I have always believed that the reason it is more wrong for a man to hit a woman than vice versa is mainly because women tend to be physically weaker then men, and that even if a women initiated violence the man should not hit back.
This somehow came up in conversation with a friend who then asked that by this reasoning, if a weaker man attacked a stronger man without provocation, would it be wrong for the stronger man to hit back? We both agreed this did not feel right.
I am looking for any reasons why the specific case of a man hitting a woman (whether provoked or unprovoked) is worse than a man or woman hitting another man, without it being logically inconsistent.
For clarity, I am not asking about whether violence in itself is wrong (I do hold the view that it is usually not the answer). But I am more interested in why the one form of violence is morally different to the other.