Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a prevalent and pressing public health concern that affects people of all gender and sexual identities. Though studies have identified that male couples may experience IPV at rates as high as or higher than women in heterosexual partnerships, the body of literature addressing this population is still nascent. This study recruited 160 male-male couples in Atlanta, Boston, and Chicago to independently complete individual surveys measuring demographic information, partner violence experience and perpetration, and individual and relationship characteristics that may shape the experience of violence. Forty-six percent of respondents reported experiencing IPV in the past year. Internalized homophobia significantly increased the risk for reporting experiencing, perpetrating, or both for any type of IPV. This study is the first to independently gather data on IPV from both members of male dyads and indicates an association between internalized homophobia and risk for IPV among male couples. The results highlight the unique experiences of IPV in male-male couples and call for further research and programmatic attention to address the exorbitant levels of IPV experienced within some of these partnerships.
Keywords: Intimate partner violence; internalized homophobia; men who have sex with men.