Intimate partner violence (IPV) among male couples is increasingly recognized as a public health concern. Research on IPV in opposite sex couples indicates frequent underreporting of IPV and high levels of discordance in reporting among dyads. Concordance studies inform refinement methods to measure the experience of IPV among dyads; however the lack of dyadic studies of male couples impedes our understanding of the extent to which IPV is differentially reported in male-male dyads. This study utilized baseline data from a randomized controlled trial of a behavioral intervention to optimize antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence among 160 sero-discordant male couples in three US cities and provides the first analysis of concordance in reporting IPV among male couples. Low degrees of concordance in the reporting of IPV were identified among male dyads, with a greater proportion of men reporting violence perpetration than experiencing violence. The greater reporting of IPV perpetration may be linked to adherence to concepts of masculinity. The results underscore the unique experiences of IPV among male couples and the need to reexamine current IPV measurement and intervention strategies.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
Bartholomew, K., Regan, K. V., White, M. A., & Oram, D. (2008). Patterns of abuse in male same-sex relationships. Violence and Victims, 23(5), 617–636. https://doi.org/10.1891/0886-6708.23.5.617.
Brennan, P. F., & Hays, B. J. (1992). Focus on psychometrics the kappa statistic for establishing interrater reliability in the secondary analysis of qualitative clinical data. Research in Nursing & Health, 15(2), 153–158.
Byrt, T., Bishop, J., & Carlin, J. B. (1993). Bias, prevalence and kappa. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 46(5), 423–429.
Carvalho, A. F., Lewis, R. J., Derlega, V. J., Winstead, B. A., & Viggiano, C. (2011). Internalized sexual minority stressors and same-sex intimate partner violence. Journal of Family Violence, 26(7), 501–509. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10896-011-9384-2.
Cicchetti, D. V., & Feinstein, A. R. (1990). High agreement but low kappa: II. Resolving the paradoxes. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 43(6), 551–558.
Cohen, J. (1960). A coefficient of agreement for nominal scales. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 20(1), 37–46.
Craft, S. M., & Serovich, J. M. (2005). Family-of-origin factors and partner violence in the intimate relationships of gay men who are HIV positive. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 20(7), 777–791. https://doi.org/10.1177/0886260505277101.
Davis, A., Kaighobadi, F., Stephenson, R., Rael, C., & Sandfort, T. (2016). Associations between alcohol use and intimate partner violence among men who have sex with men. LGBT Health, 3(6), 400–406. https://doi.org/10.1089/lgbt.2016.0057.
Desmarais, S. L., Reeves, K. A., Nicholls, T. L., Telford, R., & Fiebert, M. S. (2012a). Prevalence of physical violence in intimate relationships: Part 1. Rates of male and female victimization. Partner Abuse, 3(2), 140–169.
Desmarais, S. L. K. A., Reeves, T. L., Nicholls, R. T., & Fiebert, M. S. (2012b). Prevalence of physical violence in intimate relationships: Part 2. Rates of male and female perpetration. Partner Abuse, 3(2), 170–198.
Feinstein, A. R., & Cicchetti, D. V. (1990). High agreement but low kappa: I. the problems of two paradoxes. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 43(6), 543–549.
Feldman, M. B., Ream, G. L., Díaz, R. M., & El-Bassel, N. (2008). Intimate partner violence and HIV sexual risk behavior among Latino gay and bisexual men: The role of situational factors. Journal of LGBT Health Research, 3(4), 75–87. https://doi.org/10.1080/15574090802226618.
Finneran, C., & Stephenson, R. (2013). Intimate partner violence among men who have sex with men: A systematic review. Trauma Violence Abuse, 14(2), 168–185. https://doi.org/10.1177/1524838012470034.
Freeman, A. J., Schumacher, J. A., & Coffey, S. F. (2015). Social desirability and partner agreement of men's reporting of intimate partner violence in substance abuse treatment settings. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 30(4), 565–579. https://doi.org/10.1177/0886260514535263.
Girianelli, V. R., & Santos Thuler, L. C. (2007). Evaluation of agreement between conventional and liquid-based cytology in cervical cancer early detection based on analysis of 2,091 smears: Experience at the Brazilian National Cancer Institute. Diagnostic Cytopathology, 35(9), 545–549. https://doi.org/10.1002/dc.20699.
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(12), 1964–1969.
Halim, N., Steven, E., Reich, N., Badi, L., & Messersmith, L. (2018). Variability and validity of intimate partner violence reporting by couples in Tanzania. PLoS One, 13(3), e0193253. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0193253.
Houston, E., & McKirnan, D. J. (2007). Intimate partner abuse among gay and bisexual men: Risk correlates and health outcomes. Journal of Urban Health, 84(5), 681–690. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11524-007-9188-0.
Hunt, C. J., Fasoli, F., Carnaghi, A., & Cadinu, M. (2016). Masculine self-presentation and distancing from femininity in gay men: An experimental examination of the role of masculinity threat. Psychology of Men & Masculinity, 17(1), 108–112. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0039545.
Koblin, B. A., Torian, L., Xu, G., Guilin, V., Makki, H., Mackellar, D., & Valleroy, L. (2006). Violence and HIV-related risk among young men who have sex with men. AIDS Care, 18(8), 961–967. https://doi.org/10.1080/09540120500467182.
Landis, J. R., & Koch, G. G. (1977). The measurement of observer agreement for categorical data. Biometrics, 33(1), 159. https://doi.org/10.2307/2529310.
