BEYOND THE PROTOTYPICAL: DEVELOPING A BEHAVIORAL SCREENING TOOL OF SAME-GENDER MALE INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE
In the United States, intimate partner violence (IPV) is estimated to be among the top three health issues impacting gay and bisexual males. Previous studies of IPV prevalence in this population result in epidemiological inconsistencies largely due to unreliable measurement. Behavioral tools employed in research and in clinical settings often apply a heterosexist and prototypical model to IPV screening; thereby, failing to contextualize occurrences of violence in a same-gender IPV relationship. Despite the estimated impact of IPV among gay/bisexual men, no known literature has attempted to create a behavioral screening tool that accounts for contextual factors in same-gender relationships characterized by IPV.
The current study determined the essential theoretical constructs of a clinical screening tool for males involved in same-gender IPV relationships. Two groups of key informants participated in the study – men who have been in same-gender relationships involving partner violence (MSRV) and community mental health providers (MHP) with varying degrees of experience treating this population. Qualitative data collection and analyses occurred in four stages, and were informed by a participatory action research framework. Key informants provided insights regarding how they defined same-gender IPV, their experiences screening or being screened for same-gender IPV, their recommendations for the effective screening of IPV in MSRV, and (in the final stage) feedback related to the preliminary screening tool’s content, format, and structure. Future research should focus on adapting this tool for research purposes.