Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 31–41 | Cite as

Intimate Violence in Male Same-Sex Relationships

  • Jessica L. StanleyEmail author
  • Kim Bartholomew
  • Tracy Taylor
  • Doug Oram
  • Monica Landolt

Despite findings suggesting a high prevalence of violence in male same-sex relationships, little is known about the characteristics of this violence. This study explored the general nature of male same-sex intimate violence. The sample consisted of 69 gay and bisexual men, chosen from a randomly selected community sample, who reported at least 1 violent episode in an interview exploring their intimate relationships. Men's descriptions of the most severe incident in the most recent violent relationship were coded from the taped interviews. Patterns of intimate violence varied widely, including a range from mild to severe violence, and situations of unidirectional and bidirectional violence. In the vast majority of cases, violence was an escalation of ongoing conflict, involved bidirectional emotional abuse, and was more expressive than instrumental in nature. Difficulties in conflict resolution and attachment fears appeared to better explain the occurrence of violence than did the intent to control one's partner.


Family violence physical abuse emotional abuse same-sex relationships gay men 



The project was supported by a grant to Kim Bartholomew from the Wayne F. Placek Fund of the American Psychological Foundation.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jessica L. Stanley
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • Kim Bartholomew
    • 1
  • Tracy Taylor
    • 1
  • Doug Oram
    • 1
  • Monica Landolt
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologySimon Fraser UniversityBurnabyCanada
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  3. 3.Department of PsychologySimon Fraser UniversityBurnabyCanada

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