Dyadic Characteristics and Intimate Partner Violence among Men Who Have Sex with Men

Emory University, Rollins School of Public Health, Hubert Department of Global Health, Atlanta, GA.
The western journal of emergency medicine 07/2011; 12(3):324-32.
Source: PubMed


Although the research community has begun to recognize intimate partner violence (IPV) as an important issue in same-sex relationships, there has been a lack of attention to characteristics of these relationships that may be associated with IPV. In particular, there has been a lack of attention paid to the associations between dyadic characteristics and IPV in same-sex relationships. This paper examined associations between dyadic characteristics, including relationship satisfaction, communal coping and efficacy, and perpetrating and experiencing IPV among a sample of United States men who have sex with men (MSM).
We collected data via an online survey with 528 MSM, who were greater than 18 years of age and reported at least one male sex partner in the last 12 months. The analysis examined dyadic factors associated with reporting of experiencing and perpetrating emotional violence, physical violence, and sexual violence.
The prevalence of violence in the sample ranged from nine percent reporting perpetrating sexual violence to 33% of men reporting experiencing emotional violence. MSM who reported greater satisfaction with their relationship or who reported a higher degree of concordance with their partner on lifestyle choices were less likely to report experiencing or perpetrating emotional violence. MSM who perceived a stigma to being in a male same-sex couple were less likely to report experiencing or perpetrating sexual violence.
The results presented here demonstrate high levels of IPV among MSM and that dyadic characteristics are associated with the occurrence of IPV. Understanding relationship characteristics associated with increased IPV among same-sex male couples can contribute to the development of more accurate IPV screening tools, and more sensitively and appropriately designed intervention messages.

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    • "Finally, in one of the first studies to examine dyadic-level characteristics and IPV, data from an online survey of 528 US MSM couples showed men reporting non-white race and decreased relationship satisfaction were more likely to report physical IPV experienced with their study partner. Men reporting lower education, HIV positive serostatus (positive for anti-HIV antibodies), and decreased perceived stigma about having a male partner were more likely to report sexual IPV experienced with their study partner [10]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Intimate partner violence (IPV) and coercion have been associated with negative health outcomes, including increased HIV risk behaviors, among men who have sex with men (MSM). This is the first study to describe the prevalence and factors associated with experiencing IPV or coercion among US MSM dyads using the actor-partner interdependence model (APIM), an analytic framework to describe interdependent outcomes within dyads. Among MSM couples enrolled as dyads in an HIV prevention randomized controlled trial (RCT), two outcomes are examined in this cross-sectional analysis: 1) the actor experiencing physical or sexual IPV from the study partner in the past 3-months and 2) the actor feeling coerced to participate in the RCT by the study partner. Two multilevel APIM logistic regression models evaluated the association between each outcome and actor, partner, and dyad-level factors. Of 190 individuals (95 MSM couples), 14 reported experiencing physical or sexual IPV from their study partner in the past 3 months (7.3%) and 12 reported feeling coerced to participate in the RCT by their study partner (6.3%). Results of multivariate APIM analyses indicated that reporting experienced IPV was associated (p < 0.1) with non-Black/African American actor race, lower actor education, and lower partner education. Reporting experienced coercion was associated (p < 0.1) with younger actor age and lower partner education. These findings from an HIV prevention RCT for MSM show considerable levels of IPV experienced in the past 3-months and coercion to participate in the research study, indicating the need for screening tools and support services for these behaviors. The identification of factors associated with IPV and coercion demonstrate the importance of considering actor and partner effects, as well as dyadic-level effects, to improve development of screening tools and support services for these outcomes.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2014 · BMC Public Health
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    • "Men with more closeted gay friends in their network were more likely to experience sexual violence, and men with more sex partners in their network were more likely to perpetrate physical and sexual violence. The latter result is similar to other studies that have linked perpetration of violence to a greater number of sexual partners among heterosexual individuals.40,41 Both of these results could be interpreted as minority stress: men whose social networks are primarily composed of closeted gay men may have less access to the wider LGBT community, and as such may have lower access to positive LGBT role models, social support and culturally appropriate services. "
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction: Despite a recent focus on intimate partner violence (IPV) among men who have sex with men (MSM), the male-male couple is largely absent from the IPV literature. Specifically, research on dyadic factors shaping IPV in male-male couples is lacking. Methods: We took a subsample of 403 gay/bisexual men with main partners from a 2011 survey of approximately 1,000 gay and bisexual men from Atlanta. Logistic regression models of recent (<12 month) experience and perpetration of physical and sexual IPV examined dyadic factors, including racial differences, age differences, and social network characteristics of couples as key covariates shaping the reporting of IPV. Results: Findings indicate that men were more likely to report perpetration of physical violence if they were a different race to their main partner, whereas main partner age was associated with decreased reporting of physical violence. Having social networks that contained more gay friends was associated with significant reductions in the reporting of IPV, whereas having social networks comprised of sex partners or closeted gay friends was associated with increased reporting of IPV victimization and perpetration. Conclusion: The results point to several unique factors shaping the reporting of IPV within male-male couples and highlight the need for intervention efforts and prevention programs that focus on male couples, a group largely absent from both research and prevention efforts.
    Preview · Article · Aug 2013 · The western journal of emergency medicine
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    • "In 2004, Straus and Douglas updated the R-CTS and created the short-form CTS (CTS2S), a reduced, 10-item scale, including the same five sub-scales included in the R-CTS [18]. Recently, a number of studies have used the CTS2S to identify the prevalence of IPV among gay and bisexual men [5], [7], [13], [19], [20]. "
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    ABSTRACT: The paper describes the creation of a new scale to measure intimate partner violence (IPV) among gay and bisexual men. SEVEN FOCUS GROUP DISCUSSIONS WERE HELD WITH GAY AND BISEXUAL MEN, FOCUSING ON DEFINING INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE: 30 forms of IPV were identified. A venue-recruited sample of 912 gay and bisexual men was surveyed, examining definitional understanding and recent experiences of each of the 30 forms of IPV. Participants were also asked questions from the CDC definition of intimate partner violence and the short-form of the Conflicts Tactics Scale (CTS2S). Factor analysis of responses to the definitional questions was used to create the IPV-GBM scale, and the prevalence of intimate partner violence was compared with that identified by the CDC and CTS2S measures of intimate partner violence. A 23-item scale, with 5 unique domains, was created, with strong internal reliability (Cronbach Alpha >.90). The IPV-GBM scale mirrored both the CDC and CTS2S definitions of intimate partner violence, but contained additional domains such as controlling violence, monitoring behaviors, emotional violence, and HIV-related violence. The new scale identified a significantly higher prevalence of IPV than either of the more commonly used measures. The results presented here provide encouraging evidence for a new, more accurate measure of intimate partner violence among gay and bisexual men in the U.S.
    Preview · Article · Jun 2013 · PLoS ONE
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