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Violence Vict. 2008;23(1):98-114.

Intimate partner homicide methods in heterosexual, gay, and lesbian relationships.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Florida Atlantic University, Davie 33314, USA. kmize1@fau.edu


Previous research indicates that the killing method used in homicides may reflect the motivation of the offender and qualities of the victim-offender relationship. The effect of gender and sexual orientation of intimate partner homicide offenders (N = 51,007) was examined with respect to the brutality of killing methods. Guided by previous research and theory, it was hypothesized that homicide brutality will vary with the offender's sexual orientation and gender, such that the percentage of killings coded as brutal will be higher for (a) gay and lesbian relative to heterosexual relations, (b) men relative to women, (c) gay relative to heterosexual men, and (d) lesbian relative to heterosexual women. The rates of intimate partner homicide were also hypothesized to vary with the gender of the partners, such that (a) homicide rates will be higher in gay relative to heterosexual and lesbian couples and (b) homicide rates will be lowest in lesbian couples. The results support all but one prediction derived from the two hypotheses. We predicted that men would kill their partners more brutally than would women, but the results indicate that the opposite is true.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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