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J Interpers Violence. 2014 Apr;29(6):1071-93. doi: 10.1177/0886260513506056. Epub 2013 Dec 16.

Processes and patterns in gay, lesbian, and bisexual sexual assault: a multimethodological assessment.

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Ball State University, Muncie, IN, USA.


Although prior research suggests that sexual minorities are at equivalent or greater risk of sexual assault compared with heterosexual women, few studies have examined simultaneously a broad array of assault types, the forms of force and pressure experienced, and the relative risks of experiencing different kinds of assault or force or pressure during an assault according to sex and sexual orientation. Moreover, very little is known about how subjective interpretations of assault may differ by sex and sexual orientation. We address these gaps using a multimethodological analysis of original survey data (N = 342) with a snowball oversample of sexual minority respondents. Quantitative results indicate that both sexual minority status and sex are predictive of increased assault risk of most assault types, but that most effects of sexual minority status are restricted to men. The probabilities of experiencing verbal pressure or physical force are largely uniform across categories. Qualitative analyses of open-ended questions suggest that men and women interpret the experience of assault differently, such that sexual minority men conceptualize their unwanted sexual experiences as "giving in" due to feelings of guilt or low self-worth, whereas women of all sexual orientations acquiesced because it was perceived to be easier or more practical than resisting. Theoretical implications and directions for future research are discussed.


GLBT; anything related to sexual assault; male victims; sexual assault

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