Sexual Orientation Disparities in History of Intimate Partner Violence: Results From the California Health Interview Survey

By Naomi G. Goldberg, Ilan H. Meyer
September 2012

Based on a 2007-2008 sample of the California Health Interview Survey, this report finds that bisexual women had elevated risks of experiencing intimate partner violence compared with heterosexual women, lesbians and women who have sex with women over the course of the lives and in the past year.  But, significantly, in 95% of intimate partner violence annual incidents reported by bisexual women, the perpetrator was a male intimate partner, indicating that the violence occurred outside a same-sex relationship. Gay men had elevated risk of experiencing intimate partner violence compared with heterosexual and bisexual men, and men who have sex with men but do not identify as gay or bisexual.  Almost all (97%) of the annual incidents of intimate partner violence incidents occurring to male victims involved a male intimate partner. Binge drinking and a history of psychological distress predicted intimate partner violence, but these factors did not explain disparities between bisexual and heterosexual women or between gay and heterosexual men.

The study was published in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence.

Click here for the full study.