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Similar numbers of both sexes say they've been abusers.

Additional new research shows teens who abuse their girlfriends and boyfriends often share a past as middle-school bullies.

In general, data presented at a conference are not considered as authoritative as results reviewed by outside experts and then published.

But as they seek to understand why so many young people hit, demean or force sex on their partners, much remains unclear.

One big question: Are boys and girls really equally at risk to become victims or abusers?

Teens, like adults, sometimes have trouble recognizing that they are in an abusive relationship, experts say.

Unhealthy relationships can start early and last a lifetime.

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.

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