Are Female Siblings Violent Towards Brothers?

At least once a year siblings violently hurts  a brother or sister .

  • 42% of all children kicked, bit, or punched a sibling.
  • 40% hit with an object.
  • 16 % beat up another.
  • 0.8% threatened with a knife or gun.
  • 0.3% used a knife or gun.

The sibling relationship is the most violent relationship of all human bonds , according to”Behind Closed Doors,” a groundbreaking national study of family violence,

Although the lowest violence scores tended to be among brother/sister sibling pairs, sisters do abuse brothers. The National Family Violence Survey found that boys in the severe violence categories were more violent towards their siblings-but the difference between boys and girls was not a huge gulch.  In the study violence among boy siblings boys rated 59% of the violence against siblings. Surprise- violence among girls’ siblings was a close -46%

In overall violence including less severe acts, (like pushing, shoving, etc.), the difference between boys and girls was even less, (83% versus 74%). Sister sibling abuse came in a closer second.

Sisters abuse brothers, and traditional gender roles can allow this sister abuse of their brother to go unchecked by moms and dads. Researchers have found that while women are more likely to use physical aggression during disagreements, parents frequently are more upset by male aggression than female belligerence. This is true even when the abusive acts are identical (e.g., boys throwing objects during a fight is seen as a more serious transgression than girls throwing objects during a fight).

Research reports that that women’s violence as adults is more strongly correlated with aggression towards siblings during childhood. So a key as a young parents, is to stop violence among young siblings immediately.

I recently had a e mail from a psychotherapist who been working with a middle aged man . He had  blistering story of emotional and physical abuse at the hands of a considerably older female sibling. The man is in the process of trying to work through what to do with this relationship He would like to make contact with others who have had a similar experience.

If you are a brother and had sister who fell in to the category of seething sibling like the bible’s Cain and Abel, can you please  comments about blogs you know of or groups you joined to recover from this abuse. I would be very grateful.


About momlovesyoubest

Cathy Cress holds an MSW in Aging from U.C. Berkeley. Her new book Mom Loves You Best, Forgiving and Forging Sibling Relationships , New Horizon Press, was published October 2010. Cress’s book , Handbook of Geriatric Care Management, Jones and Bartlett, is the bible of geriatric care management and is out out in a third edition in February 2011 .Her book Care Managers, Working With the Aging Family, Jones and Bartlett,2008 is one of the few major books on the aging family. Ms. Cress is the founder of GCM Consult ,working with small and national who want to add or launch GCM businesses. She is on the faculty at the University of Florida in their on line master’s in geriatric care management -GCM . She has taught geriatric care management at San Francisco State University , UC Berkeley and teaches at Cabrillo College and San Mateo College. She was founder and director of Cresscare, a GCM business, for 25 years.
This entry was posted in brother, Gender, Raising your siblings, sibling violence, sisters, young siblings and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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