AN EXAMINATION OF SAME SEX INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE RESEARCH: A CRITIQUE AND PROPOSAL By ASHLEY LAUREN TARANTO A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2006
Copyright 2006 by Ashley Lauren Taranto
To my parents, Terry and Maryanne Tarant o, for all the loving support you have given me. Without your motivation, this achievemen t would have never been possible. Thank you for always believing in me.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS First and foremost, I would like to thank Dr. Angela Gover for providing me her guidance and support. This work would not have been possible without her inspiration and dedication. I appreciate all of the time she has given me, as well as her continued words of encouragement. Her friendship is invaluable to me and I cannot begin to express my gratitude enough for all that she has done for me. I would also like to thank my other committee members, Dr. Lonn Lanza-Kaduce and Dr. Jodi Lane, for providing me with direction, comments, suggestions and proofreading, which were crucial to the completion of my final draft. A special thank you goes to my parents for their endless support and encouragement. Their loving words gave me the motivation to go on when I felt like giving up. I would also like to thank my friends, Bill and Jon, who provided me much needed laughs and breaks from day-long writing sessions. I would like to thank Sam for his technological savvy and friendship. Finally, I would like to thank Dustin, Andrea, and Amber for believing in me and giving me hope. iv
TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS .................................................................................................iv ABSTRACT ......................................................................................................................vii CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION........................................................................................................1 2 LITERATURE REVIEW.............................................................................................6 Theoretical Approaches to Same Sex Intimate Partner Violence.................................7 Gender: Roles, Identities and Stereotypes....................................................................9 Patterns, Forms, Frequency, and Impact of Abuse.....................................................12 Operationalization of Patterns.............................................................................12 Operationalization of Types of Abuse.................................................................12 Lenore Walker's Cycle of Violence.....................................................................13 Cycle of violence in lesbian relationships....................................................14 Cycle of violence in relationships of gay men.............................................15 Prevalence of Intimate Partner Violence....................................................................16 Among Lesbians..................................................................................................16 Among Gay Men and Lesbians...........................................................................17 Among Gay Men.................................................................................................19 Help Seeking Behaviors and Perceived Helpfulness..................................................21 Sources of Assistance for Heterosexual Women.................................................22 Sources of Assistance for Lesbians and Gay Men..............................................22 Why Victims Stay.......................................................................................................23 Why Does the Batterer Batter? A Feminist Approach........................................23 Reasons Why Heterosexual Women Stay...........................................................24 Reasons Why Lesbians and Homosexual Men Stay...........................................24 Learned Helplessness..........................................................................................25 Future Research..........................................................................................................26 3 PROBLEMS WITH PRIOR RESEARCH.................................................................28 Thematic Critique.......................................................................................................28 Issues With External Validity: The Sample................................................................29 Sample Size.........................................................................................................29 Non-Random Samples.........................................................................................32 v
Sample Composition/The Representativeness of the Sample.............................34 Low Response Rate.............................................................................................36 Self-Selection Bias..............................................................................................38 Issues With Internal Validity: The Methodologies.....................................................39 Methods of Data Collection.................................................................................39 Strengths and weaknesses of self-reports.....................................................40 Strengths and weaknesses of interviews......................................................42 Strengths and weaknesses of phone surveys................................................43 Questionnaires..............................................................................................44 Strengths and weaknesses of mail surveys...................................................45 Reporting Issues..................................................................................................46 4 RESEARCH PROPOSAL..........................................................................................48 Research Question......................................................................................................48 How Research Will Be Conducted.............................................................................48 How the Current Research Proposal Addresses Weaknesses in Prior Research........49 External Validity Issues.......................................................................................49 Internal Validity Issues........................................................................................54 IRB Form....................................................................................................................56 Informed Consent.......................................................................................................58 Survey Instrument.......................................................................................................62 5 CONCLUSION...........................................................................................................78 Future Research..........................................................................................................79 Program Evaluations...................................................................................................80 APPENDIX A PREVIOUS RESEARCH ON SAME SEX INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE...82 B EXAMPLE OF A LEAD LETTER............................................................................89 LIST OF REFERENCES...................................................................................................90 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.............................................................................................95 vi
Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts AN EXAMINATION OF SAME SEX INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE RESEARCH: A CRITIQUE AND PROPOSAL By Ashley Lauren Taranto May 2006 Chair: Angela Gover Major Department: Criminology, Law and Society The study of domestic violence is relatively recent. Only within the past 30 years have researchers focused on the dynamics, causes, and consequences of domestic violence. The majority of this research has focused on heterosexual couples. In comparison, very little attention has been placed on intimate partner violence among gay and lesbian partners. This thesis reviews existing literature on the nature of same sex intimate partner violence. After an extensive literature review, problems with aspects of prior research are identified and critiqued in detail. Such problems include external validity issues pertaining to the sample such as small sample sizes, use of non-random samples, poor sample composition/non-representative samples, low response rates, and self-selection bias. Similarly, internal validity issues concerning methodologies are also discussed including methods of data collection and reporting issues. Based on the issues which were identified with prior research as being problematic, a proposal for future research is presented. The proposal addresses the existing problems in prior research vii
while hoping to influence stronger, more substantive research. Similarly, this research proposal also hopes to influence the revision of current policies for service provision to same sex intimate partner violence victims and to recognize their unique needs. viii
CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Intimate partner violence is the actual or threatened physical or sexual violence, or psychological/emotional abuse by a spouse or ex-spouse, boyfriend or ex-boyfriend, girlfriend, or ex-girlfriend. This form of violence affects millions of people each year (Straus & Gelles, 1990). Some of the common terms that are used to describe intimate partner violence include domestic abuse, spouse abuse, domestic violence, courtship violence, battering, marital rape, and date rape. Ninety five percent of intimate partner violence victims are women (Mills, 1998). While intimate partner violence transcends all racial, ethnic, economic groups, it is found that those living below the poverty line are more susceptible to abuse and victimization (Mills, 1998). For women ages 15 to 44, intimate partner violence is the largest cause of injury and one third of all female homicides are attributed to intimate partner violence (Mills, 1998). Historically, domestic violence was considered a private matter and interpersonal problems between spouses were not worthy of police or prosecutorial concern (Binder & Meeker, 1992). In the 1960's, society began paying attention to violence within families. In the early stages of reform, concerns about domestic violence were limited to married couples. Until the legal reforms of the 1970's, women could not obtain a restraining order against a violent husband unless they were willing to file for divorce at the same time. The women's movement during the 1970's and 1980's was instrumental in both increasing the recognition of the ineffectiveness of police's lack of response to domestic violence as well as bringing about changes in how the criminal justice system views and 1
2 treats victims of intimate partner violence. The women's movement also was a major influence on the passage the The Violence Against Women Act of 1994, which was the first comprehensive federal legislation responding to violence against women (Title IV of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, Public Law 103-322). The new law made it illegal to cross state lines to continue abuse of a spouse/partner, created tougher new penalties for sex offenders, included paying reparations to victims, and prohibited anyone facing a restraining order for domestic abuse from the possession of a firearm. It provided $1.6 billion over the course of six years for police, prosecutors, and prevention services (Title IV of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, Public Law 103-322). In addition to the recognition of intimate partner violence as a criminal matter and not solely a civil matter, the women's movement also influenced changes in the social welfare system. Crisis hot lines, battered women and children's shelters, and legislative reforms were all products of the political change that was taking place. Legislative reform in the 1980's and 1990's occurred both criminally as well as civilly for intimate partner violence. The legislative reform of criminal statutes resulted in the criminalization of spousal violence and pro-arrest policies (Binder & Meeker, 1992). Legal and court responses have included the greater use of police arrest in incidents of domestic violence. Mandatory arrest policies require police to detain a perpetrator when there is probable cause that an assault has occurred or if a restraining order is violated, regardless of the victim's wishes. Mandatory arrest policies were implemented in response to battered women's advocates frustrations with the general ambivalence of law enforcement towards intimate violence against women (Mills, 1998). Mounting political
3 pressure for this â€œhot topicâ€ was instrumental in bringing about policies of mandatory arrest. In 1984, Sherman and Berk examined the effectiveness of mandatory arrest in incidents of intimate partner violence. The study, involving 317 offenders, was conducted to examine whether arrest would reduce recidivism for domestic violence (Sherman & Berk, 1984). The study illustrated that arresting offenders resulted in lower recidivism rates (Maxwell, Garner & Fagan, 2001). This nationally publicized study promoted the notion that â€œarrest works bestâ€ and served to reinforce mandatory arrest policies. After the findings from this study were publicized, the Department of Justice funded studies in six jurisdictions to see if the findings could be replicated. These studies were called the Sexual Assault Replication Program (Sherman, Schmidt, Rogan, Smith, Gartin, Cohn, Collins & Bacich, 1992). However, the SARP replication studies found that arrest did not always work best and in some cases would actually increase the level of risk for violence in some women's lives, especially if the batterer was unemployed (Sherman et al., 1992). While mandatory arrest policies were originally supported by advocates, many unintended consequences of this law enforcement response began to surface over time. Since the implementation of mandatory arrest policies, more women were being arrested as perpetrators of domestic violence (Miller, 2001). Police were not distinguishing between the use of violence as abuse of an intimate partner and use of violence for self-defense purposes. Furthermore, because mandatory arrest takes away the victim's discretion regarding an arrest, it reduces women's empowerment and makes them less than likely to call the police in subsequent incidents (Miller, 2001). Lastly, mandatory arrest policies implemented across the nation did not apply to same-sex couples due to gender-specific definitions in state laws and statutes. Thus, while mandatory arrest
4 policies began as a significant reform to the criminal justice system's response to domestic violence, overtime their unintended consequences led to questions about whether they were hurting victims more than helping victims. Other legal responses of legislative reforms of the 1980's and 1990's include â€œno dropâ€ prosecution policies, the development of victim services, victim advocates and case monitors, the greater availability of ex-parte or emergency court services, enhanced penalties and victim orders of protection (Johnson, Luna & Stein, 2003). Legislative reform of civil statutes initiated legal recourse for intimate partner violence, including court orders protecting victims from batterers. Within the last 10 years, many states have altered laws to be more gender neutral, affording protection to anyone who has been abused or threatened by someone they've lived with or had an intimate dating relationship with, regardless of the gender of either party. Only Hawaiiâ€™s domestic violence law explicitly mentions same-sex couples (Lehmann, 2002). However, the courts in three other states, Illinois, Kentucky, and Ohio, interpreted the domestic violence laws in favor of granting protection orders to same-sex victims (Lehmann, 2002). Conversely, some very conservative states have gone to great lengths to define that only opposite gendered persons who have been married, lived together or had a child together can be considered "domestic violence victims." Montana, Arizona, New York, Delaware, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Virginia have laws that specifically prevent these victims from obtaining a protection order (Lehmann, 2002). The other 39 states and the District of Columbia have laws written in gender neutral language that the courts could interpret in favor of same-sex couples however do not specifically mention same-sex couples (Lehmann, 2002).
5 The issue of domestic violence has received considerable attention within the past 30 years, however, the majority of the focus has been placed on heterosexual relationships. Very little research has examined the nature of intimate partner violence within same sex relationships. Failure to examine gay and lesbian domestic violence centers around issues such as social stigma, homophobia, discrimination, and the gender-based myth that only men are aggressors and women are victims (Madera & Toro-Alfonso, 2005). For these reasons, this paper will provide an in-depth review of the existing literature on same sex intimate partner violence. Chapter 2 focuses on the prevalence and types of same sex intimate partner violence, why victims stay in violent relationships and the help seeking behaviors of victims. Upon the examination of the literature, some themes emerge which are identified as limitations of the studies. Chapter 3 discusses these themes and limitations which include issues with sampling and methodologies of the studies. Chapter 4 includes a proposal for future research that addresses concerns with prior research. Finally, chapter 5 concludes with a brief review of the issues and discusses directions for future research and policy reforms.
CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behaviors deriving from the desire to control and dominate another person in the context of an intimate relationship. Domestic violence includes physical abuse, isolation, psychological and emotional abuse, threats and intimidation, sexual abuse, economic abuse, and property destruction (Vickers, 1996). There is no doubt that domestic violence is a social problem with implications on multiple levels: individually, socially, and medically. It is estimated that between 25-33% of people have had experiences with violence in their intimate relationships (Koss, 1990; National Coalition of Anti-violence Programs [NCAVP], 2000; Straus & Gelles, 1990). However, it is important to emphasize that these numbers include only the reported cases since many victims of domestic abuse do not inform authorities due to fear, learned helplessness, low self esteem, and lack of psychological and financial resources (Straus, Gelles & Steinmetz, 1980). The words domestic battering and family violence conjure images of men beating women. Domestic violence has been more recently referred to as intimate partner violence (IPV) as this new terminology differentiates this type of family violence from others (children and the elderly) while being inclusive of any intimate relationship regardless of the couplesâ€™ marital status, age, or gender (McClennen, 2005). Even with a more feminist approach to the topic of abuse and family violence, the terms domestic violence or domestic battering are still used frequently and interchangeably. With the continued research on IPV, same-sex relationship violence is receiving more attention. A 6
7 few research studies have examined violence in lesbian relationships and even fewer have examined violence among gay men. Even with documentation, the anti-family violence movement largely ignores service provision to victims of same-sex relationship violence; conversely, the gay and lesbian community ignore the violence. Both of these phenomena result in a silence about gay and lesbian battering, much like that of heterosexual relationship violence of decades past. Despite the considerable increase in feminist and gay and lesbian literature and research over the past few decades, which is largely due to the women's movement, same-sex intimate partner violence has not been adequately investigated (Giampetruzzi, 2002). Failure to examine gay and lesbian domestic violence centers around issues such as social stigma, homophobia, discrimination, and the gender-based myth that only men are aggressors and women are victims (Madera & Toro-Alfonso, 2005). Theoretical Approaches to Same Sex Intimate Partner Violence Although applicable to opposite-gender partners, the patriarchal theory, with its cultural endowment of domination of men over women, cannot explain the existence of same-gender partner abuse. Sociologists Russell and Rebecca Dobash (1984) originally applied a feminist approach to the patriarchal theory and argued that economic and social processes operate directly and indirectly to support a patriarchal social order and family structure. Their central theoretical argument is that patriarchy leads to the subordination of women and causes the historical pattern of systemic violence directed at women (Gelles, 1997). However, four new theoretical approaches are being proposed to explain the existence and rather prevalent occurrence of same sex intimate partner violence.
