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Conflict resolution in gay male relationships Landolt, Monica A. 1995

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CONFLICT RESOLUTION IN GAY MALE RELATIONSHIPS by Monica A. Landolt B.A. (Honours), Queen's University, 1993 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE D E G R E E OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of Psychology) We acceptlhis thesis as conforming to/fne re<!|ujredjstandard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA September 1995 © Monica A. Landolt In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada DE-6 (2/88) ii Abstract A study was conducted to investigate the nature and dynamics of gay male intimate abuse in a self-selected sample of 52 couples. Three empirical questions were posed: 1) What is the frequency of physical abuse in this sample as compared to heterosexual norms? 2) Does psychological abuse vary as a function of relationship power style? 3) What is the relationship between the Abusive Personality Structure ( Dutton, 1994) and psychological abuse? Physical abuse rates in the gay sample were found to be higher than heterosexual norms, a result discussed primarily in terms of differential access gay men have to social support. Psychological abuse was significantly higher in relationships characterized by divided power, a finding interpreted in terms of the ambiguity gay men face in defining relationship roles. It is suggested that good verbal/negotiating skills are especially necessary in these relationships for an adequate expression of interpersonal power needs. Finally, a relationship between psychological abuse and the Abusive Personality Structure was clearly observed in this sample, consistent with Dutton and Starzomski's (1993) work with both heterosexual wife batterers and heterosexual men not formally identified as assaultive (Dutton, 1994). General conclusions are drawn regarding the transcendence of intimate abuse across lines of sexual orientation, and limitations are discussed. T A B L E O F C O N T E N T S Abstract Table of Contents... List of Tables List of Figures Acknowledgements Introduction Review of the Gay Male Coupling Research 2 The Issue of Domestic Violence 4 A Review of the Heterosexual Domestic Violence Literature: The Patriarchy Perspective 7 Effeminacy and the Gay Male 9 The Pattern of Most Gay Male Relationships 11 The Abusive Personality Structure and Male Assault of Women 14 A Review of Attachment Theory 16 Beyond Attachment Theory: The Relationship Between Childhood Experiences and The Abusive Personality Structure 20 Research Questions 22 Method 23 Participants 23 Materials 23 Design and Procedure 29 Results 31 Frequency of Abuse 32 The Relationship Between Psychological Abuse and Decision-making Power 32 The Relationship Between Psychological Abuse and The Abusive Personality Structure 33 Discussion 35 iv General Conclusions 42 Limitations and Future Considerations 44 References 47 Tables 61 Figures 65 Appendices 67 Appendix A: General Information Sheet 67 Appendix B: BPO Scale 68 Appendix C: MAI Scale 70 Appendix D: RSQ Scale 73 Appendix E: EMBU Scale 75 Appendix F: MPS Scale 79 Appendix G: C T S Scale 80 Appendix H: Kasian & Painter Scale 81 Appendix I: Self-Reported Ethnicity for the Entire Sample 84 Appendix J: Example of the Advertisement 85 Appendix K: Suggestions for the Reduction of Volunteer Bias 86 Appendix L: Debriefing Form 87 LIST OF T A B L E S 1. Participant Scores on the Psychological Maltreatment Inventory 2. Omnibus Analysis of Variance for Relationship Power Categories 3. Correlations of Abuse Measures with Total Scores on Other Measures. 4. Step-wise Multiple Regression Analyses of Independent Variables and Psychological Abuse LIST O F FIGURES The Centrality of BPO in a Sample of Gay Males vii Acknowledgments First, I would like to thank the participants of my study who graciously opened up their relationships to investigation. I would also like to thank my committee members, Tannis MacBeth and Dan Perlman, for their sincere support and helpful comments. Of course, I am indebted to my advisor, Don Dutton, for his guidance and patience; I both appreciate and have benefited greatly from the autonomy he has allowed me as a researcher. I would like to extend a broad thank you to my pillars of support within the Kenny building: Christine Stager, Cynthia van Ginkel, Adam DiPaula, and Ken Hemphill, as well to my supportive non-psychology circle of friends. Finally, I would like to thank my family for their unfailing faith and grounding influence. Introduction Within the social