers on those differences.
The survey also found that 29% of girls and 24% of guys said they had been both victims and abusers, in the same or different relationships.
Lead author Michele Ybarra, a researcher with the Center for Innovative Public Health Research in San Clemente, Calif., said in an e-mail that she could not discuss the study because it is under review for publication in a scientific journal.
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When girls are the aggressors, he says, "it tends to be low-level behaviors, light hitting, name calling, things like that.
When you look at serious sexual and severe physical assault, we tend to see a bit more from the boys than the girls."Dorothy Espelage, a researcher at the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign, says, "Without measures of fear, severity and injury, we need to be cautious" about interpreting the new nationwide survey results.