8 Originally, Island and Letellier (1991) attributed partner abuse to perpetratorsâ€™ personality disorders. In this psychiatric model, the focus is placed on the abuser's personality as the chief determinants of violence and abuse. The psychiatric model links factors such as mental illness, personality defects, psychopathology, sociopathology, and abuse of drugs and alcohol (Gelles, 1997). Building off the feminist approach assumed by the Dobashes, Renzetti (1996) also asserts feminist theory, but instead utilizes it to emphasize the socio-political oppression of at-risk populations, underlies same-gender IPV. Integrating the former two theories, Merrill (1996) proposes the social-psychological theory attributing IPV between same-gender partners to oppression, learned behaviors, and individual choices. This perspective includes a mix of social learning theory which states that violence is learned in the home of one's family of origin and an ecological perspective where social, political, and economic factors come into play. This perspective, however, agrees with the social-psychological theory as underlying gay male intimate partner violence (IPV). McClennen (2005) proposed that, when referring to lesbian IPV, the patriarchal social-psychological theory is more appropriate, as the addition of the feminist term emphasizes the sexism and gender socialization experienced by all women regardless of their gender orientation. Gender role socialization of women as weak and inferior mediates society's belief that lesbian IPV is serious, let alone a real occurrence (McClennen, 2005). These four new theoretical approaches provide guidelines for future research assuming a more theoretical approach to the problem of same sex domestic violence as well as with interventions with persons addressing same-gender IPV.
9 Gender: Roles, Identities and Stereotypes With the broadening of domestic violence laws to include more diverse family and domestic relationships, it is important to examine peopleâ€™s attitudes and the factors that shape them. Existing research on peoples' perceptions of domestic violence has shown that incidents in which men abuse women are perceived more negatively than incidents in which women abuse men (Seelau & Seelau, 2005). Participants in these studies rated male-against-female violence as more severe than female-against-male violence, and indicated that they would be more likely to call the police if they witnessed an incident with a male perpetrator and female victim. Male perpetrators were judged to be more responsible, more deserving of conviction, and deserving of more severe penalties than female perpetrators. Victim and perpetrator sex affect perceptions of domestic violence in gay as well as heterosexual relationships (Seelau & Seelau, 2005). Harris & Cook (1994) presented vignettes involving a husband battering his wife, a wife battering her husband, and a gay man battering his partner. Compared to the female perpetrator, male perpetrators were judged to be less likable, more responsible for the abuse, more likely to have previously abused a partner, and more deserving of conviction for assault. Compared to the female victim, male victims were judged to be less likable and more responsible for the abuse, and received less encouragement to leave the relationship. When the victim was male, participants judged the incident as less violent and indicated that they would be less likely to call the police. Because no femaleâ€“female condition was included, it was difficult for the authors to draw clear conclusions about the role sexual orientation might play in peopleâ€™s perceptions of domestic abuse.
10 Recent research has clarified the effects of sex and sexual orientation by assessing perceptions of domestic violence in heterosexual relationships (both male-against female and female-against-male violence), gay male, and lesbian relationships (Poorman, Seelau & Seelau, 2003; Seelau, Seelau & Poorman, in press). Consistent with previous studies, people demonstrated a desire to assist or protect female victims more than male victims. When the victim was female, participants were more likely to say they would call the authorities more likely to recommend that police give a citation or make an arrest and were more likely to suggest that the victim press charges (Poorman et al., 2003). There was also some indication that people were more concerned about domestic violence committed by men,because respondents recommended higher sentences for male perpetrators compared to female perpetrators (Poorman et al., 2003). Similarly, Seelau and Seelau (2005) replicated and extended previous research demonstrating that perceptions of heterosexual and same-sex domestic violence are generally consistent with gender-role stereotypes. In this research, male and female undergraduates read one of four domestic abuse cases that varied by victim and perpetrator sex and sexual orientation. Victim sex, rather than sexual orientation, was the most potent predictor of responses, although male-against female violence was considered the most serious and deserving of active intervention. Domestic violence perpetrated by men or against women was judged more serious than violence perpetrated by women or against men. Respondents perceived male perpetrators to be more capable of injuring victims and female victims to be more likely to suffer serious injuries which was consistent with traditional gender-role stereotypes.
11 Seelau & Seelau (2005) indicate that peopleâ€™s judgments in these types of studies are consistent with gender-role stereotypes of women as weak and vulnerable and men as dominant and threatening. Regardless of perpetrator sex, female victims were perceived to be in greater need of assistance than male victims. Regardless of victim sex, male perpetrators were seen as more threatening than female perpetrators. The finding that victims were judged to be more responsible for the incident when the perpetrator was female also supports a gender-role stereotype theory (Seelau et al., in press). Gender-stereotypes of men as dominant and threatening are consistent with the abuser role, reinforcing the belief that men are capable and likely to be physically abusive. Seelau & Seelau (2005) also found that the perceiverâ€™s sex also plays an important role in domestic violence perceptions. Women consider domestic abuse less acceptable and see it as more violent than do men. Women are more likely to say they would call the police and recommend more severe penalties for the perpetrator. Compared to men, women tend to be more sympathetic toward victims of abuse (Seelau & Seelau, 2005). Regardless of victim gender, women are more likely than men to believe the victim, call the police, recommend that the victim press charges, and recommend that police give a citation or arrest the perpetrator (Seelau et al., in press). The fact that women do not sympathize more with female than male perpetrators suggests that empathy for victims rather than empathy for other women drives these effects. Existing literature on people's perceptions of domestic violence continuously shows that incidents in which men perpetrate abusive behavior against women are considered to be more serious in nature than incidents of abuse among same sex couples. Part of these beliefs come from societal predispositions and laws which view the traditional notion of
12 spousal assault as more serious than assaults among non-traditional intimate partners (Seelau et al., in press). The only way to change people's perceptions about the seriousness of intimate partner violence among all couples is through progressive laws, outreach programs, and community education on the issue (Seelau et al., in press). Patterns, Forms, Frequency, and Impact of Abuse Operationalization of Patterns In general, domestic violence has been defined as a pattern of abusive behaviors occurring within the context of an intimate relationship whereby one party intimidates, coerces, restricts, or controls the other. In this context, â€˜â€˜abusive behaviorâ€™â€™ refers to a variety of non-consensual behaviors which intentionally or recklessly inflict harm or potential harm or restrict freedom. Forms of abuse which are commonly referred to in the literature include physical, emotional, financial, and sexual abuse. Many researchers have noted that in relationships characterized by domestic violence, different forms of abuse occur simultaneously (Martin, 1976; Walker, 1979; Pagelow, 1981). Operationalization of Types of Abuse When looking at the nature of intimate partner violence, four types of abuse are usually examined: physical abuse, emotional abuse, financial abuse, and sexual abuse. In the literature on battered heterosexual women, physical abuse has been defined as behaviors that could intentionally or recklessly cause bodily harm. Commonly reported forms include kicking, punching, pushing, and slapping, and injuries include bruises, cuts, abrasions, and burns (Dobash & Dobash, 1984). Emotional abuse has been defined as behaviors which inflict psychological harm, and common forms include social isolation due to restriction, extreme jealousy and possessiveness, ridicule and verbal harassment, and verbal threats (Follingstad, Rutledge, Berg, Hause, & Polek, 1990).
13 Financial abuse has been defined as forcing economic dependence, preventing the victim from accessing financial resources, or destroying property. Common forms of financial abuse include restricting partners from attending school, working, or from accessing any source of independent income, damaging or stealing property, or using superior wealth as a weapon (Martin, 1976; Walker, 1979). Finally, sexual abuse has been defined as sexually intrusive behaviors that occur without consent. Common forms of sexual abuse include sexual coercion and forced sex (Russell, 1990). These definitions are rather standardized within family violence research and encompass specific behaviors that researchers can measure. The examination of different dimensions of abuse it shows the complex interplay of power and control in intimate relationships. Lenore Walker's Cycle of Violence According to Walker (1979), battering in intimate relationships tends to occur in a cyclical pattern. There are three phases of this cycle. The first phase is known as the tension-building phase, which is characterized by increasing conflict and tension. In the tension-building phase, the abuser may pick fights, act jealous and possessive, criticize and threaten, drink or use drugs and be moody and unpredictable. In response to the abuser's behavior, the victim may feel like he or she is walking on eggshells, try to reason with the batterer, try to calm the batterer, try to appease the batterer, and keep silent. The second phase in the cycle of violence is known as the violent incident phase, which is characterized by severe abusive behavior. In the violent incident phase, the abuser may engage in verbal abuse, sexual assault, physical abuse, increase control over money, restrain their partner and destroy property belonging to their partner. In response to the abuser's behavior, the victim might experience fear or shock, protect themselves and
14 children, use self-defense, call for help, try to flee or leave the relationship, pray for the abuse to stop, and do what is necessary for survival. The third phase of the cycle of violence is the honeymoon phase, which is characterized by contrite behavior on the part of the abuser, promises of change, and renewed love. In the honeymoon phase, the abuser might ask for forgiveness, promise that the abuse will not happen again, stop drinking and using drugs, go to counseling, be affectionate, initiate intimacy, minimize or deny abuse, and the abuser might give gifts to the victim or blame the victim for causing the abuse. In response to the abuser's behavior, the victim may return home, forgive their abuser, arrange for counseling, feel hopeful, feel manipulated, blame themselves, and minimize or deny the abuse. Walker (1979) argues that the onset of abuse is gradual and insidious and that the first abusive incident does not typically occur until six months into the relationship. According to this theory, as time passes, the cycle accelerates with the violent incidents becoming more severe and occurring more frequently. Eventually, the honeymoon period may be altogether eliminated. Cycle of violence in lesbian relationships Lie, Schlit, Bush, Montagne, and Reyes (1991) examined the intergenerational transmission of family violence by looking at the presence of aggression in current and past relationships and in the family of origin of 120 lesbians from Arizona. The participants for the study were recruited from mailing lists and word of mouth from various lesbian community organizations. The respondents were selected because they had been the target of at least one form of aggression (sexual, verbal/emotional, physical) and had also used at least one form of aggression on an intimate partner (male or female, past or present). Results indicated that participants who had witnessed aggression being perpetrated on another member of their family origin were significantly more likely to
15 have been victimized or to have been both victimized by and aggressive with an intimate partner in past as well as in current relationships (Lie et al., 1991). In 1992, Renzetti examined the prevalence and incidence of lesbian battering among 100 self-identified lesbians. The sample was recruited through advertisements in local and national newspapers and publications. Respondents completed a self-administered survey which focused on the personal attributes of the respondents, as well as their abusers, characteristics of their relationship, and the prevalence and forms of battering in relationships. Results indicated that abuse reported by battered lesbians is severe and recurrent and is usually perpetrated by one abusive partner instead of being mutually perpetrated, which is consistent with patterns and forms of intimate partner violence among battered heterosexual women. Moreover, 71% of the respondents in Renzetti's study (1992) indicated that the abuse escalated over time. Respondents were most likely to report psychological abuse, but 85% of victims who reported abuse, reported physically and/or sexually abusive behaviors in combination with psychological abuse (Renzetti, 1992). The most commonly reported form of psychological abuse was exposure to verbal threats. In terms of physical abuse, 75% reported they were sometimes or frequently pushed or shoved; 65% hit with fists or open hands; 48% scratched; and 44% had objects thrown at them. At least one incident of forced sex was reported by 48% of respondents (Renzetti, 1992). Cycle of violence in relationships of gay men Previous research has not established whether standard violence measures used in opposite sex relationship violence research are appropriate for assessing violence in same-sex relationships. In an effort to examine this issue, Regan, Bartholomew, Oram, and Landolt (2002) evaluated the structure of an expanded version of the physical
16 violence scale of the Conflict Tactics Scales (CTS) in a sample of randomly selected gay and bisexual men. In total, 284 gay and bisexual men answered questions about the perpetration and victimization of 14 violent acts in their same-sex relationships, both at any time in the past and during the past 12 months. Item response theory (IRT) analysis indicated that the violence items were unidimensional for measuring lifetime victimization prevalence, as well as for perpetration in the past 12 months and lifetime perpetration prevalence. Overall, the results suggest that the severity of various violent acts may differ depending on the sex of the victim and the perpetrator. Extrapolating from the current findings, it is possible that the relative severity of violent acts may also differ in female same-sex relationships. Therefore, the appropriateness of the CTS for research in lesbian relationships should be further examined in future empirical studies. Prevalence of Intimate Partner Violence Among Lesbians In direct opposition to the notion that same-sex intimate partner violence does not exist, the few available studies have documented the prevalence of partner violence among lesbians to be between 25% and 50% (Brand & Kidd,1986; Renzetti, 1992). Brand and Kidd (1986) looked at the prevalence of domestic violence experienced among 75 heterosexual women and 55 lesbians to determine whether men or women were more abusive in relationships. Brand & Kidd (1986) found that 25% of lesbians reported being physically abused and 27% of heterosexual women reported abuse, indicating that lesbians are victims of domestic violence at rates similar to those of heterosexual women (Brand & Kidd, 1986). In another study that examined the prevalence of intimate lesbian relationships, Renzetti (1992) reported that of the 100 victims of same sex intimate
17 partner violence, the majority of the respondents (54%) experienced incidents of physical abuse. Lockhart, White, Causby and Isaac (1994) measured verbal aggression and physical violence present in the relationships of 284 lesbians. The sample was obtained from a regional music festival. Out of the 400 surveys which were handed out, 284 were returned yielding a response rate of 71%. In the survey, the Conflict Tactics Scale (CTS) was used to measure verbal aggression and violence (Lockhart et al., 1994). It was found that 90% of the respondents had been recipients of one or more acts of verbal aggression from their intimate partners during the year prior to the investigation (Lockhart et al., 1994). Thirty-one percent of the respondents reported being perpetrators of one or more forms of physical abuse. According to the few studies that have investigated the prevalence of abuse in lesbian intimate relationships, a pattern emerges of a strong prevalence of psychological, verbal and emotional abuse present in most of the abusive relationships, as well as physical abuse. Among Gay Men and Lesbians In one of the first studies to examine the prevalence of intimate partner violence among gay men and lesbians, Kelly and Warshafsky (1987) obtained a sample of 98 subjects (48 women and 50 men). The respondents were given a self-administered survey, comprised of a 17-item version of the Conflict Tactics Scale to assess assertive tactics of conflict resolution, verbal abuse tactics, physical aggression tactics, and violent tactics. It was found that 47% of 98 respondents reported at least one incident of physical aggression by their abusive partner during their most recent relationship, with women having less physically aggressive partners compared to men (Kelly & Warshafsky, 1987).
