Journal of Community Health

, Volume 36, Issue 3, pp 477–485 | Cite as

Intimate Partner Violence Among Men Having Sex with Men, Women, or Both: Early-Life Sexual and Physical Abuse as Antecedents

  • Seth L. Welles
  • Theodore J. CorbinEmail author
  • John A. Rich
  • Elizabeth Reed
  • Anita Raj
Original Paper


Little is known about the prevalence of intimate partner violence (IPV) among men who have sex with men (MSM) or about childhood adversity as a predictor of IPV among MSM. Studies have documented high rates of childhood sexual abuse among MSM. To evaluate associations of early-life sexual and physical abuse with IPV among African American heterosexual men or MSM, prevalence of early-life (≤21 years) sexual and physical abuse was measured among 703 nonmonogamous African American men. Men were classified as (1) MSM who disclosed male sex partners; (2) MSM who initially denied male sex partners but subsequently reported oral-genital and anal-genital behaviors with men; (3) non-MSM. MSM who initially disclosed male sex partners reported significantly (P < 0.0001) higher rates of early physical abuse (36%) and lifetime abuse (49%) compared with non-MSM (15 and 22%), respectively. These MSM reported significantly higher rates of sexual abuse by age 11, age 21, and over a lifetime compared with non-MSM (P < 0.0001). Being an MSM who initially disclosed male sex partners (OR: 2.1; 95% CI: 1.2, 3.6) and early-life sexual abuse (OR: 2.8; 95% CI: 1.8, 4.3) was associated with IPV victimization in current relationships. Similarly, being an MSM with early-life physical and sexual abuse was associated (0.0004 ≤ P ≤ 0.07) with IPV perpetration. Early-life physical and sexual abuse was higher among MSM who disclosed male sex partners compared with heterosexual men; however, all MSM who experienced early-life abuse were more likely to be IPV victims or perpetrators.


Intimate partner violence Child sexual abuse MSM Incarceration 


Conflict of interest

No financial disclosures were reported by the authors of this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Seth L. Welles
    • 1
  • Theodore J. Corbin
    • 2
    Email author
  • John A. Rich
    • 3
  • Elizabeth Reed
    • 4
  • Anita Raj
    • 5
  1. 1.Departments of Epidemiology and BiostatisticsDrexel School of Public HealthPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Emergency MedicineDrexel University College of MedicinePhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.Departments of Health Management and PolicyDrexel School of Public HealthPhiladelphiaUSA
  4. 4.Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDSYale UniversityNew HavenUSA
  5. 5.Department of Social and Behavioral SciencesBoston University School of Public HealthBostonUSA

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