Another reason men are often reluctant to report victimization concerns socio-cultural stereotypes of masculinity; male victims of IPV often hide their suffering due to fear of being judged negatively by others, and/or having their masculinity questioned.
For some men, this evasive behavior is based upon the fear of being ridiculed by friends or co-workers, by shyness in dealing with peers and/or with (non-violent) women, and by fear of people saying that the woman is the real victim, and must have been acting in self-defense.
Some researchers believe the actual number of male victims is likely to be greater than law enforcement statistics suggest due to the high number of men who do not report their abuse.
IPV against men is a controversial area of research, with terms such as gender symmetry, battered husband syndrome and bidirectional IPV provoking a great deal of debate.
The lines of the debate tend to fall between two basic polemics.
For a man to admit he is the victim of female perpetrated IPV necessitates the abandonment of the veneer of machismo which society expects from men, and to admit being submissive to a female partner.
For some men, this is an admission they are unwilling, or unable, to make.