Advertisement

Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 233–243 | Cite as

Perpetration of Gay and Lesbian Partner Violence: A Disempowerment Perspective

  • Patrick C. McKenry
  • Julianne M. Serovich
  • Tina L. Mason
  • Katie Mosack
Original Article

Abstract

Gay men and lesbians may experience domestic violence at rates as high as, or higher than heterosexuals, yet there is a noticeable absence of empirical research investigating this phenomenon. This study investigated same-sex partner violence from a disempowerment perspective to determine the influence of (a) individual characteristics, (b) family of origin factors, and (c) intimate relationship factors. A sample of 77 individuals in distressed relationships (40 gay men and 37 lesbians) were administered a series of quantitative measures in our project office. Data primarily were analyzed using two-way ANOVAs (gender×perpetrator of violence). The greatest number of differences between perpetrators and nonperpetrators was found in individual characteristics. Implications for practitioners working with gay men and lesbians experiencing partner violence are discussed.

Keywords

Intimate partner violence Gay men Lesbians Same-sex Disempowerment 

References

  1. Archer, J. (1994). Power and male violence. In Archer J (ed.), Male violence (pp. 310–332). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  2. Arias, I., Samios, M., & O’Leary, K. (1987). Prevalence and correlates of physical aggression during courtship. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 2, 82–90.Google Scholar
  3. Barnett, O. W., Miller-Perrin, C. L., & Perrin, R. D. (1997). Family violence across the lifespan. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  4. Bartle, S. E., & Rosen, K. (1994). Individuation and relationship violence. American Journal of Family Therapy, 22, 222–236.Google Scholar
  5. Bouton, R. A., Gallaher, P. E., Garlinghouse, P. A., Leal, T., Rosenstein, L. D., & Young, R. K. (1987). Scales for measuring fear of AIDS and homophobia. Journal of Personality Assessment, 51, 606–614.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bradford, J., Ryan, C., & Rothblum, E. D. (1994). National lesbian health care survey: Implications for mental health care. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 62, 228–242.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Burke, L. K., & Follingstad, D. R. (1999). Violence in lesbian and gay relationships: Theory, prevalence, and correlational factors. Clinical Psychology Review, 19, 487–512.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Byrne, D. (1996). Clinical models for the treatment of gay male perpetrators of domestic violence. In: Renzetti C. M., Miley C. H. (eds.), Violence in gay and lesbian domestic partnerships (pp. 107–116). New York: Haworth.Google Scholar
  9. Claes, J. A., & Rosenthal, D. M. (1990). Men who batter women: A study in power. Journal of Family Violence, 5, 215–224.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Coleman, V. E. (1990). Violence between lesbian couples: A between groups comparison. Dissertation Abstracts, 51(11),(UMI No. 910022).Google Scholar
  11. Coleman, V. E. (1994). Lesbian battering: The relationship between personality and the perpetration of violence. Violence and Victims, 9, 139–152.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Derogatis, L. R. (1992). The brief symptom inventory: Administration, scoring, and procedures manual. Towson, MD: Clinical Psychometric Research.Google Scholar
  13. Diamond, D. L., & Wilsnack, S. C. (1978). Alcohol abuse among lesbians: A descriptive study. Journal of Homosexuality, 4, 123–142.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Dutton, D. G. (1998). The abusive personality: Violence and control in intimate relationships. New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  15. Ferraro, K. J., & Johnson, J. M. (1983). How women experience battering: The process of victimization. Social Problems, 30. 325–339.Google Scholar
  16. Gelles, R. J. (1999). Male offenders: Our understanding from the data. In: Harway, M., O’Neil, J. M. (eds.), What causes men’s violence against women? (pp. 36–48). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  17. Gelles, R. J. (2000). A life course approach to family violence. In: Price, S. J., McKenry, P. C., Murphy, M. J. (eds.), Families across time: A life course perspective (pp. 105–116). Los Angeles, CA: Roxbury.Google Scholar
  18. Gibbs, J. J. (1986). Alcohol consumption, cognition, and context: Examining tavern violence. In: Campbell, A., Gibbs, J. J. (eds.), Violent transactions: The limits of personality (pp.175–202). Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  19. Gondolf, E. W., Fisher, W. W., Fisher, E., & McPherson, J. R. (1988). Racial differences among shelter residents: A comparison of Anglo, Black, and Hispanic battered. Journal of Family Violence, 3, 39–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Goode, W. J. (1971). Force and violence in the family. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 33, 624–635.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Greenwood, G. L., Relf, M. V., Huang, B., Pollack, L. M., Canchola, J. A., & Catania, J. A. (2002). Battering victimization among a probability-based sample of men who have sex with men. American Journal of Public Health, 92,1964–1969.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Griffin, D. W., & Bartholomew, K. (1994). The metaphysics of measurement: The case of adult attachment. In: Bartholomew, K., Perlman, D. (eds.), Advances in personal relationships: Vol. 5. Attachment processes in adulthood (pp. 17–52). London: Jessica Kingsley.Google Scholar