18 Waldner-Haugrud and Gratch (1997) examined differences in sexual coercion in gay and lesbian relationships. Utilizing snowball sampling through local gay and lesbian organizations and events, 816 surveys were distributed, 306 of which were returned, yielding a response rate of 38%. The questionnaire examined the nature of sexual coercion within intimate relationships of gay men and lesbians. Approximately half the sample (52%) reported at least one incident of sexual coercion. Gay men experienced an average of 1.6 incidents per partner, while lesbians experienced 1.2 incidents of sexual coercion per partner (Waldner-Haugrud & Gratch, 1997). Unwanted penetration was the largest category reported by gay men (55%) and lesbian women (50%) (Waldner-Haugrud & Gratch, 1997). More recently, Turrell (2000) reported that that same-sex relationship violence among gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered individuals is a significant problem. The study indicated that gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered people experience physical and sexual violence at similar frequencies to heterosexual people. Among lesbians who were victims of abuse, the frequencies of physical abuse (55%), sexual violence (14%), and emotional abuse (84%) were consistent with past research findings of victimization. The physical violence reported by gay men in this study (44%) were also consistent with past reported victimization rates. Lesbians reported significantly higher frequencies than gay men of physical abuse (55% vs. 44%), coercion (59% vs. 42%), threats (57% vs. 45%), shaming (77% vs. 62%), and children used as tools of control (12% vs. 5%). These higher frequencies of violence and abuse by lesbians are consistent with those found by Waldner-Haugrud and Gratch (1997). It is possible, however, that the higher rates of violence found among lesbians compared to gay men is
19 due to the impact that gender role socialization has on reporting violence. Waldner-Haugrud and Gratch (1997) addressed these issues, and suggested gender role socialization may make it easier for women to report themselves in the â€˜â€˜victimâ€™â€™ role, thus resulting in an underreporting by gay men. Among Gay Men Harms (1995) conducted the one of the few prevalence studies that exclusively focuses on gay and bisexual men. Respondents included 393 gay and bisexual men sampled from street traffic in a gay-identified neighborhood in San Francisco, 82% of whom were European American. Harms found that 26% of respondents reported they had used violence in their current or most recent male-male relationship while 26% reported their partners had. Also examining the prevalence of intimate partner violence, Merrill and Wolfe (2000) investigated the experiences of gay and bisexual men. Samples were obtained through day domestic violence programs in San Francisco, Boston, Dallas, Los Angeles and New York and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) related agencies in San Francisco. In total, 111 surveys were administered and 52 were returned, with a response rate of 47%. The survey was self-administered and focused on issues such as relationships, physical, emotional, financial and sexual abuse, help seeking behaviors, and reasons for remaining in an abusive relationship. Of the 52 gay men, severe, recurrent physical abuse was reported by 87% of the respondents (Merrill & Wolfe, 2000). Additionally, the majority of gay men (62%) had been threatened or assaulted with a weapon by an intimate partner, and a number of respondents (39%) had been forced to have sex against their will (Merrill & Wolfe, 2000). Madera and Toro-Alfonso (2005) looked at the sample of 302 Puerto Rican gay males living in Puerto Rico and New York with the objective of assessing the prevalence
20 of domestic violence. A self-administered questionnaire was developed to address issues of intergenerational violence, addictive behaviors, and three dimensions of domestic violence: emotional, physical, and sexual violence. The results concluded that approximately half of the participants had experienced some sort of violence in their intimate relationships. Findings also indicated that respondents also had a history of witnessing domestic violence situations during childhood. Craft and Serovich (2005) examined the prevalence of intimate partner violence in a sample of gay men who tested positive for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) . Using the intergenerational transmission of violence from family systems theory, the authors hypothesized that men who had witnessed or experienced violence in their families of origin would be more likely to perpetrate or experience violence in their intimate relationships. The results of the study indicated that psychological abuse was the most commonly reported form of violence in these relationships with the majority (79%) of participants indicating they had perpetrated psychological aggression, whereas slightly fewer (73%) indicated they had been victims of psychological aggression. The second most common form of violence was physical assault. The results also provided partial support for the hypothesized relationship between family-of-origin violence and subsequent violence in an intimate relationship. The majority of the research concerning violent experiences among gay men who have the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) have been conducted with small samples and have been qualitative in nature. Zierler, Cunningham, Anderson, Shapiro, Bozzette, and Nakazono (2000) examined the occurrence of physical violence after an Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) diagnosis among men who have sex with men,
21 and found that 12% of the men had been physically abused by a partner and that 5% had been abused as a result of their diagnosis. Among a sample of 307 Latin American men, those who engaged in receptive anal sex without using condoms were also more likely to be victims of physical or sexual abuse from their male partners (Nieves-Rosa, Carballo-Dieguez, & Dolezal, 2000). The aforementioned research studies examined the nature and prevalence of intimate partner violence among lesbians and gay men and suggest that domestic violence is just as prevalent in same sex couples as it is for heterosexual women in opposite sex relationships. The use of official data to estimate the prevalence of violence among same sex couples is problematic due to the large underreporting of the gay and lesbian community. Therefore self-report data is the most reliable way to determine the actual scope of the problem. Help Seeking Behaviors and Perceived Helpfulness When domestic violence occurs, victims may seek assistance from a number of formal and informal sources depending upon a variety of factors including the nature of the victimization, availability of resources, perceived helpfulness of the resources, cultural norms, and the probability of partner retaliation. Dobash and Dobash (1984) and Gelles and Strauss (1988) found that the more violent incidents battered heterosexual women had endured, the more likely they were to seek help from a greater number of sources. When victims of domestic violence seek help, it is critical that they receive services which assist them with their varied concerns, including emotional, physical, legal, and financial needs.
22 Sources of Assistance for Heterosexual Women Research indicates that battered heterosexual women seek help from a variety of formal sources, including (in descending order): police, general counseling and social service agencies, attorneys, medical professionals, battered womenâ€™s shelters and other womenâ€™s groups (Bowker, 1987; Hamilton & Coates, 1993). While these studies did not inquire about informal networks, many battered heterosexual women seek help from relatives, friends, churches, and neighbors (Gelles & Strauss, 1988). Being rebuffed by professionals, same-gender victimsâ€™ help-seeking behaviors, as supported by recent research, are primarily directed toward their friends (McClennen, Summers, & Vaughan, 2002). Formal sources (attorneys and shelters) are seldom sought, and therapeutic sources (psychologists and social workers) are perceived as lacking in helpfulness (Merrill & Wolfe, 2000). The inability to receive helpful, responsive professional services and protection contributes to victimsâ€™ maintaining long-term relationships with their perpetrators because victims continue to remain silent about their abuse. Sources of Assistance for Lesbians and Gay Men Battered lesbians are most likely to seek help from friends (69%), counselors (58%), and relatives (35%). Only about 19% seek help from police and only about 13% seek help from battered womenâ€™s shelters (Renzetti, 1992). In direct contrast to the documented experiences of battered heterosexual women, Renzetti (1992) found battered lesbians to be significantly less likely to turn to relatives, police, attorneys, medical professionals, and battered womenâ€™s shelters for assistance. In terms of perceived helpfulness, lesbian respondents, like their heterosexual counterparts, reported that police, attorneys, and physicians were not helpful but that friends, individual counselors
23 obtained privately or through agencies, and family members were helpful (Renzetti, 1992). In perhaps the biggest departure from the experiences of battered heterosexual women, 8 of the 13 lesbian respondents who used battered womenâ€™s shelter services rated them as â€˜â€˜not helpful at all.â€™â€™ Renzetti concludes the reported lack of helpfulness of shelter services is largely do to the fact that shelter services are perceived to be for heterosexual women only and, as a result, lesbians experience overt and covert homophobia from staff and other residents. In addition, lesbian batterers may be able to locate and access their victims in shelters more easily than heterosexual male batterers, which makes it dangerous for lesbians to seek services from shelters. Although no empirical studies have investigated the help-seeking behaviors and experiences of battered gay and bisexual men, anecdotally these men also seek assistance from a variety of informal and formal sources. They are frequently reluctant to seek assistance from formal sources traditionally utilized by battered heterosexual women. Battered womenâ€™s programs are almost always unequipped to assist battered men of any sexual orientation since they prioritize the safety of women. Most battered womenâ€™s providers report that serving gay male domestic violence victims is not an organizational priority (Renzetti, 1992). Why Victims Stay Why Does the Batterer Batter? A Feminist Approach One of the most common areas of focus within intimate partner violence is the familiar practice of women to remain in abusive relationships. Frequently the question is asked â€œwhy does she stay?â€. More often, the victim is better served by the question, â€œWhy does the batterer do it?â€ By placing attention on the cause of the issue and examining it from a more feminist approach serves to aid in understanding why women
24 and men are subjugated and often stay in violent relationships for reasons that the onlooker cannot understand or relate to. The goal of rethinking the questions we ask of victims staying in violent relationships is also to cease blaming the victim and insist that responsibility be placed where it should, with the perpetrator (Cruz, 2003). Research suggests that one of the reasons victims stay in abusive relationships is the existence of love. Gelles & Strauss (1988) assert that it is mythical to believe that love and violence do not (or cannot) coexist. Love is the reason that people come together in the first place, and pondering the possibility that once a relationship becomes violent or abusive that emotion ceases to exist is unrealistic for the victim and serves to nullify the emotional attachment. Reasons Why Heterosexual Women Stay Barnett and Lopez-Real (1985) found that the most commonly reported reasons for staying among battered heterosexual women were: hope for positive change, fear of retaliation, lack of financial resources and employment skills, and love for partner. Other researchers report similar findings and further discuss the effects of profound social isolation and lack of access to sources of assistance (Pagelow, 1981; Gelles & Strauss, 1988). Reasons Why Lesbians and Homosexual Men Stay Renzetti (1992) found that the reasons for staying most commonly reported by battered lesbians were (in descending order): love for partner; hope for change; isolation from family and friends; and fear of reprisal. It would appear that battered lesbians in Renzettiâ€™s sample stayed for reasons quite similar to battered heterosexual women with one exception: 68% indicated that financial dependence had played no part at all in their decision to stay.
25 Few studies explore the reasons why gay men stay in abusive relationships. Merrill & Wolfe (2000) surveyed 52 gay and bisexual men and found the most common reason for remaining in an abusive relationship was hope for change (75%), followed by love (67%), and uncertainty surrounding the acts of abuse as domestic violence (50%). Furthermore, given the prevalence of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) among gay and bisexual men, it is no surprise that Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)-related factors influenced respondents' decisions to remain in abusive relationships. Of the 20 respondents who identified themselves as having the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), 60% indicated that fear of becoming sick and dying had played a major part in their decision to remain in an abusive relationship (Merrill & Wolfe, 2000). Similarly, of the 14 respondents who reported that their abusive partners had the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), 50% indicated that they did not want to abandon their sick partners and therefore remained in the relationship (Merrill & Wolfe, 2000). Learned Helplessness Walker (1979) has written convincingly about how the psychological response to battering contributes to battered heterosexual womenâ€™s decisions to remain with their batterer. First, she argues that these women often suffer from learned helplessness. When the violence begins, the woman may actively resist and seek help, but if these efforts are unsuccessful over time, she may stop trying to resist or escape. Wilson, Vercella, Brems, Benning and Renfro (1992) have found empirical support for the idea of learned helplessness. Secondly, because a honeymoon period directly follows a battering incident, victims tend to be confused, minimize the severity of the violence, and have renewed hope for change (Walker, 1979). Since the cycle of violence begins slowly with a prolonged honeymoon period in the beginning, the first incidents of violence are
26 perceived as exceptions. For this reason because the honeymoon period immediately follows the violence, denial is a common response by both the victim and perpetrator. As the cycle accelerates with violent acts becoming incrementally more severe and frequent over time, the victim can become systematically desensitized to the violence. Future Research It is imperative that empirically based research focus on same sex intimate partner violence based specifically on the plethora of issues including the dynamics, help-seeking behaviors, correlates, and interventions. Especially deficient is research about children living within same-sex-headed households where the adults are experiencing IPV. These data need to be manifested by increased education, advocacy, policies, programs, and effective assessment and treatment strategies. Same sex couples are in need of education and advocacy about relationship violence as many are unaware of the existence, let alone the magnitude, of gay and lesbian IPV. Factual information would help to reduce the stigma of same sex persons who are experiencing partner abuse and to empower victims and perpetrators in their seeking professional assistance (McClennen, 2005). Historically, 21 states had laws which made sodomy a criminal offense, thus forcing same sex victims of intimate partner violence into confessing a criminal offense as a prerequisite to receiving help in a domestic dispute (Smith & Dale, 1999). In Lawrence v. Texas 539 U.S. 558 (2003), two gay men argued the state of Texas deprived them of privacy rights and equal protection under the law when they were arrested in 1998 for having sex in a Houston home. The case made it's way to the Supreme Court, and on June 26, 2003, the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that all sodomy laws were unconstitutional and and unenforceable when applied to non-commercial consenting adults in private. Policies and laws like the Lawrence v. Texas 539 U.S. 558 (2003)
27 ruling, are needed to provide same sex persons the same rights and protection afforded to individuals who are in opposite sex relationships. Similarly, culturally sensitive programs and services are needed for intervention with same sex persons experiencing IPV. Finally, program evaluations will eventually be needed to ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of established programs and services (McClennen, 2005).