sciences there is a strong empirical interest in the relationship between healthy, intimate, heterosexual relationships and individual well-being and quality of life (e.g., Berscheid, 1993; Gottman & Levenson, 1992; Kelley, Berscheid, Christensen, Harvey, Huston, Levinger, McClitock, Peplau, & Peterson, 1983). The social sciences however, have been relatively delinquent in their realization that gay and lesbian intimate relationships are also an important area of study.1 The aim of this research is to investigate factors which may inhibit the development and maintenance of satisfying relationships among a self-selected sample of gay male couples, focusing primarily on issues of domestic discord and accompanying abuse. Moreover, while research on gay relationships is intrinsically valid, a benefit of this research is that one can attain a greater understanding of intimate relationships in general, as well as develop a model of domestic violence that transcends the boundaries of sexual orientation. Before discussing conflict in gay couples, a basic knowledge of gay relationships is necessary. One must be cognizant of the nature and dynamics of healthy gay relationships before one can gain insight into factors that may contribute to gay male domestic violence. 1 While evidence of gay coupling first emerged in the 18th century, historically most gay research failed to investigate the normative dynamics of gay relationships in favor of focusing on the 'deviant nature' of homosexuality. Dynes (1987) corroborates this perspective in his thorough review of the extant gay and lesbian literature. He found that of 5,000 citations, only 36 looked at gay and lesbian coupling. Gay Male Domestic Violence 2 Review of the Gay Male Coupling Research For many, the existence of a stable, long-term relationship may be incongruous with their stereotype of the gay male lifestyle. Some may tolerate the idea that lesbian couples have long-term intimate relationships, and they would not be incorrect.2 Research does indicate that being in a committed relationship is somewhat more characteristic of lesbian relationships than gay male relationships (Peplau & Gordon, 1983; Saghir & Robins, 1973). Indeed, in surveys, over 75% of lesbians report they are in a committed relationship (Peplau, 1993). Nonetheless, surveys also indicate that between 40 and 60% of gay males are involved in committed relationships (Bell & Weinberg, 1978; Harry, 1983; Peplau, 1993). The meaning of the statement "long-term relationship" is, of course, relative. Whereas, an adolescent may consider a two month relationship to be an eternity, this view would probably not be shared by most married couples. However, there is congruency between heterosexual cohabiting couples and gay male couples in what duration constitutes a long-term relationship. In fact, McWhirter and Mattison (1984) conducted a study of 156 gay male couples and found that relationship length ranged from one to 37 years with the mean relationship lasting 8.9 years (see also Raphel & Robson, 1984; Silverstein, 1981). This can be compared to Dutton, Landolt, and Starzomski's (1995) finding that in a sample of 42 2 In their study, Landolt, Lalumiere, and Quinsey (1995) confirm that compared to men, women are much more interested in commitment and long-term relationships. Therefore, a lesbian relationship may be seen as an extreme manifestation of this commitment orientation (Oberstone and Sukonek, 1975, cited in Tripp, 1975; Symons, 1980). Gay Male Domestic Violence 3 heterosexual couples, the mean relationship length was four and a half years. 3 In a similar vein, Blumstein and Schwartz (1983) found that gay male couples and cohabiting heterosexual couples had an approximately equal likelihood of breaking up. 4 A number of studies have compared heterosexual couples with gay and lesbian couples and found that across all groups, relationship quality was surprisingly similar (e.g., Duffy & Rusbult, 1986). With regard to gay male relationships, the evidence reveals that these couples are generally well-adjusted (Cardell, Finn, & Marecek, 1981), satisfied with their relationships (Kurdek & Schmitt, 1986), experience high levels of love and liking for their partners (Peplau, 1983), and have cohesive, affectionate relationships (Dailey, 1979). Laner (1977) asked lesbian, gay, and heterosexual couples to rank nine possible relationship goals, and found that all groups ranked affection, personal development, and communication as the most important goals sought in a relationship. As well, individuals in all groups stated that the most important partner qualities were honesty, affection and intelligence. Thus, it appears to be the case that gay male relationships are not as aberrant as some might like to believe. Rather, they generally appear to be stable, healthy, happy unions. 