This commentary on J. Archer (2000) identifies limitations at the level of the primary data, the formal meta-analysis. and the interpretations of the results. Highlighted are concerns with the conceptual dichotomy that is the foundation of the analysis, how aggression was conceptualized and defined, and the methodological problems in the studies included in the database that were not neutralized by the meta-analysis. These include inadequate measurement of contextual factors and injury outcomes, scaling issues, and sampling concerns. The authors question the degree to which the field is advanced by this meta-analysis when the results are placed in the context of these limitations. Following American Association for the Advancement of Science directives (I. Lerch, 1999), the authors believe that inadequate attention was paid to the policy implications of the conclusions raising the potential to undermine societal efforts to eradicate violence against women.
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