Mak, H. K., Yau, K. K., & Chan, B. P. (2004). Prevalence-adjusted bias-adjusted kappa values as additional indicators to measure observer agreement. Radiology, 232(1), 302–303. https://doi.org/10.1148/radiol.2321031974.
Marshall, A. D., Panuzio, J., Makin-Byrd, K. N., Taft, C. T., & Holtzworth-Munroe, A. (2011). A multilevel examination of interpartner intimate partner violence and psychological aggression reporting concordance. Behavior Therapy, 42(3), 364–377. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.beth.2010.09.003.
McHugh, M. L. (2012). Interrater reliability: The kappa statistic. Biochemia Medica, 22(3), 276–282.
Messerschmidt, J. W. (2000). Becoming “real men”: Adolescent masculinity challenges and sexual violence. Men and Masculinities, 2(3), 286–307. https://doi.org/10.1177/1097184x00002003003.
Moore, T. M., & Stuart, G. L. (2005). A review of the literature on masculinity and partner violence. Psychology of Men & Masculinity, 6(1), 46–61. https://doi.org/10.1037/1524-9184.108.40.206.
Pantalone, D. W., Schneider, K. L., Valentine, S. E., & Simoni, J. M. (2012). Investigating partner abuse among HIV-positive men who have sex with men. AIDS and Behavior, 16(4), 1031–1043. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10461-011-0011-2.
Panuzio, J., O’Farrell, T. J., Marshall, A. D., Murphy, C. M., Murphy, M., & Taft, C. T. (2006). Intimate partner aggression reporting concordance and correlates of agreement among men with alcohol use disorders and their female partners. Assessment, 13(3), 266–279.
Pruitt, K. L., White, D., Mitchell, J. W., & Stephenson, R. (2015). Sexual agreements and intimate-partner violence among male couples. International Journal of Sexual Health, 27(4), 429–441. https://doi.org/10.1080/19317611.2015.1037037.
Relf, M. V. (2001). Battering and HIV in men who have sex with men: A critique and synthesis of the literature. Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care, 12(3), 41–48. https://doi.org/10.1016/s1055-3290(06)60143-x.
Schafer, J., Caetano, E., & Clark, C. L. (2002). Agreement about violence in US couples. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 17(4), 457–470.
Sim, J., & Wright, C. C. (2005). The kappa statistic in reliability studies: Use, interpretation, and sample size requirements. Physical Therapy, 85(3), 257–268.
Stephenson, R., & Finneran, C. (2013). The IPV-GBM scale: A new scale to measure intimate partner violence among gay and bisexual men. PLoS One, 8(6), e62592. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0062592.
Stephenson, R., & Finneran, C. (2017a). Receipt and perpetration of intimate partner violence and Condomless anal intercourse among gay and bisexual men in Atlanta. AIDS and Behavior, 21(8), 2253–2260. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10461-017-1709-6.
Stephenson, R., & Finneran, C. (2017b). Minority stress and intimate partner violence among gay and bisexual men in Atlanta. American Journal of Men's Health, 11(4), 952–961. https://doi.org/10.1177/1557988316677506.
Stephenson, R., Khosropour, C., & Sullivan, P. (2010). Reporting of intimate partner violence among men who have sex with men in an online survey. The Western Journal of Emergency Medicine, 11(3), 5.
Stephenson, R., de Voux, A., & Sullivan, P. S. (2011a). Intimate partner violence and sexual risk-taking among men who have sex with men in South Africa. The Western Journal of Emergency Medicine, 12(3), 343–347.
Stephenson, R., Rentsch, C., Salazar, L. F., & Sullivan, P. S. (2011b). Dyadic characteristics and intimate partner violence among men who have sex with men. The Western Journal of Emergency Medicine, 12(3), 324–332.
Stephenson, R., Sato, K. N., & Finneran, C. (2013). Dyadic, partner, and social network influences on intimate partner violence among male-male couples. The Western Journal of Emergency Medicine, 14(4), 316–323. https://doi.org/10.5811/westjem.2013.2.15623.
Stephenson, R., Suarez, N. A., Garofalo, R., Hidalgo, M. A., Hoehnle, S., Thai, J., . . . Sullivan, P. (2017). Project stronger together: Protocol to test a dyadic intervention to improve engagement in HIV care among Sero-discordant male couples in three US cities. JMIR Research Protocols, 6(8), e170. https://doi.org/10.2196/resprot.7884.
Strandmoen, J. F., Askeland, I. R., Tjersland, O. A., Wentzel-Larsen, T., & Heir, T. (2016). Intimate partner violence in men voluntarily attending treatment: A study of couple agreement. Violence and Victims, 31(1), 124–134. https://doi.org/10.1891/0886-6708.VV-D-13-00193.
Welles, S. L., Corbin, T. J., Rich, J. A., Reed, E., & Raj, A. (2011). Intimate partner violence among men having sex with men, women, or both: Early-life sexual and physical abuse as antecedents. Journal of Community Health, 36(3), 477–485. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10900-010-9331-9.
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
About this article
Cite this article
Stephenson, R., Sharma, A., Mimiaga, M.J. et al. Concordance in the Reporting of Intimate Partner Violence among Male-Male Couples. J Fam Viol 34, 677–686 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10896-019-00076-w
- Intimate partner violence
- Men who have sex with men