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Study Shows Domestic Abuse As Common Among Gays as Straights

Tuesday Jul 17, 2018

A new study shows that gay or straight, men can be abusive toward their intimate partners.

The study, published this month in the American Journal of Men's Health, seems to show that almost half the gay male population has been victimized by domestic violence.

Moreover, reported Web MD, the author o the study, Rob Stephenson, of the University of Michigan's Center for Sexuality and Health Disparities, there seems to be a correlation between internalized homophobia and a gay man's likelihood of treating an intimate partner in a way that qualifies as domestic abuse. That can include physical violence, but also controlling behavior, sexual assault, and emotional abuse, the Web MD article noted.

Stephenson said that the rates of sexual and physical violence in same-sex males couples are roughly the same as rates of similar abusive behavior found in heterosexual couples.

"We're stuck in this mental representation of domestic violence as a female victim and male perpetrator," Stephenson said, "and while that is very important, there are other forms of domestic violence in all types of relationships."

HIV transmission could also be an additional factor in same-sex males couples embroiled in abusive relationships patterns, the article said, because an abuser might not tell an intimate partner about his HIV status and might not permit the victim any say about the use of condoms - or, for that matter, about whether or not to have sex.

Awareness about domestic abuse among gay couples has been slowly growing for years. In 2010, the State of New York passed a law about same-sex domestic abuse, as EDGE reported at the time.

Most states now have laws on the books regarding domestic abuse within the context of gay couples. One state - South Carolina - long denied those protections to same-sex partners. The South Carolina state supreme court struck down part of that law as being unconstitutional a year ago.


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