Incidence and Outcomes of Dating Violence Victimization Among High School Youth: The Role of Gender and Sexual Orientation

Katie M Edwards
Journal of Interpersonal Violence 2018, 33 (9): 1472-1490
The purpose of this study was to examine rates of dating violence (DV) victimization and DV victimization outcomes as a function of sex and sexual orientation. Participants were 25,122 high school students who participated in the 2013 New Hampshire Youth Risk Behavior Survey study. Heterosexual youth, especially heterosexual male youth, were less likely to report experiencing physical and sexual DV victimization than lesbian, gay, bisexual, and questioning (LGBQ) girls and boys. Among LGBQ girls and boys, there was little variability in rates of DV victimization with the exception of questioning boys being significantly more likely to experience physical and sexual DV victimization than several other LGBQ sub-groups. Furthermore, LGBQ DV victims reported worse outcomes than heterosexual DV victims on measures of depression, binge drinking, and poor academic performance. At the sub-group level, bisexual and questioning female victims were most at risk for depression; bisexual and questioning male victims were most at risk for binge drinking; bisexual male victims were most at risk for poor academic performance. The findings underscore the importance of better understanding variability in DV incidence and outcomes within the LGBQ population and using this information to inform clinical intervention and prevention efforts.

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