  23. Hamberger, L. K., & Hastings, J. E. (1991). Personality correlates of men who batter and nonviolent men: Some continuities and discontinuities. Journal of Family Violence, 6, 131–147.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hauser, B. B. (1985). Custody in dispute: Legal and psychological profiles of contesting families. Journal of the American Academy of Child Psychiatry, 24, 575–582.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Hirschfeld, R. M. A., Klerman, G. L., Gough, H. G., Barrett, J., Korchin, S. J., & Chodoff, P. (1977). A measure of interpersonal dependency. Journal of Personality Assessment, 41, 610–618.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Hollingshead, A. B., & Redlich, F. (1958). Social class and mental illness. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  27. Hornung, C. A., McCullough, B. C., & Sugimoto, T. (1981). Status relationships in marriage: Risk factors in spouse abuse. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 43, 675–692.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Hotaling, G. T., & Sugarman, D. B. (1986). An analysis of risk markers in husband to wife violence: The current state of knowledge. Violence and Victims, 1, 101–124.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Island, D., & Letellier, P. (1991). Men who beat the men who love them: Battered gay men and domestic violence. New York: Harrington Park Press.Google Scholar
  30. Johnson, M. P., & Ferraro, K. J. (2000) Research on domestic violence in the 1990s: Making distinctions. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 62, 948–963.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Julian, T. W., McKenry, P. C., Gavazzi, S. M., & Law, J. C. (1999). Test of family of origin structural models of male verbal and physical aggression. Journal of Family Issues, 20, 397–423.Google Scholar
  32. Kus, R. J. (1990). Alcoholism in the gay and lesbian communities. In: Kus, R. J. (ed.), Keys to caring: Assisting your gay and lesbian clients (pp. 66–81). Boston: Alyson.Google Scholar
  33. Letellier, P. (1994). Gay and bisexual male domestic violence victimization: Challenges to feminist theory and responses to violence. Violence and Victims, 9, 95–106.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Lockhart, L. L., White, B. W., Causby, V., & Isaac, A. (1994). Letting out the secret: Violence in lesbian relationships. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 9, 469–492.Google Scholar
  35. Malik, N. M., & Lindahl, K. M. (1998). Aggresson and dominance: The role of power and culture in domestic violence. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 5, 409–423.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. McConaghy, N., & Zamir, R. (1995). Heterosexual, homosexual coercion, sexual orientation, and sex roles. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 24, 489–502.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. McCubbin, E. I., Patterson, J. M., & Wilson, L. R. (1982). FILE: Family inventory of life events and changes. In: Olson, D. H., Barnes, H., Larsen, A., Muxen, M., & Wilson, R. (eds.), Family inventories (pp. 69–80). St. Paul, MN: Family Social Sciences, University of Minnesota.Google Scholar
  38. McKenry, P. C., Julian, T. W., & Gavazzi, S. M. (1995). Towards a biopsychosocial model of male violence against a female intimate. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 57, 307–320.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Meyers, B. (1989). Lesbian battering: An analysis of power. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. Indiana University of Pennsylvania.Google Scholar
  40. Miller, D. H., Greene, K., Causby, V., White, B. W., & Lockhart, L. L. (2001). Domestic violence in lesbian relationships. Women and Therapy, 23 107–127.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Moore, A. M. (1997). Intimate violence: Does socioeconomic status matter? In: Cardarelli, A. P. (ed.), Violence between intimate partners (pp. 90–100). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.Google Scholar
  42. National Research Council. (1998). Understanding violence against women. Washington, DC: National Academy.Google Scholar
  43. O’Neil, J. M., & Harway, M. (1999). Preliminary multivariate model explaining the causes of men’s violence against women. In: Harway, M., O’Neil, J. M. (eds.), What causes men’s violence against women (pp. 12–17). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  44. Pagelow, M. D. (1984). Family violence. New York: Praeger.Google Scholar