CHAPTER 3 PROBLEMS WITH PRIOR RESEARCH Same sex intimate partner violence is a relatively new field which has received little research. Since the population is not readily identifiable, and not much information is known about the nature of same sex IPV, most of the research has been exploratory in nature. In an ideal world, a random, representative sample would be obtained. However, in the real world, scholars face a plethora of challenges in acquiring samples and developing methodologies when collecting their research. Upon the examination of the weaknesses of prior research, universal limitations faced by all researchers should be taken into account. One such limitation that should be considered is the impossibility of ever obtaining a truly representative sample. What the true population looks like in terms of same sex intimate partner violence is unknown. Thus, if the characteristics of the population are not known, a truly representative sample, from which to model the population on, can not be obtained. There are strengths and weaknesses to all sampling and methodological techniques used in research on same sex intimate partner violence. This chapter will analyze the external and internal validity issues found in prior research on same sex intimate partner violence. Thematic Critique Two main themes are present in prior research on same sex intimate partner violence which are problematic and compromise the integrity of the research: external and internal validity issues. External validity is accuracy in the ability to generalize or 28
29 infer findings from a study to a larger population (Hagan, 2003). With prior research on same sex IPV, external validity is compromised by sampling and sample issues including: sample size, use of non-random samples, poor sample composition/non-representative samples, low response rates, and self-selection. Internal validity refers to accuracy within the study itself (Hagan, 2003). With prior research on same sex IPV, methodological issues comprise issues internal validity, including methods of data collection and reporting issues. These themes of external and internal validity issues will be examined in-depth by assessing specific studies of prior research on same sex intimate partner violence. Issues With External Validity: The Sample Weaknesses concerning external validity in prior research involve sampling issues. Sampling is a procedure used in research by which a select subunit of the population is studied in order to analyze the entire population (Hagan, 2003). The logic of sampling enables one to make inferences to a larger population (Kish, 1965). Sampling issues in past research consisted of small sample size, the use of non-random samples, poor sample composition and non-representativeness of the sample, low response rates, and self-selection bias. Each of these issues will be discussed in detail in the following sections. Sample Size The first sampling issue which weakens external validity, and thus the ability to generalize, is sample size. There is no simple answer to the question: â€œWhat is an appropriate size sample to choose?â€ There are a number of considerations. The choice of the sample size can depend on the accuracy required, the funds available, and the expected frequency of the characteristic to be observed (Hagan, 2003). The size of the sample is statistically determined by the size of the sampling error to be tolerated rather
30 than the total size of the population (Kish, 1965). Thus, the larger the sample size, the smaller the sampling error, or extent to which the sampling values can be expected to differ from population values (Hagan, 2003). Thus, while there is no correct answer to the number of subjects which should be selected to comprise the sample, the general notion is that the larger the sample, the smaller the sampling error which increases external validity and the ability to generalize the research findings to the general population. Previous research on same sex intimate partner violence has limited external validity due to the size of the samples selected. A number of past studies suffer from issues of external validity because of a small sample size. For example, Merrill and Wolfe (2000) investigated various aspects of intimate partner violence among gay males, including: prevalence, types and frequency of abuse, help-seeking behaviors and reasons for remaining in an abusive relationship. Out of the 111 surveys they distributed, approximately half were returned in time for analysis, which resulted in a sample of fifty-two gay or bisexual men. While the actual population of gay and bisexual men in abusive relationships is unknown, fifty-two is simply too small of a number to examine IPV variation to make definitive conclusions in the population at large. Therefore, the sample size in this study limited the ability to generalize the results to the population. Similarly, a study by Cruz (2003), dealt with external validity issues due to small sample size. Cruz conducted an exploratory study of domestic violence within gay male relationships. The research specifically examined why battered gay men stay in violent and abusive relationships. For the study, 25 self-identified gay or bi-sexual men were selected vis-a-vis contacts with a Dallas-area social service agency (Cruz, 2003). Like the Merrill and Wolfe (2000) study, the sample size in
31 the Cruz (2003) study is quite small, which serves to limit the external validity. In yet another study which suffers from external validity issues, Craft and Serovich (2005) conducted an exploratory study to examine the prevalence of intimate partner violence among gay men who tested positive for the human immunodeficiency virus. Craft and Serovich (2005) hypothesized that men who had witnessed or experienced violence in their families of origin would be more likely to perpetrate or experience violence in their intimate relationships The sample consists of fifty-one gay men who have the human immunodeficiency virus (Craft & Serovich, 2005). Like the aforementioned studies, such a small sample size is an issue to external validity, and thus the ability to generalize the results. Unfortunately, the findings from this study cannot be generalized to the population of gay men who have the human immunodeficiency virus, whose previous experiences of witnessing violence make them more susceptible to currently being in abusive relationships, even though that population itself is unknown. Previous research on lesbians who are victims of intimate partner violence also suffer from external validity issues. Renzetti (1992) examined the prevalence and incidence of lesbian battering. Through an intensive recruitment, her final sample consisted of 100 respondents who identified themselves as victims of lesbian battering (Renzetti, 1992). A sample size of 100 is too small to draw real conclusions about the population. Similar to Renzetti, Lie et al., (1991) also examined lesbian intimate partner violence. Specifically, the researchers were looking at the presence of aggression in current and past relationships, as well as in the family of origin. The sample was composed of 120 women who had been the target of at least one form of aggression and who had used at least one form of aggression on an intimate partner (Lie et al., 1991),
32 similar to Renzetti (1992) and the other aforementioned studies, the sample size is much too small to draw any real conclusions because the small sample size inherently contains a larger sampling error, which limits the external validity of the studies. Non-Random Samples The use of non-random samples is another challenge to external validity issues of prior research on same sex intimate partner violence. Random samples are samples in which each element of the population (or universe) has an equal probability of being selected (Hagan, 2003). If probability methods are utilized in selecting the sample, the concept of sampling error enables researchers to assess confidence limits so that with a given degree of error, researchers can assume that what is true of the sample is also true of the population. Thus, with probability sampling methods, the sample mean approximates that of the population (Hagan, 2003). Due to the inherent nature of the population being studied, the use of random sampling is virtually impossible. Identification of the gay and lesbian population is not feasible because of the fact that some individuals have not chosen to openly express their sexual orientation. Furthermore, adding into the equation another unknown group within the population, victims of intimate partner violence, serves to complicate matters worse. Therefore, identifying a sheltered group (gays and lesbians) within another hard to find group (victims of IPV) makes it impossible for researchers to utilize the use of simple random samples to study same sex intimate partner violence. Past research on same sex intimate partner violence relies heavily on quota samples and snowball samples, which limit the external validity, and thus the ability to generalize the findings. Quota samples are non-probability stratified samples. In quota sampling, the researcher attempts to ensure that the sample proportions (race, age, sex, etc.) resemble
33 those of the population (Hagan, 2003). Regan et al., (2002) utilized the technique of quota sampling in their study examining the presence of psychological, physical or sexual aggression, as either a victim or an aggressor, in same sex intimate relationships. For the study, the researchers had predetermined to obtain 300 gay and bisexual men to comprise the sample. They sampled 1,176 men living in the West End of Vancouver, and from that sample, the target sample of 300 gay and bisexual men were selected (Regan et al., 2002). Snowball sampling is a type of strategy employed particularly in studies of little-known or hard-to-obtain subjects (Goodman, 1969; Biernacki & Waldorf, 1981). It basically entails obtaining a first subject and, on the basis of this subject, obtain contact with a second subject, then a third, and so forth. Gradually, as many subjects as practicable are accumulated (Hagan, 2003). Waldner-Haugrud and Gratch (1997) utilized the technique of snowball sampling in their study of sexual coercion in gay and lesbian relationships. Through gay and lesbian organizations, pride events, and other community contacts, the researchers used snowball sampling and were able to obtain 306 subjects for their study (Waldner-Haugrud & Gratch, 1997). While the actual population of gay men and lesbian women in abusive relationships is unknown, 306 is simply too small of a number to examine IPV variation to make definitive conclusions. Thus, the sample size in this study limited the ability to generalize the results to the population. Similarly, Madera and Toro-Alfonso (2005) also utilized snowball sampling in their study on the presence of violence and abusive behavior among 302 gay Puerto Rican males. Participants were recruited through service organizations targeting gay and bisexual men. Social networks and snowball strategies were also identified such that letters were written
34 to previously identified community gate keepers, asking for their help in recruiting participants for the study (Madera & Toro-Alfonso, 2005). Prior research on same sex intimate partner violence is limited by its over-reliance on non-probability sampling techniques. The population of victims of same sex intimate partner violence is unknown, and thus the only means of obtaining samples to learn about the population have come from non-random sampling techniques such as quota samples or snowball samples. Despite the serious methodological limitations these types of sampling strategies pose, other sampling techniques are considered unfeasible given the sensitive nature of the research topic. It is doubtful that one can obtain a truly representative sample of abused homosexuals (Renzetti, 1992). Sample Composition/The Representativeness of the Sample Sample composition and representativeness are additional limitations to the external validity of previous research on same sex intimate partner violence. The goal of a sample should be to represent, in every way possible, the characteristics of the population at large. Since parameter estimates in the population are unknown, a truly representative sample is difficult to attain, thus limiting the ability to generalize. However, to strengthen the external validity of a study, the goal of sample composition should be diversity. The more diverse the sample, the larger the number of groups represented, thus strengthening the external validity of the research. Prior research on same sex intimate partner violence has little to no external validity because the samples selected for research are not representative of the larger population.
35 The majority of prior research on same sex IPV lacks racial and ethnic diversity. For example, 87% to 100% of samples in prior research are white 1 . African Americans typically compose remaining percentages of the samples, and little attention is placed on any other racial or ethnic groups. While the overwhelming majority of samples from prior research are white, the December 2000 Census breaks down racial composition as: 69% white, 13% Hispanic, 12% African American, 4% Asian, 1% American Indian and 1% other (U.S. Census, 2000). Upon comparing the Census data to the racial and ethnic sample composition of previous research on same sex intimate partner violence, the disparities in the sample representativeness are emphasized. The non-representativeness of the racial and ethnic composition of the samples in prior research on same sex IPV hinders external validity and the ability to generalize results. In addition to race, age is another misrepresented demographic in prior research which weakens the external validity of the studies. The average age of respondents in previous research on same sex intimate partner violence is 30 years old 2 . According to the 2000 Census, the mean age of the population is 35 years old. The discrepancy between the average age of the samples in prior research and that of the population is an external validity weaknesses and hinders generalizability. It is interesting to note that prior research on same sex intimate partner violence has identified sexual orientation to be lacking in representativeness. Poorman, Seelau and Seelau (2003) examined the sex effects concerning perceived severity of homosexual 1 (Lie & Gentlewarrier, 1991); (Lie et al., 1991); (Waldner-Haugrud & Gratch, 1997); (Lockhart et al., 1994); and (Renzetti, 1992). 2 26-35 (Renzetti, 1992); 26-35 (Merrill & Wolfe, 2000); 34 (Lockhart et al., 1994); 34 (Lie et al., 1991); 32 (Cruz, 2003); 31 (Lie & Gentlewarrier) and 32 (Waldner-Haugrud & Gratch, 1997)
36 versus heterosexual battering. Their sample was comprised of 171 undergraduate college students (43 male, 128 female) from Wisconsin. One hundred percent of the sample identified themselves as heterosexual. An entirely heterosexual population's perception of severity of same sex or opposite sex battering is in no way representative of perceptions within the population. Due to the lack of representativeness of the sample, external validity is severely limited and generalizability is not an option. Race and ethnicity, age, and sexual orientation are demographic characteristics which are non-representative in previous research on same sex intimate partner violence. The poorly composed samples which are not representative of the population attack the external validity of the studies and thus their generalizability. The composition and representativeness of the sample is weak due in part to the small sample size and the non-random sampling techniques employed in obtaining the samples. A small sample inherently limits the amount of representation possible. In addition, non-random sampling techniques do not allow for a true representation of the population. These external validity issues are seemingly interrelated with one weakness influencing another. Low Response Rate Low response rate is another external validity weakness of past research on same sex intimate partner violence. A high response rate is the key to legitimizing a survey's results. When a survey elicits responses from a large percentage of its target population, the findings are seen as more accurate. Low response rates, on the other hand, can damage the credibility of survey results, because the sample is less likely to represent the overall target population (Hagan, 2003). Low response rates are a continuing problem for researchers and survey organizations. Some people simply refuse to participate in surveys, while others, for a wide range of reasons, cannot participate (Hagan, 2003).
37 There are many reasons why people might choose not to respond to a survey. Sometimes time is a factor. Some people may feel they can't spare the time to participate in a survey. Others may see a survey as a nuisance, particularly telephone and mail surveys (Hagan, 2003). However, some factors that can impact response rates lie in the hands of the researchers themselves, and can thus be avoided. One such problem contributing to non-response is if participants have trouble understanding the questions. Confusing questions will increase the likelihood that respondents will not participate in the research. Survey questions must be clear and concise and any vague terms should be clearly defined (Hagan, 2003). Similarly, the survey format must be unambiguous and consistent. Question formats should also remain consistent and not jump randomly from type to type (i.e. multiple choice to short answer and back again) and instructions should be as explicit as possible (Hagan, 2003). Previous research on same sex intimate partner violence is characterized by response rates that are generally low, which threatens the external validity of the research. Waldner-Haugrud and Gratch (1997) examined sexual coercion in gay and lesbian relationships. A total of 816 surveys were distributed, and 306 were returned, which yielded a response rate of 38% (Waldner-Haugrud & Gratch, 1997). Merrill and Wolfe (2000) examined the nature of same sex intimate partner violence among gay and bisexual males. Out of the 111 surveys distributed, 52 returned surveys were included in the analysis, yielding a response rate of 47% (Merrill & Wolfe, 2000). Turrell (2000) looked at the nature and prevalence of various types of abuse in same sex relationships. A total of 1,500 surveys were distributed across the Houston, Texas area over the course of several months. A total of 499 were returned, with a response rate of 33% (Turrell, 2000).
38 Regan et al., (2002) measured physical violence in male same sex relationships. For the purposes of their research study, the response rate was calculated as the number of phone interviews completed divided by the number of known eligible respondents, which was 49% (Regan et al., 2002). In all of these cases of previous research on same sex IPV, the response rates were not even one half of the total number of potential subjects to be selected. The significantly low response rates severely threaten the external validity of the research studies. Due to the fact that the response rates are below 50%, the results cannot be generalized to the population. Self-Selection Bias Lastly, self-selection bias is a threat to external validity. Self-selection bias occurs when the group of people being studied has any form of control over whether to participate (Hagan, 2003). Participants' decision to participate may be correlated with traits that affect the study, thus resulting in a non-representative sample. For example, people with strong opinions or substantial knowledge about the subject matter may be more willing to spend time answering survey questions (Hagan, 2003). There is an inherent difference in subjects who choose to participate and those who don't. The inherent difference in self-selection is a bias which can weaken external validity. However, based on the nature of the studies, self-selection through voluntary participation is often a necessary requirement. While self-selection bias may be unavoidable, its effects can be minimized by statistically controlling for factors that might be related to the likelihood of participation, such as age, sex or race. Previous research on same sex intimate partner violence has a number of sampling weaknesses which threaten the ability to generalize the results. Small sample size, the use of non-random samples, poor sample composition and non-representative samples, low
39 response rates, and self-selection are all threats to the external validity of the existing research. While some of these sampling issues, such as the use of non-random samples, are unavoidable given the unique nature of the population, other sampling issues such as sample size and composition can be avoided by future research focusing more attention on achieving greater external validity. Issues With Internal Validity: The Methodologies Weaknesses concerning internal validity in prior research have to do with methodological issues. Methodology is the collection of accurate facts or data which attempt to address the issue of â€œwhat isâ€ (Hagan, 2003). Internal validity refers to accuracy within the study itself (Hagan, 2003). Does the instrument accurately measure what it intends to measure? (Shadish, Cook & Campbell, 2002). Internal validity issues in previous research on same sex intimate partner violence are related to methods of data collection and reporting. All of the methodological weaknesses in prior research serve to attack the internal validity of the studies themselves, which questions whether the studies are accurately measuring what they intend to measure? Methods of Data Collection Multiple methods of data collection have been employed to conduct intimate partner violence research in homosexual relationships. All of the data gathered on same sex IPV is self-reported by victims and, on occasion, by perpetrators. Self-reports are obtained through interviews and/or questionnaires. Questionnaires include mail surveys and telephone surveys. The strengths and weaknesses of each type of data collection method will be assessed and discussed as they relate to prior research of same sex IPV.
