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Intimate Partner Violence Among Men Who Have Sex With Men: A Systematic Review

Catherine Finneran and Rob Stephenson

Trauma, Violence, & Abuse

April 2013, vol. 14, no. 2, 168-185



This article presents results from a systematic review of the literature on intimate partner violence (IPV) among U.S. men who have sex with men (MSM). From 576 reviewed studies, a total of 28 met inclusion criteria and were included in the analysis. The population characteristics of each study, definitions of IPV, prevalences of different forms of IPV, and statistically tested correlates of IPV are summarized for each study. The results indicate that all forms of IPV occur among MSM at rates similar to or higher than those documented among women, although data on perpetration rates of IPV are scant, and consensus as to IPV correlates among MSM is absent. This review also finds significant limitations in the reviewed literature, notably the lack of a standardized, validated definition of IPV among MSM; use of unspecific recall periods for IPV; a lack of attention to nonphysical, nonsexual forms of IPV; and near-universal use of cross-sectional, convenience samples of urban MSM. Researchers should develop and validate an MSM-specific definition of IPV, use more rigorous epidemiological methods to measure IPV and its effects, and clarify the mental and physical health outcomes associated with both receipt and perpetration of IPV.



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