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Aggress Behav. 2008 Sep-Oct;34(5):475-85. doi: 10.1002/ab.20264.

Relational aggression and victimization in gay male relationships: the role of internalized homophobia.

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Department of Criminal Justice, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan 48202, USA.


This article presents two studies that are the first to examine relational aggression and relational victimization in gay male peer relationships. A qualitative pilot study provides a strong rationale for a subsequent empirical investigation of 100 young adult, self-identified gay males. Results of both studies demonstrate that relational aggression and relational victimization are common experiences in gay male relationships. They also reveal forms of relational aggression and victimization that appear to be unique to gay males (e.g., outing). Results of the empirical study found significant relations between engaging in relational aggression against gay males and experiencing relational victimization and between experiencing relational victimization and internalized homophobia. However, there was no significant correlation between internalized homophobia and engaging in relational aggression. A multiple regression analysis found that experiencing relational victimization was correlated more strongly with the combination of engaging in relational aggression and internalized homophobia together than with relational aggression alone. Results are discussed within the framework of Allport's "traits due to victimization" theory and Meyer's theory of "minority stress." Implications for the prevention of relational aggression/victimization in gay male relationships are offered.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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