40 Strengths and weaknesses of self-reports The majority of the data gathered on victimization in homosexual relationships is self-reported. There are a number of benefits of self-reported victimization data. One major benefit is that self-report data yields a more accurate description of crime figures, getting at the dark figure of crime where official reports fall short (Renzetti, 1992). Because of non-reporting in official statistics, victim surveys may be a more accurate estimate for the commission of such as rape and assault (National Advisory Committee, 1976). In the case of same sex intimate partner violence, the use of self-report data is a valuable tool at assessing the prevalence and incidence rates of abuse since oftentimes domestic violence goes unreported, especially by gay and lesbian victims (Renzetti, 1992). Victim surveys are additionally useful for measuring consequences of victimization with respect to injuries and crime prevention programs (Skogan, 1978). Intimate partner violence is an increasing health concern. Costs include both the tangible and the intangible. Tangible costs are monetary, material, or other losses that may be quantified such as property damage, costs of medical care, taxes for public services, loss of productivity, or loss of wages. Intangible costs, such as the costs related to pain, suffering and distress, are those that are less easily quantified (Finlayson, Saltzman, Sheridan & Taylor, 1999). Lastly, self-report surveys are especially useful for assessing such issues as fear of crime, satisfaction with police services, attitudes towards the police, and reasons for not reporting crimes to the police because this information is not available in official data (Hagan, 2003). When studying intimate partner violence among homosexual couples, self-reports are a valuable tool for understanding why abuse is not reported to the police (Renzetti, 1992).
41 While there are a number of benefits of self-reported data, there are also some limitations. One of the most common limitations is the cost of large samples. Victim surveys require such large samples because of the need to ensure the appearance of rare events (Hagan, 2003). For example, since the vast majority of respondents are not likely to have been victimized in the past year or six months, it becomes necessary to interview large numbers to obtain only a few victims, especially when focusing on crimes such as intimate partner violence, battering, and sexual assault (Glaser, 1978). A study by Waldner-Haugrud and Gratch (1997) examined the nature of sexual coercion in gay and lesbian relationships. Of the respondents that were victims, half of them (52%) reported ever experiencing sexual coercion in a relationship (Waldner-Haugrud & Gratch, 1997). Since the study only found half of the sample to have experienced sexual abuse in a same sex relationship, a larger sample would be needed to increase the odds of finding more victims, especially since the study focused on one particular type of abuse, and not the presence of abuse. In addition to the cost of large samples, sampling bias is another limitation of self-reported data. The data collection method can introduce spurious effects known as sampling bias. This occurs when the sampling procedure results in a sample that is not representative of the population of interest (Shadish, Cook & Campbell, 2002). For example, while certain groups of people are more likely to be victims of crime, they are less likely to be found and surveyed about being crime victims (Skogan, 1978).Despite the shortcomings of victim surveys, it should be pointed out that no method of gathering data is perfect. Many of these sources of error are not the sole province of victim surveys, but can equally apply to other techniques of data collection (Hagan, 2003).
42 Strengths and weaknesses of interviews Interviewing can refer to a variety of face-to-face situations in which the researcher orally solicits responses. Berg (2001) defines interviews as conversations with purpose, the purpose being to gather information. These range from in-depth, lengthy interviews of one or a few subjects to fairly structured surveys of large groups (Berg, 2001). One strength of the use of interviews is that they allow for personal contact between the subject and the researcher (Hagan, 2003). The personal interaction allows for the ability to clear up any misunderstandings or confusions the respondent may have in interpreting the questions (Hagan, 2003). Similarly, the the one-on-one contact provided by interviews enables researchers to determine how the subject is responding to the nature of the questions, so that researchers may use their discretion as to the appropriate time at which to ask more sensitive questions or probe for more information (Hagan, 2003). In addition, interviews are more flexible than questionnaires or mailed surveys because they may elicit more spontaneous responses and can utilize more complex lines of questioning (Hagan, 2003). Utilizing interviews as a means of collecting data, Cruz (2003) explores domestic violence in gay male relationships through the use of a semi-structured open-ended interview guide consisting of 25 questions. During the course of interviewing, Cruz was able to ask subjects to further explain themselves and define concepts such as â€œloveâ€ in their own words, and have subjects further develop their responses by asking more in-depth questions (Cruz, 2003). While there are some strengths to the use of personal interviews, there are also some weaknesses. The main disadvantage to the use of interviews is that they are time consuming and costly. Out of all of the previous research reviewed on same sex intimate partner violence, only one study (Cruz, 2003) used personal interviews. Some researchers
43 of same sex IPV opt for mail surveys because they are quicker and more economical (Waldner-Haugrud & Gratch, 1997; Merrill & Wolfe, 2000; and Turrell, 2000). Along with the expense of surveys, interviewer effect in terms of biases introduced by the researcher, may be responsible for distorted results (Hagan, 2003). For example, the way in which the interviewer asks a question, with particular tone or inflection could alter a subjects' response. Interviewer effect is a potential bias that no matter how conscious one is of the way in which they ask questions, it's effects can simply not be avoided. In addition to the influence that the interviewer could have on responses, the interviewer may also make mistakes in asking questions or recording information (Hagan, 2003). Strengths and weaknesses of phone surveys There are strengths and weaknesses associated with all methods of data collection, and the use of phone surveys is no exception. One advantage of phone surveys is the widespread ownership of telephones, providing large and representative samples of the population (Hagan, 2003). Another advantage is that use of telephone surveys eliminates the use of field staff, thus making them less costly than in-person interviews. Compared to in-person interviews, phone interviews are usually shorter in length and take less time (Hagan, 2003). The primary disadvantage of the use of phone surveys as a tool for data collection is high refusal rates (Hagan, 2003). With widespread ownership of telephones and accessibility comes the growth of telemarketers and solicitors. People are more likely to screen their calls and to refuse participation in phone surveys (Hagan, 2003). Regan et al., (1992) examined the presence of violence in male same sex relationships. Telephone surveys were used to follow up and gather more information from respondents who completed an initial questionnaire. Because of the high refusal rates of telephone surveys,
44 the research suffered from a low response rate of 49% (Regan et al, 1992). Another weakness of phone surveys is the difficulty in obtaining in-depth responses, especially to questions which rely on retrospective data, over the phone. Time may be a factor, or the presence of one's abuser can hinder responses when conducting a telephone survey which inquires about incidents of abuse (Regan et al., 1992). Another weakness of telephone surveys is that there may be some loss of the qualitative detail provided by face-to-face interviews (Hagan, 2003). Lastly, the use of phone surveys does exclude members of the population who do not own telephones. This is especially true for minority groups and can affect the representativeness of the sample (Hagan, 2003). Questionnaires Questionnaires are a valuable tool at assessing peoples' opinions, attitudes, and beliefs (Hagan, 2003). There are a couple important guidelines to keep in mind when using a questionnaire as a means of data collection. The most crucial and underestimated step in questionnaire construction involves a clear formulation of the research problem and the data needed to address the research problem (Lazarsfeld, 1954). A common method of specifying the relationship between research issues and data is the creation of a codebook which links variables to questionnaire items and dummy variables (Hagan, 2003). Another integral part of constructing a questionnaire is the wording of the questions themselves. Sudman and Bradburn (1982) emphasize that the language used in questionnaires must be geared to the target population, care must be taken to identify clearly who should answer the questions, avoid biased or leading questions, avoid double-barreled questions, and avoid vague wording.
45 Strengths and weaknesses of mail surveys The mail survey is a self-administered survey in which a stamped, addressed return envelope for the survey is enclosed for the repondent (Hagan, 2003). The mail survey is a popular tool for research because it has the potential to deliver fairly wide coverage for a study. Like all other data collection methods, there are inherent advantages and disadvantages. One attractive feature of mail surveys is that they afford wide geographical and perhaps more representative samples at a reasonable cost, effort, and time (Hagan, 2003). Compared with personal interviews, the mail survey requires no field staff, eliminates interviewer effect bias, and can afford respondents greater privacy (Hagan, 2003). The primary disadvantage of mail surveys is non-response. Most recipients of mail surveys do not wish to take the time and effort to complete them. Non-response is a severe methodological limitation of past research on same sex IPV which used mail surveys as their means of data collection. None of their response rates were above 50% 3 . These studies which utilized mail surveys for data collection because they were more economical and less time consuming received the lowest response rates, thus compromising their internal validity. In addition to non-response, other problems of mail surveys include possible differences between respondents and non-respondents, lack of uniformity in response, the possibility that respondents have misinterpreted questions, and escalating costs if follow-ups are required (Hagan, 2003). 3 Waldner-Haugrud & Gratch (1997) had a response rate of 38%; Merrill & Wolfe (2000) had a response rate of 47%, and Turrell (2000) had a response rate of 33%
46 All of methods of data collection, including self-reports, interviews, phone surveys, questionnaires, and mail surveys have weaknesses. All of these weaknesses are threats to internal validity, and weaken the accuracy within the study itself. Reporting Issues Along with the methods of data collection come issues in reporting which also threaten the internal validity of previous research on same sex intimate partner violence. The biggest limitation of reporting issues is the underreporting of abuse of victims. The abuse among victims of same sex intimate partner violence is even more hidden, since same sex victims are doubly stigmatized: first because of their victimization, and second due to their sexual orientation (Renzetti, 1992). In addition to social stigma, other factors which contribute to the underreporting of same sex IPV include sexism, homophobia, discrimination, and gender-stereotypes (Madera & Toro-Alfonso, 2005). Of the actual reporting of abuse, the most significant limitation is poor memory. Memory failure, or recall delay, refers to the phenomenon of progressive memory loss as the distance increases between the time of the event and the time of the interview concerning the event (Gottfredson and Hindelang, 1977). The nature of intimate partner violence research relies on the use of retrospective data. Many studies examine presence of violence in family of origin as a reason for being in abusive relationships later in life (Regan et al., 2002; Lie et al., 1991). Recollection of witnessing or experiencing childhood violence for victims of intimate partner violence might not be accurate and can lead to issues in reporting. Along with the problem of poor memory comes the issue of over-reporting or under-reporting actual incidents of abuse (Hagan, 2003). Due to the reliance on domestic violence victims for self-report data, there is no way to control for over or under-reporting abuse.
47 In addition to poor memory, there are also reporting issues which arise from the use of different definitions of abuse. Abusive behaviors can be defined in many ways and there is little uniformity among the definitions of abuse in previous research on same sex IPV. There are different dimensions of abuse (sexual, physical, emotional) which overlap because they are not mutually exclusive. Different researchers use different definitions of abuse or oftentimes allow victims to define abuse in their own terms. What one person may see as psychological abuse, another person might not. These differences in definitions and subjective definitions are problems which influence the reporting of abuse. Problems in previous research on same sex intimate partner violence focused on the internal validity which is the accuracy within the study itself, and on external validity which is the ability to generalize the findings to the population. Internal validity issues consisted of weaknesses in data collection methods, as well as reporting issues. External validity issues dealt with small sample size, use of non-random samples, poor sample composition/non-representative sample, low response rate and selection bias. While some of these weaknesses are universal limitations faced by all researchers, others are more solvable. Steps can be taken to strengthen the internal and external validity of research. The following chapter sets forth a series of research questions which deserve more attention based on an in-depth review of the literature. With the research questions in mind, a proposal for future research is presented, and threats to internal and external validity from previous research are addressed.
