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Intimate Partner Violence in Self-identified Lesbians: a Meta-analysis of its Prevalence

Abstract

The present study is the first meta-analytic study about the prevalence of intimate partner violence (IPV) in self-identified lesbians in same-sex couples. It summarizes the scientific evidence from studies published from 1990 to 2013. First, 1,184 studies were identified, then 59 studies were pre-selected, and finally 14 studies were chosen that met the criteria for inclusion and methodological quality. The studies were conducted in the USA, using non-probabilistic sampling methods, and they were characterized by their high level of heterogeneity. The mean prevalence of victimization in IPV over the lifespan is 48 % (95 % CI, 44–52 %) and 15 % (95 % CI, 5–30 %) in the current/most recent relationship, with the difference being statistically significant between over the lifespan and current/most recent relationship IPV. The mean prevalence of victimization in physical violence over the lifespan is 18 % (95 % CI, 0–48 %), in sexual violence 14 % (95 % CI, 0–37 %), and in psychological/emotional violence 43 % (95 % CI, 14–73 %). The high prevalence suggests the need to implement IPV prevention programs among lesbians, as well as homophobia prevention programs. Moreover, the methodological quality of prevalence studies should be improved. The limited number of studies considered in each thematic block and the high heterogeneity of their results should be taken into account.

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Acknowledgments

This study was possible due to the economic support of the VALi+d program for pre-doctoral Training of Research Personnel (ACIF/2013/167), Conselleria d′Educació, Cultura i Sport, Generalitat Valenciana (Spain).

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Badenes-Ribera, L., Frias-Navarro, D., Bonilla-Campos, A. et al. Intimate Partner Violence in Self-identified Lesbians: a Meta-analysis of its Prevalence. Sex Res Soc Policy 12, 47–59 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13178-014-0164-7

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Keywords

  • Lesbian
  • Intimate partner violence
  • Domestic violence
  • Meta-analysis