Printer Icon

Sexual Orientation and Partner Violence

By Sam Houston State University - 2014-03-04 - Updated: 2014-12-17

Summary

Examining issues of sexual orientation and intimate partner violence, including impact on substance abuse, physical and mental health, as well as effects of child abuse on its victims.

"Homosexuals and bisexuals are victims of intimate partner violence more frequently than their heterosexual counterparts – at rates of 50 percent and 32 percent respectively."

Main Document

"We wanted to see how characteristics of the victims might differ based on if they were heterosexual or non-heterosexual," said Maria Koeppel, a Ph.D. student at the College of Criminal Justice, who coauthored the studies with Dr. Leana Bouffard. "These studies show the need to have specialized programs designed for non-heterosexual victims to deal with their victimization in addition to minority stress issues."

The first study found that homosexuals and bisexuals were more likely than heterosexuals to be victims of intimate partner violence, a risk compounded by those who experienced abuse as a child.

In the second study, homosexual or bisexual victims of intimate partner violence were more likely to use drugs and alcohol and have health issues compared to heterosexual victims.

Homosexuals and bisexuals are victims of intimate partner violence more frequently than their heterosexual counterparts - at rates of 50 percent and 32 percent respectively.

If non-heterosexual individuals are abused as children, two-thirds will face abuse as adults at the hands of intimate partners, according to the CVI report "Child Abuse, Sexual Orientation and Intimate Partner Violence." The study was based on a sample of 7,216 women and 6,893 men from the National Violence Against Women Survey from 1995 and 1996.

"The finding of higher rates of adult IPV victimization for non-heterosexual child abuse victims lend support to the need for special social welfare programs for non-heterosexual victims, programs which are currently severely lacking," the report said.

One example of such a program is the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center, which works with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender shelters and legal services and provides training, education and counseling services on domestic violence issues to non-heterosexuals.

The second study, using the same data from the National Violence Against Women Survey, found that homosexual and bisexual victims of intimate partner violence are more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol following their victimization, with 35 percent turning to drugs compared to 23 percent among heterosexuals. In addition, non-heterosexual victims were at higher risk of alcohol abuse and health problems, although heterosexual victims were more likely to suffer mental health issues, the study found.

The two studies have been accepted for publication in academic journals and summaries were released by the Crime Victims' Institute at Sam Houston State University. The Institute, created by the Texas Legislature, studies the impact of crime on its victims, relatives and society and makes policy recommendations for improvements to the adult and juvenile criminal justice systems.

A summary of the child abuse study can be found at the Crime Victims Institute Web site at www.crimevictimsinstitute.org/publications/ and has been accepted for future publication by Violence and Victims.

The study on the effects of IPV on victims will be published in a future issue of Women and Criminal Justice.

Comments and Discussions

Do you agree, disagree, or want to add an opinion on this topic? We welcome relevant discussions and your unique insights.

Related Information on This Topic

Cite This Document

2017 Hong Kong LGBT+ Inclusion Index and Awards - Community Business announces launch of 2017 LGBT+ Inclusion Index and Awards at the LGBT+ Networking Reception as part of the regional Community Business Conference


LGBT Conversion Therapy Quacks - Federal consumer fraud complaint against organization using claims that it can change an individuals sexual orientation or gender identity


OutWOMEN Initiative for Senior LGBT Women in Business - Launch of OutWOMEN, an initiative that champions success of senior LGBT women in business


Study Reveals 150,000 American Youth Ages 13 to 17 Identify as Transgender - Age of Individuals Who Identify as Transgender in the United States study provides new estimates of age composition of individuals who identify as transgender in the U.S. and estimates of size of transgender identified population by age group


Cherry Creek School District's Pornographic Sex-Ed Content - Colorado parent joins Family Research Council Tony Perkins on the radio to discuss Cherry Creek School District pornographic sex-ed content


EEOC Seeks Public Input on Proposed Enforcement Guidance on Harassment - Proposed guidance explains legal standards applicable to harassment claims under U.S. federal employment discrimination laws