In a new study regarding domestic violence in male couples, nearly half of all men reported being victims of abuse.
The study from the University of Michigan and published in the American Journal of Men’s Health discovered that nearly half (46 percent) of the 320 men in the study (160 couples) reported that they had experienced some form of intimate partner violence in the past year.
Rob Stephenson, U-M professor of nursing and director of the Center for Sexuality and Health Disparities and is the author of the study, suggested that domestic violence in male same-sex relationships could also have an impact on HIV prevention as men in abusive relationships may find it difficult negotiating for condom use and how they have sex.
Speaking of the findings from the survey, Stephenson said: “If you just looked at physical and sexual violence in male couples, it’s about 25 to 30 per cent, roughly the same as women.
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.
Another example of domestic abuse suggested in the study is when there is someone in the relationship who isn’t “out”. This power imbalance can sometimes see the “out” partner threaten to disclose his partner’s sexual orientation. Internalized homophobia and the stress of struggling with sexual identity were other common reasons behind intimate partner violence.
The study concludes that health professionals must start asking same-sex couples about domestic abuse and try to spot any tell-tale signs.