CHAPTER 4 RESEARCH PROPOSAL Research Question Based on a thorough review of prior research, this proposed study aims to better answer the following questions regarding same sex intimate partner violence: How prevalent is same sex intimate partner violence? What types of abuse characterize same sex intimate partner violence and how severe is it? What types of help seeking behaviors do victims of same sex IPV engage in and how do they perceive the helpfulness of formal institutions? How Research Will Be Conducted The purpose of this research proposal is to ascertain the nature and extent of intimate partner violence in same sex relationships. Participants will be interviewed and asked questions regarding intimate partner violence in their current and past relationships. The interview consists of a demographics survey and a semi-structured and closed-ended interview guide consisting of 67 questions. Such interviews will be conducted on a one-on-one basis with a member of the research team during an interview session that will last up to one and a half hours. Interviews will occur in cafeterias at hospitals located in the various major metropolitan cities which are targeted in this study. All interviews will be conducted in a confidential manner and all collected data will be stored anonymously according to a non-identifiable identification number in order to minimize any potential risk to participants. Participants will be recruited from 10 major metropolitan cities: San Francisco, Boston, Atlanta, New York City, Miami, Chicago, Philadelphia, District of 48
49 Columbia, Tuscon, and Minneapolis. These cities were chosen for their known presence of the gay and lesbian population and are relatively similar in their racial and ethnic composition. Participants will be sought through local community locales including gay and lesbian community outreach organizations, bookstores, clubs, and bars. Advertisements will also be placed in local gay friendly newspapers and magazines. The number of participants will be 2,000 persons, all over the age of 18. A quota sampling procedure will be employed to obtain a sample of 200 participants from each of the 10 cities in the study, such that half of the participants will be gay or bisexual men, and the other half will consist of lesbian or bisexual women. Once potential gay and lesbian subjects are identified, they will then be broken down into racial strata which reflect the racial and ethnic composition of each city. The quota sampling technique will be used to ensure that the sample adequately represents the age, racial, and ethnic demographics of the general population in each city, thus increasing the external validity and the ability to generalize the results of this study. Each participant will be compensated in the amount of $50 for their participation. All participants will receive an informed consent handout prior to participation in the study. Additionally, such handout will be discussed with each participant prior to the commencement of the interview in an effort to ensure that each participant fully understands their rights as they relate to this study. How the Current Research Proposal Addresses Weaknesses in Prior Research External Validity Issues A number of past studies suffer from issues of external validity because of a small sample size. In the studies reviewed in this paper, samples ranged from 25 participants to just over one hundred (Merrill & Wolfe, 2000; Cruz, 2003; Craft & Serovich, 2005;
50 Renzetti, 1992 and Lie et al., 1991). Such small samples inherently contain a larger sampling error, which limits the external validity of the studies. This research proposal attempts to strengthen the external validity by increasing the sample size to 2,000 participants. The larger sample size contains a smaller sampling error than past studies, allowing for less of a difference between the sampling values and the population values (Hagan, 2003). Since the true population of victims of same sex intimate partner violence is unknown, it is not known how generalizable the results of the proposed research will be. However, increasing the sample size will inherently increase the external validity. One goal of the proposed research is to increase what is know about same sex IPV by expanding the sample size and diversity of sample composition. Sample composition, or the representativeness of the sample, is another weakness in past research on intimate partner violence in homosexual relationships. The goal of a sample should be to represent, in every way possible, the characteristics of the general population. Prior research on same sex intimate partner violence has little to no external validity because the samples selected for research are not representative of the population. Race and ethnicity is a demographic that is not accurately represented among the samples in previous research (Lie & Gentlewarrier, 1991; Waldner-Haugrud & Gratch, 1997 and Renzetti, 1992). In these studies, whites are over-represented and minority groups are either significantly underrepresented or not represented at all. The non-representativeness of the racial and ethnic composition of the samples in prior research on same sex IPV hinders external validity and thus, the ability to generalize results. Age is another demographic which is misrepresented in previous research on same sex IPV. Consistently the sample averages are 30 years old (Renzetti, 1992; Merrill
51 & Wolfe, 2000; Lockhart et al., 1994; Lie et al., 1991; Cruz, 2003; Lie & Gentlewarrier, 1991 and Waldner-Haugrud & Gratch, 1997) and the mean average age of the U.S. population is 35 (U.S. Census, 2000). The non-representativeness of the sample composition weakens the external validity of the samples. This research proposal attempts to address the weaknesses of the representativeness of the samples in previous studies by focusing on increasing the diversity of the sample through the use of quota sampling. Quota sampling ensures that the sample proportions resemble those of the population (Hagan, 2003). The more diverse the sample, the larger the number of groups represented, thus strengthening the external validity of the research. The sample chosen for this proposed research will more accurately represent the composition of the population through the use of quota sampling, which will afford it greater generalizability than past research. This research proposes to have greater racial and ethnic group representation and to more accurately reflect the mean age of the population by targeting specific age, racial, and ethnic groups to ensure greater representation. While a truly representative sample can not be attained due to the fact that the true composition of the population is unknown, this research attempts to strengthen existing research by composing a sample that better represents what we do know about the population. Low response rates are another external weakness of previous same sex IPV research because they damage the credibility of a survey's results. Low response rates are a weakness because the sample is less likely to represent the overall target population (Hagan, 2003). In the critique of previous same sex IPV research studies, response rates ranged from 33% to 49% (Waldner-Haugrud & Gratch, 1997; Turrell, 2000; Regan et al.,
52 2002 and Merrill & Wolfe, 2000). These response rates were not even one half of the total number of potential subjects to be selected. The significantly low response rates severely threaten the external validity of the research studies because the results simply cannot be generalized to the population. This research proposal attempts to significantly increase participation by using interviews. Interviews generally yield higher response rates than mail surveys (Hagan, 2003). In addition to using interviews as a means of data collection, the response rate will also be increased through the use of monetary incentives. Only one prior study on abuse in homosexual relationships offered compensation in the amount of $5 (Craft & Serovich, 2005). This research proposal suggests compensation in the amount of $50 not only to increase participation, but to also cover any expenses subjects' may incur through their participation in the study, (such as transportation). A high response rate is the key to legitimizing survey results. When a survey elicits responses from a large percentage of its target population, the findings are seen as more accurate, thus strengthening external validity. There are two additional weaknesses which were identified in prior research as threats to external validity: the use of non-random samples and self-selection bias. These weaknesses in past research will continue to be problematic in this research proposal. The goal of obtaining a random sample is that each element of the population (or universe) has an equal probability of being selected (Hagan, 2003). Due to the inherent nature of the population being studied, the use of random sampling is not possible. Identification of the gay and lesbian population is not feasible because of the fact that some individuals have not chosen to openly express their sexual orientation. Furthermore, among this
53 already unknown population of gays and lesbians, the research question seeks to find victims of intimate partner violence. Identifying a little-known group (gays and lesbians) within another hard to obtain group (victims of IPV) makes it impossible for researchers to utilize the use of simple random samples to study same sex intimate partner violence. The nature of the research question therefore forces researchers to rely on non-random sampling procedures to obtain subjects. To help fill demographic quotas, as well as to increase the response rate, lead letters are a technique which will also be employed. Lead letters inform potential subjects about the research project and provide them a contact phone number. For this research project, lead letters would be strategically placed at racial and ethnic community group centers, as well as at organizations which are age-specific. This way, subjects are aware that they are being targeted for research purposes. Also, there is an additional financial incentive involved, on top of the compensation which is given for actual participation in the survey. If potential subjects are interested, then they can call the contact number provided in the lead letter to schedule an interview, and will receive $5 extra dollars for volunteering. This additional financial incentive can help to increase the response rate. An example of a lead letter which would be used for this research project is found in Appendix B. Similarly, self-selection bias was another weakness identified in previous research, which, like the use of non-random samples, the researcher has no control over. Self-selection bias occurs when the group of people being studied has any form of control over whether to participate (Hagan, 2003). There is an inherent difference between the subjects who choose to participate in a research study and those who do not. However,
54 based on the nature of the studies, self-selection occurs vis a vis voluntary participation, therefore rendering self-selection bias unavoidable. While the use of non-random samples and self-selection bias are unavoidable weaknesses this research proposal also faces, a number of significant suggestions were made to improve upon the external validity of previous research studies. This study proposes to obtain a larger, more representative sample, use interviews and monetary compensation to increase the response rate so that the external validity will be strengthened, thus yielding greater generalizability. Internal Validity Issues Previous research is subject to internal validity weaknesses from the various methodologies which were utilized in collecting data. All of the data collection methods are subject to some inherent weaknesses such as time, expense, or interviewer effect, that are beyond the researcher's control (Hagan, 2003). Keeping that in mind, this research proposal suggests interviewing as the means of data collection. The purpose of this research proposal is to ascertain the nature and extent of intimate partner violence in same sex couple relationships. The inherent nature of the research question is best suited to be answered by a data collection method which will allow for the flexibility and probing interviews offer. The use of interviews may be time consuming and costly, but since descriptive research is still needed for this subject, the internal weakness which are present will have to be overlooked. Similarly, reporting of the issues is another internal weakness that accompanies this research since reporting on current or past abusive relationships is retrospective. Recollection problems can lead to over-reporting or under-reporting of abuse. However, due to the reliance on intimate partner violence victims for self-report data, there is no
55 way to control for reporting issues. One way this research proposal attempts to increase its internal validity, keeping the inherent constraints in mind, is through the development of a questionnaire which precisely and accurately measures the prevalence, incidence and severity of abuse and help seeking behaviors of victims. Detailed items and scales are used to measure incidence and severity of abuse. The scales are broken down by types of abuse: psychological aggression, physical aggression, sexual coercion and injury. Asking about numerous types of violence, allows for the measurement of specific acts of abuse, as well as the severity of the abuse, and increases internal validity. In addition, questions assessing the prevalence of abuse are also included in the questionnaire such as: are you currently experiencing physical, emotional or sexual abuse in your current relationship? Have you in the past? and How often does the abuse occur? Also, there are a number of questions included in the survey instrument which examine the proactive nature and targets of help seeking behaviors: Did any of the attacks result in a hospital or emergency room visit? Were the police ever notified? If so, who notified them? Have you told anyone about your abusive relationship? If so, who have you told? If you haven't told anyone, why not? Would you seek out an order of protection, such as a restraining order or an injunction for protection against your abuser? Do you have one? This research questionnaire attempts to develop an accurate and precise method of collecting data on same sex intimate partner violence through the use of clear and concise questions in addition to detailed items and scales. By strengthening the data collection method, the internal validity of the study is reinforced. The internal validity weaknesses that previous research on same sex IPV faced are some of the ones that this research proposal faces, although to a much lesser extent. This
56 research proposal focuses on the development of a precise instrument that accurately measures what it intends to measure as a means of strengthening the internal validity. This research proposal attempts to improve on past research on abuse in homosexual relationships by improving the internal and external validity. By obtaining a larger, more representative sample, providing compensation to boost participation and developing an accurate instrument for data collection are all ways this research proposal improves on past research, thus increasing its generalizability. While understanding there are limitations to everything, this research proposal attempts to do the best with what is available. The following is the actual research proposal itself with IRB form, informed consent, and the respective demographics survey and semi-structured open-ended questionnaire. IRB Form 1. TITLE OF PROTOCOL: Examining Intimate Partner Violence Among Same Sex Couples 2. PRINCIPLE INVESTIGATOR(s): (Name, Degree, Title, Department, Address, Phone #, E-mail & Fax) Ashley Taranto, Graduate Student, Department of Criminology, Law & Society, P.O. Box 115950, 202 Walker Hall, Gainesville, FL 32611-5950, (352) 392-1025, firstname.lastname@example.org, (352) 392-5065 3. SUPERVISOR (IF PI IS STUDENT): (Name, Campus Address, Phone #, E-mail & Fax) Angela Gover, PhD, Department of Criminology, Law & Society, P.O. Box 115950, 209 Walker Hall, Gainesville, FL 32611-5950, (352) 392-1025, ext. 209, email@example.com, (352) 392-5065 4. DATES OF PROPOSED PROTOCOL: From 06/01/2006 to 06/01/2007 5. SOURCE OF FUNDING FOR THE PROTOCOL: Private Grant
57 6. SCIENTIFIC PURPOSE OF THE INVESTIGATION: To ascertain the nature and extent of intimate partner violence in same sex couple relationships. 7. DESCRIBE THE RESEARCH METHOLOGY IN NON-TECHNICAL LANGUAGE. The UFIRB needs to know what will be done with or to the research participant(s). Participants will be interviewed and asked questions regarding intimate partner violence in their current and past relationships. Such interviews will be conducted on a one-on-one basis with a member of the research team during an interview session that will last up to one and a half hours. Interviews will occur in cafeterias at hospitals located in major metropolitan cities. 8. POTENTIAL BENEFITS AND ANTICIPATED RISK. All interviews will be conducted in a confidential manner and all collected data will be stored by identification number in order to minimize any potential risk to participants. The only location that will link respondent names with an identification number is the consent form. The consent form will be stored in a locked cabinet, and will not come in contact with the survey responses. The consent form will be maintained for 18 months after the interview, and then will be destroyed. 9. DESCRIBE HOW PARTICIPANT(s) WILL BE RECRUITED, THE NUMBER AND AGE OF PARTICIPANTS, AND PROPOSED COMPENSATION (if any): Participants will be recruited in major metropolitan cities through local community locales including gay and lesbian community outreach organizations, bookstores, clubs and bars. The number of participants will be 2,000 persons, all over the age of 18. There will be a toll-free phone number set up so that possible participants may call and and be screened for eligibility. Each participant will be compensated in the amount of $50 for their participation. 10. DESCRIBE THE INFORMED CONSENT PROCESS. INCLUDE A COPY OF THE INFORMED CONSENT DOCUMENT. All participants will receive an informed consent prior to participation in the study. Additionally, the consent form will be discussed with each participant prior to the commencement of the interview in an effort to ensure that each participant fully understands their rights as they relate to this study.
58 Informed Consent Protocol Title: Examining Intimate Partner Violence Among Same Sex Couples Please read this consent document carefully before you decide to participate in this study. You are being asked to take part in an anonymous research study. This form provides you with information about the study and tells you how your privacy will be protected. The Principal Investigator (the person in charge of this research) or a representative of the Principal Investigator will describe this study to you and will be available to answer any questions you may have. Before you decide whether or not to take part in this study, read the information below and ask questions about anything you do not understand. If you do not want to participate in this study, you will not be penalized in any way. Purpose of the Research Study The purpose of this research is to examine the prevalence, seriousness and the nature of intimate partner violence in same sex relationships. What You Will be Asked to do in the Research Study If you decide to be in this study, you will be asked to answer a series of questions about your relationship experiences with family members and intimate partners. Time Required The demographics survey should take about 5 minutes to complete. The interview will last no longer than an hour and a half. Compensation You will receive $50 for today's interview. This is to cover any expenses you may have from doing this interview. Voluntary Participation The choice of whether to participate in this study is completely up to you. Your participation is completely voluntary and refusal to participate will involve no penalty or loss of benefits to you. No one will be upset or angry if you decide not to participate. If you decide to participate in the study, you don't have to answer any questions that you do not want to answer. If you come to a question that you do not want to answer, simply tell the interviewer that you want to skip to the next question. Right to Withdraw From the Study You have the right to discontinue your participation in the study at anytime for any reason and without consequence. Benefits of the Study You may not directly benefit from completing the interview. Although many people in previous studies indicated that they enjoyed being involved in these types of studies and found the questions interesting. You may find that talking about your experiences feels supportive or helpful in some way, although participation in this project is not considered
59 counseling or any other type of therapeutic service. The potential benefits from this study will be to future victims of intimate partner violence. Moreover, by participating, you are helping us to learn more about the kinds of services that might help gay and lesbian victims of intimate partner violence. Risks of the Study There are four risks from your participation in this study. One risk is that the questions we ask might make you feel uncomfortable or be upsetting. If you should feel uncomfortable or upset during the interview, you make ask the interviewer to take a break and/or to skip a question. If you should become upset by the interview, you should immediately tell the interviewer. You are free to end the interview at any time. In case you continue to be upset after today's interview, we are providing you with a list of helpful services and phone numbers. The second risk is that someone might find out what you tell us during the interview. In order to avoid that, you should not tell anyone what we talk about today. Third, there is a possibility that your partner may find out that you talked with me today and s/he might become upset. The interview is being conducted in a location that will help you reduce this risk since only you and the research staff are the only ones who know we are here. I encourage you not to discuss what we talk about with anyone to further reduce the risk that your partner would find out. This informed consent form is another way in which your partner may find out that you talked with me today. For your safety, I would encourage you to place this form in a secure location or if you feel it necessary, destroy this form or do not take it home. Finally, if you tell us that you are planning on hurting yourself, that you are in immediate danger, or that you intend to harm someone else, we may need to inform the appropriate authorities according to state and local law. Confidentiality, Data Entry, Storage and Protection Plans We will promise participants that no one will see their answers except the person who interviews them and the research staff at the University of Florida. We promise participants that no one else, including, for example, their significant other, law enforcement or court officials, will be able to find out what was said during the interview. The participant's names will never be associated with their answers to interview questions. We will assign each participant an ID number and only members of the research staff with ever be able to match a participant's name with their answers. A list of connecting names and ID numbers will be kept in a locked file cabinet in an alarm-protected research office at the University of Florida and destroyed when the study is complete. All data will first be coded by identification number so that no names or other identifying information will appear on any original data sheets. Qualitative interview data will be entered into a secure desktop PC computer using a currently available computer program. Data files will be password protected and only appropriate personnel will have access to
60 them. Daily back-up data disks will be maintained with back up disks for each of the previous data entry sessions existing at all times. Back-up data disks will be stored separately in a locked cabinet. To further ensure respondent's privacy, certain identifying variables may be restricted from general dissemination in the public use data to be prepared at the completion of this project. The National Domestic Violence Hotline Until the violence stops, the hotline will continue to answer. Help is available to callers 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Hotline advocates are available for victims or anyone calling on their behalf to provide crisis intervention, safety planning, information and referrals to all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Assistance is available in English, Spanish with access to more than 140 languages through interpreter services. If you or someone you know is frightened about something in your relationship, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) www.ndvh.org The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence The Mission of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence is to organize for collective power by advancing transformative work, thinking and leadership of communities and individuals working to end the violence in our lives. Contact the NCADV directly: 303-839-1852 The National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). Www.ncadv.org LAMBDA GLBT Community Services: Anti-Violence Project The Anti-Violence Project (AVP) focuses on hate crimes, domestic violence, sexual assault, and other crimes. AVP's services include crime prevention & education, a 24-hour bilingual (English-Spanish) hotline, peer-to-peer support groups, and accompaniment to and advocacy with police, the courts, and other service providers. All of AVP's services are free and confidential. AVP assists GLBT victims of: physical & sexual assaults, domestic violence, harassment, discrimination, hate violence, police misconduct & abuse and prisoner neglect, assaults & abuse. 206-600-4297 www.lambda.org Whom to Contact if you Have Questions About the Study If you have questions about this project, you may contact Angela Gover or Ashley Taranto, Department of Criminology, Law and Society, 201 Walker Hall, PO Box 115950, Gainesville, Fl 32611-2250; 352-392-1025 ext 209 Whom to Contact About Your Rights as a Research Participant in the Study If you have any questions about your rights as a participant in a research project, you can contact the UFIRB Office, Box 112250, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-2250; 352-392-0433.
