176439 Violence by any other name: Using population-based data to explore intimate partner violence (IPV) among same-sex relationships in the United States

Tuesday, October 28, 2008: 8:48 AM

John R. Blosnich, BA, MPH , Department of Community Medicine, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV
Robert M. Bossarte, PhD , Department of Psychiatry, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY
Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a significant public health problem associated with a range of negative outcomes including physical and psychological injury, however this issue remains relatively unexplored among same-sex partners. Intimate partner violence has been examined predominantly in a heterosexist framework, and there are few population-based studies that include measures to operationalize sexual orientation. Using multivariate logistic regression analysis, data from the 2005 and 2006 BRFSS were used to identify differences between victims of IPV in same-sex (n=133) versus opposite-sex (n=5,873) relationships and between urban and rural areas. Results indicated that gay male victims reported more sexual and verbal violence than heterosexual male victims significant at a=.10 level (c2=3.69 and 3.02, respectively). Lesbian victims reported significantly more verbal (c2= 6.75, p<.05) and sexual (c2= 10.14, p<.05) violence than male victims of female perpetrators. Gay men and lesbians tended to report more victimization in boyfriend/girlfriend relationships than did heterosexual couples, where violence occurred more in formal spouse/live-in partner settings. Though negative health outcomes were mostly similar among same-sex and opposite-sex IPV victims, same-sex victims in urban areas were three times more likely (OR=3.54) to report poor perceived health status than heterosexual female victims. Future studies on IPV should be inclusive of non-heterosexual relationship dynamics, and IPV services should be cognizant of and supportive to victims of violence experienced in lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) relationships.

Learning Objectives:
1. Articulate challenges in conducting research with LGBT communities; 2. Describe the impacts of heterosexism and homophobia on intimate partner violence research and service provision; 3. Discuss similarities and differences between victims of same-sex and opposite-sex intimate partner violence

Keywords: Domestic Violence, Gay

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I aided in analysis of the data and co-authored the report for the study.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.