4. Research limitations
As mentioned in the introduction, the presented studies must be considered critically as they often relied on small, non-random samples and were regionally limited. In addition, the group of white, educated lesbians who stem from the middle class and openly live their same-sex partnerships is overrepresented (cf. Criticism by West, 2002). Several pieces of research are based on clinical samples, which allow no conclusions about the day to day aspects of violence in lesbian relationships. In the presented research it is also sometimes unclear over which term the experience took place. It also often remains open whether the research participants exercised and/or were the object of violence (cf. McLaughlin/Rozee 2001). The criticism also concerns the various measuring instruments, which do not allow a direct comparison of the studies. Many investigations are also based on the assumption that the exercise of violence is part of (negative) conflict behaviour. The studies presented here also make no distinction between different dynamics of violence and can consequently provide no information on how high the respective proportions are, for example, of abusive relationships, and of aggressive conflict behaviour in the violent partnerships.