Bisexual women and gay men face higher rates of domestic violence, the Williams Institute, a UCLA gay think thank, has reported.

“Binge drinking and a history of psychological distress predicted intimate partner violence,” a UCLA press statement reads, “but these factors did not explain disparities between bisexual and heterosexual women or between gay and heterosexual men.”

L.A. Weekly recently addressed the state of health and well-being among gay men in the cover story “Gay Happiness, the New Frontier.”

The domestic violence findings were released in a new report by Naomi G. Goldberg and Ilan H. Meyer, senior scholar for public policy at the Williams Institute at UCLA. The study was published in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence.

“As Congress considers reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act and we reflect on Domestic Violence Awareness Month,” Goldberg says in press release, “our report's findings highlight that these issues also impact the LGBT community.”

The key findings include:

“Bisexual women had elevated risks of experiencing intimate partner violence compared with heterosexual women, lesbians and women who have sex with women over the course of the lives and in the past year. But, significantly, in 95 percent of intimate partner violence annual incidents reported by bisexual women, the perpetrator was a male intimate partner, indicating that the violence occurred outside a same-sex relationship.”


“Gay men had elevated risk of experiencing intimate partner violence compared with heterosexual and bisexual men, and men who have sex with men but do not identify as gay or bisexual. Almost all (97 percent) of the annual incidents of intimate partner violence incidents occurring to male victims involved a male intimate partner.”

Reasons for the higher rates are unclear, researchers said. In addition, previous studies had found that domestic violence rates among same-sex relationships and heterosexual relationships were similar. Meyer and Goldberg say their study was “more accurate.”

Read the full UCLA report.

Contact Patrick Range McDonald at

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