Lessons from Examining Same-Sex Intimate Partner Violence
Even though scientific and legal recognition of same-sex relationships has increased, same-sex intimate partner violence (IPV) has not been included in the core conceptualization of the research and theorizing about IPV. Because of its inherent disjuncture from the patriarchal and hetero-normative marriage model, battering in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered community needs a much closer examination. Examining the violence that occurs in same-sex relationships allows us to reframe how we look at IPV and scrutinize the ideological frameworks, cultural narratives, and stereotypes that have been set forth as well investigate further the predictors of violence and the use of scales created. This article reviews the research on same-sex IPV primarily within the United States. In placing the lessons of same-sex IPV in the foreground, we are able to uncover some common truths about IPV in general. Viewing IPV through a same-sex lens removes gender-based assumptions about the manifestations of IPV, enabling us to see how other cultural and systemic factors may contribute to IPV. At the same time, incorporating the experience of same-sex couples facilitates viewing gender as a marker for variables requiring further study rather than as an explanation. When we change our focus of IPV in such a way, we discover it is a function of a complex interaction of culture, social structures, social status, and interpersonal dynamics.
KeywordsLesbian Gay IPV LGBT Gender roles Domestic violence Partner violence Same-sex
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