  45. Patterson, C. J., & D’Augelli, A. R. (1998), Lesbian, gay and bisexual identities in families: Psychological perspectives. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  46. Procidano, M. W., & Heller, K. (1983). Measures of perceived social support from friends and from family: Three validation studies. American Journal of Community Psychology, 11, 1–24.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Renzetti, C. M. (1988). Violence in lesbian relationships: A preliminary analysis of causal factors. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 3, 381–399.Google Scholar
  48. Renzetti, C. M. (1989). Building its second closet: Third party responses to victims of lesbian partner abuse. Family Relations, 38, 157–163.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Renzetti, C. M. (1992). Violent betrayal: Partner abuse in lesbian relationships. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  50. Renzetti, C. M. (1997). Violence in lesbian and gay relationships. In: O’Toole, L. L., Schiffman, J. R. (eds.), Gender violence: Interdisciplinary perspectives (pp. 230–266). New York: New York University.Google Scholar
  51. Rosenberg, M. (1965). Society and the adolescent self-image. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  52. Ross, M. W. (1990). The relationship between life events and mental health in homosexual men. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 46, 402–411.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  53. Ross, M. W., & Simon Rosser, B. R. (1996). Measurement and correlates of internalized homophobia: A factor analytic study. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 52, 15–21.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Rutter, V., & Schwartz, P. (1995). Same-sex couples: Courtship, commitment, and context. In: Auhagen A. E., von Salisch M. (eds.), The diversity of human relationships. Cambridge: University Press.Google Scholar
  55. Schilit, R., Lie, G., & Montagne, M. (1990). Substance use as a correlate of violence in intimate lesbian relationships. Journal of Homosexuality, 19, 5l–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Schumm, W. R., Paff-Bergen, L. A., Hatch, R. C., Obiorah, F. C., Copeland, J. E., & Meens, L. D., et al. (1986). Concurrent and discriminant validity of the Kansas Marital Satisfaction Scale. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 48, 381–388.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Spence, J. T., Helmreich, R. L., & Holahan, C. K. (1979). Negative and positive components of psychological masculinity and femininity and their relationships to self-reports of neurotic and acting out behaviors. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 37, 1673–1682.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Stark, E., & Flitcraft, A. (1988). Violence among intimates: An epidemiological review. In: Van Hasselt, V. B., Morrison, R. L., Bellack, A. S., Hersen, M., Hareway, M. (eds.), Handbook of family violence (pp. 293–318). New York: Plenum.Google Scholar
  59. Stelzer, M. L. (1971). The Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test: The quest for a new diagnostic instrument. American Journal of Psychiatry, 127, 1653–1658.Google Scholar
  60. Straus, M., Gelles, R., & Stenimetz, S. (1980). Behind closed doors: Violence in American families. Garden City, NY: Anchor/Doubleday.Google Scholar
  61. Straus, M. A., Hamby, S. L., Boney-McCoy, S., & Sugarman, D. B. (1996). The Revised Conflict Tactics Scales (CTS2): Development and preliminary psychometric data. Journal of Family Issues, 17, 283–316.Google Scholar
  62. Straus, M. A., Hamby, S. L., Finkelhor, D., Moore, D. W., & Runyan, D. (1998). Identification of child maltreatment with the parent–child Conflict Tactics Scales: Development and psychometric data for a national sample of American parents. Child Abuse and Neglect, 22, 249–270.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Tech, C. F., & Lindquist, C. V. (1984). Violent versus nonviolent couples: A comparison of patterns. Psychotherapy, 21, 242–248.Google Scholar
  64. Tolman, R. M. (1989). The development of a measure of psychological maltreatment of women by their male partners. Violence and Victims, 4, 159–177.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  65. Waldner-Haugrud, L. K., Gratch, L. V., & Magruder, B. (1997). Victimization and perpetration rates of violence in gay and lesbian relationships: Gender issues explored. Violence and Victims, 12, 173–184.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  66. Walker, L. E. (1984). The battered women syndrome. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  67. Walker, L. E. (1999). Psychology and domestic violence around the world. American Psychologist, 54, 21–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Williams, C. L., & Heikes, E. J. (1993). The importance of researcher’s gender in the in-depth interview: Evidence from two case studies of male nurses. Gender and Society, 7, 280–291.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patrick C. McKenry
    • 1
  • Julianne M. Serovich
    • 1
  • Tina L. Mason
    • 1
  • Katie Mosack
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Human Development and Family ScienceThe Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Wisconsin-MilwaukeeMilwaukeeUSA

Personalised recommendations