Gay couple outdoors

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While there aren’t a lot of conversations going on surrounding domestic violence in the queer community, that doesn’t mean it’s not happening. Thanks to research, these delicate issues are finally being brought to light.

Researchers at the University of Michigan found that 46 percent of 320 men (160 couples) reported some form of intimate partner violence — including physical and sexual violence, emotional abuse and controlling behavior — in the last year. In addition to universal stressors, such as finances, unemployment, and drug abuse, both heterosexual and male couples share experiences of homophobia and other factors unique to male couples also predict abuse among them.

“If you just looked at the physical and sexual violence in male couples, it’s about 25 to 30 percent, roughly the same as women,” Rob Stephenson, professor of nursing and director of the Center for Sexuality and Health Disparities, told Science Daily. “We’re stuck in this mental representation of domestic violence as a female victim and a male perpetrator, and while that is very important, there are other forms of domestic violence in all types of relationships.”

Stephenson said this research is important because it debunks the stereotype and accounts for controlling and isolating behaviors as well as physical abuse. The research also shows that HIV prevention is at risk because men in abusive relationships might find it hard to negotiate condom use or when and how they have sex. Internalized homophobia might also play a part in abuse due to the in

You can read the rest of the study on Science Daily here.

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