3The mean age of participants in the McWhirter and Mattison (1984) study is 37.5 years. The mean age in the Dutton, Landolt, and Starzomski (1995) study is 29 years for the women and 31 years for the men. Thus, it appears to be the case that there is very little difference between the two samples in terms of relationship length. 4 Blumstein and Schwartz (1983) report that of married, heterosexual cohabitors, gay men, and lesbians, the latter group (lesbians) had the highest dissolution rate overall (even greater than the dissolution rate among gay men). Moreover, gay male couples and heterosexual married couples who were together for ten years or more had identical relationship dissolution rates (4%). Gay Male Domestic Violence 4 Given that the quality of gay male relationships does not appear to differ greatly from that observed in heterosexual couples, it should not be surprising that the likelihood of problems in intimate relationships is the same irrespective of sexual orientation. The corollary is that inevitably, most gay relationships will experience periods of tension and discord. Of course, while the likelihood of problems may be the same, the type of problems experienced by gay and heterosexual couples may differ given that they each are exposed to a different set of relationship pressures (Peplau, 1993). Clearly, the heterosexual married union receives social, economic, and legal sanctioning which is not afforded to gay and lesbian couples. This systemic lack of social support and recognition may affect the type of pressure experienced by gay males and lesbians. However, heterosexual couples also have different problems that may not be as typically associated with gay male unions such as pressures of children (Bell & Weinberg, 1978). The Issue of Domestic Violence Just as in some heterosexual relationships conflict escalates and is manifested in verbal insult and physical violence, it is also the case that domestic assault occurs in gay male relationships. In fact, domestic violence is the third largest health problem facing gay males today following AIDS and substance abuse (Island & Letellier, 1991). Domestic violence estimates in this population vary from 18% (Bologna, Waterman, & Dawson, 1987) to 62% (Snow, 1992). However, as no empirical research has been published to date on domestic violence among gay Gay Male Domestic Violence 5 men, these numbers must be treated with a certain degree of caution (Letellier, 1994). It is interesting to note that a few studies investigating partner assault in lesbian relationships are available. For example, Brand and Kidd (1986) found that in a sample of 55 lesbians, 25% had been physically abused by their partners while in a committed relationship. Lie, Schilit, Bush, Montague and Reyes (1991) found that in a self-selected sample of 1109 lesbians, 24.7% of the women had been victimized by a lover/partner and an additional 26.3% of the sample had been both a victim and a perpetrator of abuse (although the authors do state that this reciprocal violence could very well be a result of self-defense rather then overt perpetration of assault). Finally, Renzetti (1988, 1992) studied 100 lesbian victims of partner assault and found violence in the relationship increased in frequency and severity over time; 77% of the women experienced at least one incident of violence within the first six months of the relationship. Renzetti asserts that the pattern or cycle of violence often referred to in the heterosexual literature (e.g., Walker, 1979; 1984) is also experienced in lesbian domestic violence. The previous lack of interest in the issue of gay male domestic violence by social scientists should not be used as an index of the research's merit. Indeed, gay men who experience abuse at the hands of their intimate partner are placed in an even greater bind than their female heterosexual and/or lesbian counterparts. In the latter two cases, women's shelters and accessible, affordable counseling Gay Male Domestic Violence 6 services are available.5 Similarly, court-mandated treatment programs are available for heterosexual but not gay men. Moreover, as with all males in our society, gay men are socialized with the belief that part of being masculine is to be invulnerable; the gay man who admits he is a victim of domestic violence is burdened by a compounded stereotype; not only is he labeled a victim but he may also