Antonia Clifford, Research staff
partner violence, lgbt, msm, transgender, violence, intimate partner violence, IPV, relationships
AIM: Intimate partner violence (IPV) in LGBTQ relationships is not well-understood. There is some evidence of unique predictors and stressors among IPV victims in LGBTQ relationships versus heterosexual relationships. However, little is known about perpetrating or “mutual” IPV in this population. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to expand on IPV research among young cisgender sexual minority men and transgender women (YSMM+TW) by assessing the prevalence of uni or bidirectional IPV and comparing the groups on demographic and relationship factors to identify profiles and potential sites for intervention. SAMPLE: Data were from the first six waves of RADAR, an ongoing longitudinal cohort study of HIV and substance use among YSMM+TW (N=1078). Participants were 16–29 years old at baseline; assigned male at birth; spoke English; and either had a sexual encounter with a man in the previous year or identified as gay, bisexual, or transgender. Participants completed a sexual health questionnaire every six months, reporting sexual behavior on up to four of their most recent sexual partners. Participants in the analytic sample ranged in age from 17 to 32 (M = 22.3, SD = 2.9) and were racially/ethnically diverse (38% Black, 30% Latino, 22% White, and 9.5% other). METHODS: Univariate generalized estimating equations were used to fit repeated measures multinomial logistic regression models using SAS 9.4. RESULTS: The majority of participants (85.9%) indicated no intimate partner violence. Of the remaining, 3.5% reported victimization only, 2.3% reported perpetration only, and 8.4% reported both perpetration and victimization (“mutual violence”). Compared to those reporting no IPV, participants had lower odds of reporting only victimization if they had a partner who identified as cisgender male (OR=0.37, p=.002) or who was more than 5 years older (OR=0.29, p=.039). Participants had greater odds of reporting mutual violence if they identified as bisexual (OR=1.85, p=.016) or had a partner who was more than 5 years younger (OR=3.22, p=.001) or who was HIV-positive (OR=2.43, p<.001). Greater relationship satisfaction and commitment were associated with lower odds of victimization only or mutual violence compared to no IPV. These participants were also more likely to be unstably housed in the last 6 months. Greater relationship trust was associated with lower odds of all profiles of IPV. DISCUSSION: Though unidirectional and mutual violence share some commonalities, we found evidence for considering different profiles of IPV among same-gender couples. Factors such as gender, age, and HIV status of partners uniquely characterized victimization and mutual violence in contrast to perpetration, indicating the need for specific intervention strategies. Future research should discuss clinical implications around different forms of violence in YSMM+TW relationships and further explore perpetration of IPV.