A recently released study suggests bisexual women have an increased risk of experiencing domestic violence from their partners compared with heterosexual women, lesbian women, and women who have had sex with other women but do not identify themselves as gay or bisexual.
The study draws its conclusions by evaluating data from the California Health Interview Survey between 2007 and 2008. In addition to finding bisexual women at higher risk for domestic violence than other women, the study also found that gay men experienced a higher risk of suffering from domestic violence than heterosexual and bisexual men, as well as men who have had sex with men yet do not identify themselves as gay or bisexual.
“Ninety-five percent of bisexual women who suffered abuse
in their relationships suffered that abuse from a male partner.”
However, the study notes that, regardless of identification, the abusive partner in nearly every case of domestic violence is a male. The study found 95 percent of bisexual women who suffered abuse in their relationships suffered that abuse from a male partner, while 97 percent of cases where a male suffered abuse within a relationship their abusive partner was also male.
The question of what connects sexual orientation and domestic violence remains unanswered, as the study found no clear reason for this correlation, but supported previous findings that domestic violence was best predicted through certain partner behaviors (such as binge drinking) and through a partner’s psychological state (current or a past history of psychological distress).
Previous studies, including a study by David Frost published in the Journal of Social Issues, may shine some light on the issue, suggesting that even though LGBT individuals and couples value their romantic relationships to at least the same degree as heterosexual couples, LGBT couples feel less socially and culturally supported and validated than heterosexual couples, illuminating some of the potential psychological and relationship problems raised by anti-gay legislation and a general anti-gay cultural climate.