be forced to acquiesce to the fallacious stereotype that gay men are effeminate and weak (Island & Letellier, 1991). Similarly, our society has not historically shown much tolerance for same-sex relationships. It is not difficult to realize that primarily male institutions such as the police force may not be particularly sensitive to the plight of the gay male victim (Smith, 1993). Gay males may also be reluctant to come forward and admit they are victims of domestic violence because to do so might require that they publicly admit they are gay, placing the man who is not fully out of the proverbial closet in a difficult position (Laframboise, 1993). In this regard, the gay male is sequestered twice, once by the closet that conceals domestic violence and once by the closet that hides sexual orientation. Gay male domestic violence is, then, a grave issue shrouded in silence. However, no insight can be gained, no policies can be developed, and no treatment programs can be adequately established, until a systematic study of the factors associated with gay male domestic violence is undertaken. Given the paucity of empirical research on gay male domestic violence, a logical starting place in any 5 Some lesbian women report that while women's shelters may be available this does not mean that they are openly hospitable places for lesbians (e.g., Elliott, 1990; Lobel, 1986). Gay Male Domestic Violence 7 such investigation is to review the relevant theoretical literature on heterosexual domestic violence. This is especially true since gay male domestic violence necessarily involves men and the plethora of heterosexual research focuses on the male as the primary perpetrator of assault (e.g., Dobash & Dobash, 1979; Bograd, 1988). A Review of the Heterosexual Domestic Violence Literature: The Patriarchy Perspective A substantive body of research investigating heterosexual domestic violence follows from gender-based theories that place the root of assault in the patriarchal structure of society (e.g., Yllo & Straus, 1990; Smith, 1990). Wife assault is not seen as an anomalous event transpiring only in the most dysfunctional families, but rather is understood as a systemic manifestation of male perceived right of dominance over women (Bograd, 1988; Dobash & Dobash, 1979; Walker, 1989). Indeed, in their nationally representative sample of 2,143 couples, Coleman and Straus (1986) found that male-dominant couples had the highest rate of conflict and that there was a concomitant high violence risk in those couples characterized by such a power-imbalance.6 6 It is also essential to realize that a similar pattern of conflict and violence (albeit to a lesser degree) was observed in female-dominant relationships (Coleman & Straus, 1986). Moreover, Gelles and Straus (1988) report that the rate of husband-to-wife- violence was 113 per 1000 as compared to the wife-to-husband violence rate which was 121 per 1000 couples. However, while it is not readily apparent given the restrictions of survey data, Hamberger and Potente (1995) do assert that this wife-to-husband violence rate should be interpreted in terms of retaliation or self-defense. Furthermore, Saunders (1988) affirms that when women do use violence it is more likely to be against a violent partner then a non-violent partner, and that self-defense or retaliation do not correlate with initiation of attack. Of course, the outcome generated by female to male abuse is markedly different than that generated by male to female abuse. It is typically the case that male assault results in more serious injury (Browne, 1992). Gay Male Domestic Violence 8 A problem implicit in the patriarchal perspective on wife abuse is that it only recognizes male violence perpetrated against women, thus it fails to adequately address the conflict dynamic in same-sex relationships (Letellier, 1994). Some researchers do acknowledge the patriarchal perspective's failure to accommodate the gay victim's experience; their reconciliation strategy has been to impose a heterosexual gender-based model onto gay relationships thereby assuming that within such couples, there is an assigned masculine "husband" (most probably the perpetrator of abuse) and a corresponding "wife" or effeminate gay male (who is most probably the victim of abuse) (e.g., Martin, 1976). However, in an unpublished study investigating abuse in gay male and lesbian couples, Kelly and Warshafsky (1987) find that neither a strong masculine, feminine, or androgynous gender role identity (as measured by the Personal Attributes Questionnaire; Spence and Helmrich, 19??) is related to use of aggression