Online Program

Demographic factors associated with exposure to intimate partner violence among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and pansexual adults: Results from a large Northern California county

Monday, November 2, 2015

Brianna van Erp, MPH, MPP, Santa Clara County Public Health Department, San Jose, CA
Mandeep Baath, MPH, Public Health Department, Santa Clara County, San Jose, CA
Pamela Stoddard, PhD, Public Health Department, Santa Clara County, San Jose, CA
Roshni Shah, MPH, Santa Clara County Public Health Department, San Jose, CA
Introduction: Intimate partner violence (IPV) is an important public health concern, but is often framed in the context of heterosexual relationships. Previous research suggests that lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults experience a much higher prevalence of IPV than heterosexual adults. Little is known, however, about how IPV exposure may vary within the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and pansexual (LGB) adult populations, especially in diverse settings.

Methods: We conducted an online survey of LGBTQ adults in English, Mandarin, Spanish, and Vietnamese (2013; N=1,175) in Santa Clara County, a diverse Northern California county of almost 2 million residents (3% African American, 34% Asian/Pacific Islander, 27% Latino, 34% White, and 38% foreign-born residents). Respondents who answered “yes” to whether a current or past intimate partner ever hit, slapped, pushed, kicked or physically hurt them in any way were coded as ever experiencing IPV. We used binary logistic regression to examine associations between experiencing IPV and sexual orientation, age, race/ethnicity, education, and nativity. We ran separate regression models for male and female gender identities.

Results: Overall, 27% of female and 18% of male respondents had ever experienced IPV. This percentage was higher among bisexual/pansexual females (32%) than lesbian females (24%) and similar among bisexual/pansexual men (17%) and gay men (18%). After adjustment for other factors, bisexual/pansexual women were significantly more likely than lesbian women to experience IPV (OR 2.82, 95% CI 1.47-5.43). Women ages 18-24 were significantly less likely than women ages 45 and older to have experienced IPV (OR 0.18, 95% CI 0.06-0.55). Among men, there was no difference in experiencing IPV by sexual orientation. Asian/Pacific Islander men were significantly less likely than non-Hispanic Whites to have experienced IPV (OR 0.05, 95% CI 0.01-0.41) and foreign-born men were marginally more likely to have experienced IPV than U.S.-born men (OR 2.36, 95% CI 0.91-6.12).

Discussion: Bisexual/pansexual women and older lesbian, bisexual, and pansexual women may face an increased risk of IPV. Exposure may also vary by race/ethnicity and nativity among gay, bisexual, and pansexual men. Findings suggest a need to tailor programs and interventions to subgroups within the LGB community.

Learning Areas:

Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Identify how exposure to intimate partner violence varies among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and pansexual adults. Describe implications for programs and policies to address intimate partner violence among diverse lesbian, gay, bisexual, and pansexual adults.

Keyword(s): Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT), Domestic Violence

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a public health epidemiologist working for Santa Clara County for the past 3 years.
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.