61 Consent By reading this form, you understand that your answers to the questions will be kept confidential. You also should understand that your participation in this project is voluntary and you do not have to answer any questions that make you upset or uncomfortable. This consent form has explained the purpose, the procedures, the possible benefits and risks of this research study and how privacy will be protected. ____________________________________________ ________________ (Signature) (Date)
62 Survey Instrument University Of Florida An Investigation of Relationship Violence and Attitudes 1 How old are you (age at last birthday)? _________ (Enter #) 2 What is the highest level of education you have completed? (Circle One) 1 No schooling 2 1st-8th grades 3 Some high school 4 High school graduate 5 Some college 6 Associate's (2-year college) degree 7 Four-year college degree 8 Postgraduate 9 Other (trade school, specialized training) 3 Are you currently... MARK ALL THAT APPLY 1 Employed full-time 2 Employed part-time 3 In the military 4 Unemployed and looking for work 5 Unemployed and not looking for work 6 Retired and not working 7 A student 8 A homemaker 9 Something else (SPECIFY) ______________________ If ans 1 or 2, go to next question If ans 3-9, No, go to Q6 4 If you are employed full or part-time, how much money do you make in one paycheck? (after taxes are taken out) _____________ (Enter Amount)
63 5 How often do you receive a paycheck? ( Daily, Weekly, BiWeekly, Monthly) 6 Do you get income from any of the following sources? (Check all that apply) Yes How Much Each Month? No A. Child support B. Alimony or spousal support C. Money from family members D. AFDC E. Food Stamps F. SSI I. WIC J. Other: 7 Does your income meet your financial need? 1 Yes 2 No 8 How do you identify your sexual orientation? 1 Gay 2 Lesbian 3 Bisexual 4 Heterosexual 9 How do you identify your gender? 1 Male 2 Female 3 Transgender 10 What is your biological sex? 1 Male 2 Female 3 Transgender
64 11 Which of the following categories best describes your racial background? (Mark all that apply) 1 White, non-Hispanic 2 White, Hispanic 3 Black or African-American 4 Bi-Racial 5 Asian 6 Pacific Islander 7 American Indian or Alaskan Native 8 Other 12 Are you currently dating someone? 1 Yes 2 No 13 How often do you see the person you are dating? 1 Not currently dating 2 A few times a year 3 Once or twice a month 4 Once a week 5 Twice a week 6 Three or more times a week 14 Are you currently living with the person you are dating? 1 Yes 2 No 3 Not currently dating 15 Are you currently married? 1 Yes 2 No 16 Have you ever been married? 1 Yes 2 No
65 17 Do you have children? 1 Yes 2 No If yes, answer Q18 If no, go to Q19 18 Do the children currently reside in the household with you? 1 Yes 2 No 19 What type of household did you mostly live in while you grew up? 1 I lived with my two biological parents 2 I lived with a single parent 3 I lived with a parent and a stepparent 4 I lived with adoptive parents 5 Other relatives (grandparents, aunt/uncle, siblings, etc.) 6 Other (please specify ________________________________________) 20 What characteristics do you look for in a person that you are dating? 21 Approximately how many intimate relationships have you been in with a member of the opposite sex? 22 Describe how you interpret the word intimate. 23 Approximately how many intimate relationships have you been in with members of the same sex?
66 24 How would you describe your openness about your sexual orientation? Please explain: 25 Who knows that you are homosexual or bisexual? 26 Overall, do most people know? 27 Are there some situations where you would keep it a secret or even lie about it? 1 Yes 2 No 28 Why or why not? 29 Physical abuse is the use of physical force against another person in a way that ends up injuring the person, or puts the person at risk of being injured. Based on this definition, are you currently experiencing a physically abusive relationship? 30 Mental, psychological, or emotional abuse can be verbal or nonverbal. This includes threats, name-calling and making the other person feel that they cannot leave the relationship. Based on this definition, are you currently experiencing an emotionally abusive relationship?
67 31 Sexual abuse includes sexual assault (forcing someone to participate in unwanted, unsafe, or degrading sexual activity), harassment (ridiculing another person to try to limit their sexuality or reproductive choices), and exploitation (such as forcing someone to look at pornography, or forcing someone to participate in pornographic film-making). Based on this definition, are you currently experiencing a sexually abusive relationship? 32 Please define in your own words what you think an abusive relationship is. 33 Have you been involved in abusive relationships in the past? 1. Yes 2. No 3. Don't know 34 What is/was your relationship status at the time? 35 Was/is it with a man or a woman? 1. Man 2. Woman 36 Were/are you living together? 1 Yes 2 No 37 How often did/does the abuse occur? (Daily, Weekly, Monthly)
68 38 What do you think the cause of the abuse were/are? Please explain: 39 Who do you think most often initiates the conflict(s)? 1 Myself 2 My partner Please answer the following questions if the abuse is occurring now. If you are not currently in an abusive relationship, please answer then about a past abusive relationship. 40 PSYCHOLOGICAL AGGRESSION SCALE The following questions are in regards to the nature of the psychological aggression which may have been present in your relationship. Did /do any of the following things ever happen during the relationship? Did s/he do this to you? Did you do this to him/her? Yes No Yes No A. Insulted or sworn B. Shouted C. Stomped out of the room D. Threatened to hit (you/him or her) E. Threatened to throw something at (you/him or her) F. Destroyed property G. Threatened to hurt others H. Called fat or ugly I. Accused of being lazy J. Accused of being a lousy lover K. Prevented access to family money L. Prevented from seeing family or friends M. Not allowed to have a job N. Insisted on knowing whereabouts all the time O. Insisted on knowing who (you/him or her) talk to on the phone P. Other (please specify):
69 41 PHYSICAL AGGRESSION SCALE The following questions are in regards to the nature of the physical aggression which may have been present in your relationship. Did/do any of the following things ever happen during the relationship? Did s/he do this to you? Did you do this to him/her? Yes No Yes No A. Kicked B. Bit or Punched C. Slapped D. Beat up E. Hit with something F. Choked G. Slammed into wall H. Grabbed I. Threw something that could hurt J. Used a knife or gun K. Pushed or shoved L. Twisted arm or hair M. Burned or scaled N. Other (please specify): 42 SEXUAL COERCION SCALE The following questions are in regards to the nature of the sexual coercion/aggression which may have been present in your relationship. Did/do any of the following things ever happen during the relationship? Did s/he do this to you? Yes No A. Insist on anal sex but did not use force B. Insist on having unprotected sex but did not use force C. Used threats for sex D. Made threats for anal sex E. Force you to have sex F. Force you to have anal sex G. Other (please specify):
70 43 INJURY SCALE The following questions are in regards to the nature of the physical injuries which may have been sustained at some point during your relationship. Did/do any of the following things ever happen during the relationship? Did s/he cause these injuries to you? Did you cause these injuries to him/her? Yes No Yes No A. Cut or bleeding B. Immediate aches or pains C. Felt pain the next day D. Sprain or bruise E. Scratches F. Private parts bleeding G. Broken bones or teeth H. Head injury or concussion I. Knocked unconscious J. Hair pulled out K. Eye or ear injury L. Internal injuries M. Receive any medical treatment (at the scene) N. Offered medical treatment (at the scene) but declined O. See a doctor sometime after the incident P. Needed to see a doctor but did not see one Q. Did you receive medical care at a hospital sometime after the incident R. Other (please specify): 44 Did/do you defend yourself against the attacks? 1 Yes 2 No Please explain: 45 Did/do you actively fight back? 1 Yes 2 No
71 Please explain: 46 Did any of the attacks result in a hospital or emergency room visit? 1 Yes 2 No Please explain: 47 What were the types of injuries you received? 48 If you didn't go to the hospital, why didn't you? Please explain: 49 Were the police ever notified? 1 Yes 2 No If yes, ans Q50 If no, ans Q56 Please explain: 50 If the police were notified, who called them? (You, your partner, friend, neighbor, relative?)
72 51 What happened when they arrived? Please explain: 52 Was an arrest made against your abuser? 1 Yes 2 No 53 Were you arrested? 1 Yes 2 No 54 Were you satisfied with how the police handled the situation? 1 Yes 2 No 3 Not sure 55 Do you feel like you were treated with dignity and respect? 1 Yes 2 No 56 If you have experienced an abusive relationship in the past, did you leave? 1 Yes 2 No Please explain why or why not: 57 If you are currently involved in an abusive situation, do you think that you can leave? 1 Yes 2 No Please explain why or why not:
73 58 Have you told anyone about your abusive situation? 1 Yes 2 No If yes, ans Q59 If no, ans Q60 59 Who have you told? (Family? Friends? Co-Workers? Boss? Neighbors? Other members in the community?) 60 If you haven't told anyone, why not? Please explain: 61 Would you seek out an order of protection, such as a restraining order or an injunction for protection against your abuser? 1 Yes 2 No If yes, ans Q63 If no, ans Q 62 62 Why not? Please explain: 63 Do you have one? 1 Yes 2 No 64 Is this is the first one you've obtained? 1 Yes 2 No
74 65 Does your partner have one against you? 1 Yes 2 No 66 Are you HIV positive? 1 Yes 2 No 3 Don't know If yes, ans Q67 If no, ans Q68 67 If you are HIV positive, do you think that is a reason why your partner abuses you? 1 Yes 2 No 68 Is your partner HIV positive? 1 Yes 2 No If yes, ans Q69 If no, ans Q70 69 If your partner is HIV positive, is that a reason why you continue to be involved in this relationship? 1 Yes 2 No 70 Iâ€™m now going to ask you about the alcohol consumption. Over, the past year, how often would you say that you usually drank alcoholic beverages such as beer, wine, wine coolers, or liquor? 1 Every day 2 Nearly every day 3 Three or four days a week
75 4 One or two days a week 5 Less than that 6 Never If ans 1-5, go to 71 If ans 6, go to 72 71 On the days that you drank alcoholic beverages, how many drinks would you have on average? _____ (Enter #) 72 In the past year have you used prescription drugs without a perscription? 1 Yes 2 No 3 Don't know 73 In the past year have you used recreational or illegal drugs? 1 Yes 2 No 3 Don't know 74 People sometimes have a number of difficulties after stressful life events. The following questions are about some ways people feel and act. Please tell me how much the following things you have felt in the past year. In the past year have you? Not at all A little bit Some of the time Most of the time A. Felt energetic? B. Felt nervous? C. Felt so down in the dumps that nothing could cheer you up? D. Had a lot of energy E. Felt downhearted and blue? F. Felt worn out? G. Been a happy person? H. Felt tired? I. Had trouble falling asleep? J. Felt irritable and angry? K. Been jumpy and easily startled? L. Had trouble concentrating? M. Felt watchful and on guard?
76 75 Now I'm going to ask you some questions about physical or sexual violence you may have experienced or witnessed as a child. When you were a child did any parent, stepparent, or guardian ever... Yes No A. Throw something at you that could hurt you? B. Push, grab or shove you? C. Pull your hair? D. Slap or hit you? E. Kick or bite you? F. Choke or attempt to drown you? G. Hit you with some object? H. Beat you up? I. Threaten you with a gun? J. Threaten you with a knife or other weapon besides a gun? K. Use a gun on you? L. Use a knife or other weapon on you besides a gun? M. Touched you in a sexual way when you did not want that to happen? N. Hurt you in a sexual way? 76 How would you describe your satisfaction with your relationship with your partner? Please explain: 77 What things do you appreciate about the relationship? Please explain: 78 What things do you wish were different? Please explain:
77 79 Do you feel like there are resources and programs in the community that you could access for help? 1 Yes 2 No Please explain why or why not: This is the end of the survey. Thank you for taking the time to participate in this research.
CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSION Intimate partner violence among same sex couples is a research area that is still in its infancy. The causes and dynamics of abuse among homosexual couples are being examined in their similarities and differences from traditional heterosexual domestic abuse. This paper reviewed existing literature on same sex intimate partner violence and discussed relevant issues such as prevalence, frequency and severity of abuse, reasons why victims stay in abusive relationships, and help seeking behaviors. Through the literature review, weaknesses among previous same sex IPV research were identified and found to relate to the sample or the methodologies employed within prior research affecting the external or internal validity, respectively. The weaknesses were critiqued and formed the basis for a proposal for future research, which addresses many of the sampling and methodological flaws that were identified. A larger, more representative sample was suggested, along with the provision of compensation to boost participation to increase external validity and thus the generalizability of the research. Future research may attempt greater representative samples through random sampling techniques such as the addition of several questions concerning same sex IPV to the Gallup Poll. This research project also recommended the development of an accurate instrument for data collection. Clear and concise questions, and detailed items and scales comprised the questionnaire which strengthened the internal validity, thus providing legitimization of the research. Like some of the previous research on same sex IPV, this study used the revised Conflict Tactics Scale (CTS) to measure various types of abuse in same sex IPV. 78
79 This study seeks to determine if the CTS is applicable to same sex IPV, which would increase the internal validity of this questionnaire. The goal of the research proposal was to improve upon existing literature by strengthening its weaknesses, and by doing so, would make a significant contribution to the literature. The topic of same sex intimate partner violence requires additional research and efforts, and this research proposal hopes to influence stronger, more substantive research. Similarly, this research proposal also hopes to influence the revision of current policies and programs to include same sex intimate partner violence victims and to recognize their unique needs. Future Research It is highly unfortunate that very little research has focused on same sex intimate partner violence because many people's lives could benefit from improved research, understanding and increased awareness of the issue. Future research should focus on a variety of topics including the dynamics, help-seeking behaviors, correlates, and interventions (McClennen, 2005). Especially deficient is research about children living within same-sex-headed households where the adults are experiencing IPV. Similarly, research on the use of self-defensive, retaliatory, and aggressive behaviors among same sex victims could be useful in making more accurate assessments of the context of violence, thus enabling more useful interventions (Merrill & Wolfe, 2000). Continued research will serve to increase education, advocacy, policies, programs, and effective assessment and treatment strategies. Same sex couples are in need of education and advocacy about relationship violence as many are unaware of the existence, let alone the magnitude, of gay and lesbian IPV. Factual information would help to reduce the stigma of same sex persons who are experiencing partner abuse and to empower victims and perpetrators in their seeking professional assistance (McClennen,
80 2005). Agencies providing services to victims of intimate partner violence need to confront and deal with homophobia and heterosexism, so as not to preclude homosexual survivors from using necessary services (Lie & Gentlewarrier, 1991). Reducing the stigma of victimization as well as sexual orientation will serve to increase help-seeking behaviors of same sex IPV victims. Shelters and community outreach programs that are gender-neutral and sensitive to the needs of homosexual abuse victims are crucial to increasing the help seeking behaviors of victims of same sex intimate partner violence. Program Evaluations Program evaluations will eventually be needed to ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of established programs and services to all victims of intimate partner violence (McClennen, 2005). Existing protocols need to be examined for heterosexist language which presumes that the perpetrator is male and the victim is female. Similarly, agency staff and personnel should attend workshops which focus on the needs of victims of same sex intimate partner violence to increase awareness and assistance (Lie & Gentlewarrier, 1991). Efforts should be made by service providers to target victims of same sex intimate partner violence and include that population in programs, especially since oftentimes gay and lesbian victims do not have the same legal recourse as their heterosexual counterparts (Lie & Gentlewarrier, 1991). Reinforcing agencies to be gender-neutral in their outreach to victims will not only improve the quality of services the agencies provide, but will make them a more viable option to victims of same sex intimate partner violence. It took the women's movement nearly twenty years to increase public awareness of domestic violence as a serious problem and to fully develop widespread resources for heterosexual women (Merrill & Wolfe, 2000). Continued efforts to conduct research should increase understanding and awareness of the issue. Greater attention should be
81 placed on providing same sex victim services and treatment, and that agencies become more culturally aware. Finally, the current research proposal provides a means to help achieve these goals.
APPENDIX A PREVIOUS RESEARCH ON SAME SEX INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE AUTHOR Lie, Schlit, Bush, Montagne, Reyes (1991) IV Presence of aggression in current and past relationships and in family of origin DV Use of aggression as defense, Use of aggression as mutual combat SAMPLE Obtained from a mailing list from a lesbian organization in Tucson, AZ and also through word of mouth in Phoenix, AZ. In the end, the sample used for analysis was 120 women who had been the target of at least one form of aggression (sexual, verbal/emotional, physical) and had used at least one form of aggression on an intimate partner (male or female, past or present. Problems: non-random sample: little generalizability, self-report data, self-selection METHODS 70 item self-administered questionnaire examining the history of victimization and use of aggression and perceptions on the use of aggression in current and past relationships Problems: Survey did not address the intent of the use of aggression other than to ask if its use was in self-defense FINDINGS of participants had been victims of aggression in current relationships, roughly 2/3 had been victimized by a previous male partner, and almost had experienced aggression by a previous female partner. Among the participants who reported having been both victims and users of aggression, 1/5 had used aggression in their current relationship, almost 1/3 used aggression with a previous male partner and nearly 2/3 used aggression with a previous female partner. A majority of victims who had used aggression with a previous male partner characterized it's use as self-defense, as compared to only about 30% of those who had used aggression with a female partner. Instead, aggressive relationships involving a female partner was most frequently described as mutually aggressive in nature. AUTHOR Lockhart et al., (1994) DV Measures of intimate violence Verbal Aggression Physical Violence 82
83 AUTHOR Lockhart et al., (1994) IV Social fusion: the degree to which partners balanced intimacy & autonomy without losing individuality Childhood victimization SAMPLE 284 women (from 400)= response rate of 71% Handed out surveys during a large regional music festival in the summer of 1989. Each respondent was or had been in a committed, co-habiting lesbian relationship. Problems: Generalizability Respondents demographically similar Non-random sample Reliability of data since study was retrospective Self selection for participation METHODS CTS Verbal Aggression Index Violence Index FINDINGS 90% of respondents had been recipients of verbal aggression from their intimate partners during the year prior to this investigation (Sulking/refusing to talk86%, and verbal insults/profanity 76%) One or more incidents of physical abuse were reported by 31% of the respondents (Pushing/grabbing/shoving78%) Triggered by power imbalance and or varying levels of interdependency and autonomy AUTHOR Waldner-Haugrud & Gratch (1997) DV Differences in sexual coercion IV Gender SAMPLE Snowball sampling through pride organizations and events 816 surveys were handed out with 306 returned for a response rate of 38% Problems: Non-random sample Self-report data METHODS Kinsey's continuum Questionnaire concerning sexual coercion FINDINGS More than half the sample (52%) reported at least one incident of sexual coercion
84 AUTHOR Waldner-Haugrud & Gratch (1997) Gay males experienced 1.6 incidents/pp lesbians experienced 1.2 incidents/pp Unwanted penetration was the largest outcome category with 55% of gay men and 50% of lesbians AUTHOR Poorman, Seelau & Seelau (2003) DV Sex effects/differences concerning severity (homosexual vs heterosexual battering) IV Perceived severity SAMPLE 171 undergraduate college students (43 M, 128 F) from Wisconsin Problems: Lack of generalizabilityconvenience sample, entire sample is heterosexual METHODS One page scenario describing a DV incident and accompanying questionnaire concerning said incident FINDINGS Male against female abuse considered to be more serious than same sex IPV Participants more likely to recommend that the victim press charges in male vs female DV than in same sex IPV Participants perceived same sex victims as less believable than heterosexual victims Victim believability was correlated with sentencing recommendations AUTHOR Madera & Toro-Alfonso (2005) DV Intergenerational Violence, Addictive Behaviors, Conflict Resolution Skills, and Acculturation IV Presence of abusive behavior among gay Puerto Ricans SAMPLE 302 Puerto Rican males (199 from PR, 103 from NY) 81% identified themselves as gay and 49% were in a committed relationship at the time of the study. Participants were recruited through gay service organizations use social networks and snowball strategies Problems: Self-report data, self-selection METHODS Survey is a self-administered questionnaire concerning acculturation, history of intergenerational abuse, compulsive behavior related to food, sex, drugs, alcohol, HIV status, DV behavior (physical, emotional, sexual abuse), conflict resolution skills (assertiveness vs. aggression) Problems: difficultly in the operationalization of the frequency of the incidents (low, med, high). Thus, decided on presence vs absence of abusive
85 AUTHOR Madera & Toro-Alfonso (2005) behaviors FINDINGS Close to half the participants experienced some kind of violence in their intimate relationships, had a history of intergenerational violence and identified several addictive behaviors in their families and in themselves, lacked adequate conflict resolution skills and were more apt to use violence AUTHOR Merrill & Wolfe (2000) DV Comparison of gay IPV to heterosexual and lesbian IPV IV Physical, emotional, sexual and financial abuse, Help seeking behaviors, Reasons for staying, Demographics SAMPLE Obtained through gay DV programs in SF, Boston, Dallas, LA and NY as well as through HIV related agencies 111 surveys administered, 52 returned More diverse sample than found in previous studies Problems: low response rate, convenience sample (42% of respondents were former clients of the researcher), response bias, representativeness-recruitment bias, self-report data METHODS Survey is self-administered with a focus on relationship data, physical, emotional, financial and sexual abuse, help seeking behavior, reasons for remaining in an abusive relationship, and demographics FINDINGS Gay men suffer from patterns, forms and frequencies of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse similar to that of heterosexual and lesbian women Likewise the reasons for staying: love and hope for change were also the same. Financial abuse was found to be a reason not to stay but HIV status was Like battered lesbians, battered gay men rarely seek assistance from shelters and perceive these agencies as not helpful AUTHOR Cruz (2003) DV Project was grounded in exploration and discovery rather than testing a hypothesis. Concepts of â€œviolenceâ€ and â€œabuseâ€ were not defined so that respondents themselves could report meanings IV SAMPLE 25 gay men who indicated previous experience with DV in a same sex relationship were interviewed via snowball sampling Contacts were made through a Dallas social service agency
86 AUTHOR Cruz (2003) Problems: representativeness, self-report data METHODS Semi-structured open-ended interview: Guide consisted of 25 questions in addition to demographic information. (The interview was audio taped) FINDINGS Respondents offered reasons for remaining in abusive relationships that mirrored reasons given by heterosexual women: financial dependence, love, hope for change, and fear of escalated violence. *Financial dependence was found here but contradicts the aforementioned finding by Merrill & Wolfe (2000) AUTHOR Turrell (2000) DV Physical, sexual, emotional and financial abuse Coercion, threat, shame and use of children for control IV Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual, Homosexual, Gay, Lesbian, Bisexuals and Transgendered SAMPLE Sample comprised of 499 participants: 227 (46%) Men, 265 (53%) Women 7 (1%) Male to Female transgendered Sexual orientation (Self-Identified): 39% lesbian, 11% gay woman, 43% gay men, 5% bisexual, 2% heterosexual Some what ethnically diverse sample (especially when looking at prior research) METHODS Self-administered survey with a response rate of 33% Survey sought demographic info, as well as behaviors that characterized emotional, sexual and physical abuses for past and present relationships Problems: retrospective data, self-report data, generalizability, non-random sample FINDINGS Physical violence was reported in 9% of current and 32% of past relationships 1% reported forced sex in a current relationship and 9% in past ones Emotional abuse was reported by 83% of the sample Women reported higher frequencies than men for being victims of physical abuse, coercion, shame, threats and use of children for control * This finding supports that of Waldner-Haugrud (1997) Higher income was correlated with increased threats, stalking, sexual, physical and financial abuse AUTHOR Craft & Serovich (2005) DV Exploratory study to examine the prevalence of IPV among gay men who are HIV+
87 AUTHOR Craft & Serovich (2005) IV Intergenerational transmission of family violence from family systems theory SAMPLE 51 gay men who are HIV+ Currently engaged in an intimate relationship with another man or had been within the past year Sample recruited through various HIV forums/conferences Paid $5 for participation Some-what ethnically diverse sample Problems: non-probability, convenience sample METHODS Self-administered survey Used revised CTS to measure prevalence of emotionally, sexually, and physically abusive behavior in the relationship Family of Origin Violence Scale (FOVS)Adapted by a study from Marshall & Rose (1988) was used to measure the intergenerational cycle of violence from the participant's family of origin FINDINGS Psychological abuse was most commonly reported type of violence Partial support was for for the hypothesized relationship between family of origin violence and subsequent violence in an intimate relationship AUTHOR Regan et al., (2002) DV Presence of psychological, physical or sexual aggression in relationship as victim or aggressor IV Childhood family violence Health related issues SAMPLE 300 participants: 91% self identified as gay and 9% identified as bisexual Some-what ethnically diverse sample Problems: Canadian census data does not include sexual orientation, representativeness of target sample cannot be inferred METHODS Telephone surveyrandom selection of householdswith follow up interview. Response rate 49% Problems: Excludes those without residential phone lines Also, measured physical violence through the CTS and CTS2 FINDINGS In total, 284 gay and bisexual men reported on perpetration of 14 violent acts in their intimate relationships both at any time in the past as well as during the past 12 months Problems: The model the researches chose to represent the data could not adequately explain the complex interaction between item characteristics and the characteristics of the sample AUTHOR Renzetti (1992) DV An examination of the prevalence and incidence of lesbian battering
88 AUTHOR Renzetti (1992) IV SAMPLE Sample comprised of 100 lesbians self-identified as victims of battering. Participants were recruited through ads in local and national newspapers and publications Problems: Self-report data, self-selection for participation, demographically similar backgroundlittle generalizability METHODS Self-administered survey which focused on personal attributes of the respondents and their batterers, as well as characteristics of their relationship and incidents and forms of battering 77 out of the 100 participants further volunteered for an interview and of that, 40 were actually interviewed FINDINGS Psychological abuse was the most commonly reported Physical violence was also reported with pushing/shoving (75%) and hitting (65%) 78% of the respondents indicated that they sought help Unlike heterosexual women, lesbians rarely used shelters or community programs, but instead relied heavily on friends and family members
APPENDIX B EXAMPLE OF A LEAD LETTER The University of Florida is conducting a study related to Health and Well-Being. You have been selected to participate in this study. If you agree to participate, you will need to participate in an interview. The information you provide during this interview session will lead to improvements in services for gay men and lesbian women. If you qualify to participate, we will pay you $50 for the interview session for your time and the expense of meeting with us. Please note that not everyone who calls will qualify for participation. If you call us to arrange this interview we will pay you an additional $5. You can contact us at 352-392-1025, extension 209. If we cannot answer the phone, but return your call you will still receive the extra $5. If we have not heard from you by next week, a member of our staff will call you to talk about your participation in the interviews. If you are willing to participate, at that time we will also arrange a convenient meeting time for the interview session. We look forward to speaking with you soon. 89
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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Ashley Taranto was born on June 18, 1983, in St.Petersburg, Florida. She grew up in St. Petersburg with her parents, Terry and Maryanne Taranto. She graduated from the International Baccalaureate Program at St.Petersburg High School in 2001. She went on to college at the University of Florida in fall of 2001. She received her B.A. in criminology and political science from the University of Florida in 2004. She continued her education by attending graduate school to pursue her master's degree in criminology. In graduate school, she befriended Dr. Angela Gover, who became her professor, mentor and friend. Dr. Gover chaired her thesis on same sex intimate partner violence. Ashley graduated with her Master of Arts degree in criminology in the spring of 2006. She plans on working in a non-profit organization that helps survivors of domestic violence. In her free time, Ashley enjoys riding her bike, playing soccer and watching movies. She enjoys being outdoors and likes to go camping or rock climbing. She is politically active and is a member of many local and national organizations. She enjoys traveling and hopes one day to travel to Japan, Turkey and Egypt. 95