in relationship conflicts. It is only an undifferentiated, or unclear gender role identity that is related to aggression. This imposition of heterosexual gender roles onto gay male relationships is not specific to the issue of domestic violence but is replete throughout the gay and lesbian literature (e.g., Peplau & Gordon, 1983; Risman & Schwartz, 1988). Interestingly, Harry (1976) has charted the development of this "butch/femme" representation in the gay male literature. He contends that the butch/femme dynamic was based on male-female role stereotypes projected onto gay couples through the writings of various psycho-dynamic authors (e.g., Bieber et al., 1962) Gay Male Domestic Violence 9 and thereby given theoretical legitimacy, with the final result being the clear adoption of the notion in conventional thinking. This question of the effeminate gay male is perplexing since gay male domestic violence would be easier to understand if it could be framed in terms of entrenched gender roles. However, much research indicates that gay male effeminacy is more of a stereotype than a reality. Indeed, disarming the notion of the effeminate gay male is essential to the present discussion because this stereotype occludes proper investigation into the actual factors behind gay male domestic violence. Effeminacy and the Gay Male As with most stereotypes there is a "kernel of truth" to the effeminate gay male stereotype. This has more to do with the fact that based on retrospective self-reports, one of the best predictors of adult same-sex proclivity in men is the absence of typical masculine behaviors in childhood (Bell, Weinberg, & Hammersmith, 1981). Using the terminology of researchers Saghir and Robins (1973), compared to heterosexual males, a great majority of gay males studied (67%) exhibit a "sissy syndrome" in childhood. However, evidence of childhood femininity in gay males is not sufficient to sustain the effeminate gay male stereotype, particularily given the pervasive finding that the majority of gay males (even those who are particularly cross-gendered in childhood) defeminize by adulthood (e.g., Whitam, 1977; Saghir & Robins, 1973), primarily as a reaction to persistent social and familial pressure (Harry, 1982). Indeed, Harry (1982) Gay Male Domestic Violence 10 conducted a reasonably representative study of 1,556 urban gay men and found that 46% defeminized, 25% were never effeminate, 26% of the men were persistently effeminate, and 3% newly effeminate (see also Bell et al., 1981 and Kelly & Warshafsky, 1987 for similar findings).7 Furthermore, most studies of adult gay men using sex-role inventories (e.g., BSRI; Bern, 1974) find that they are more likely to be classified as androgynous, than to fit into either the dichotomous masculinity or femininity categories (Pillard, 1991; Pillard & Weinrich, 1987; Jones 6 DeCecco, 1983; Kurdek & Schmitt, 1986). It is accurate to say that effeminacy may be more characteristic of gay men than heterosexual men, but, the majority of gay men are not effeminate.8 This is also not to say that effeminacy should be equated with a desire to be female. In fact, femininity and effeminacy are actually two distinct and separate phenomena (Tripp, 1975). While a minority of gay male may be effeminate, virtually all gay men deny any interest in being females (Harry, 1982). Moreover, as Harry (1984) asserts, most effeminate gay men are tough individuals who are high in self-esteem, dominance, and competitiveness. Indeed, being a gender non-conformist requires a certain amount of personal fortitude, especially since within the gay community there is actually a general disdain for effeminacy (Harry, 1982; Tripp, 1975). Given this finding that most gay men are not effeminate, ergo, most gay 7 Given the fact that preference for same-sex intimacy is not fully sanctioned by society, it is extremely difficult to access a truly representative sample of gay men. Morin (1977) confirms that "there is no such thing as a representative sample of lesbians and gay men" (cited in Peplau & Gordon, 1983). 8 Effeminacy has also been associated with the developmental process of "coming out" or asserting one's self-identity as being gay. On average gay males attain full realization of their sexual preference at age 19 or 20 (Harry & Devall, 1978). Thus, "camping/swishing" or in laypersons terms, exaggerated femininity, may be used as a cue to self and others of one's newly declared sexuality (Tripp, 1975). Gay Male Domestic Violence 11 couples do not include a "functional" wife: what is the most prevalent relationship pattern in gay male relationships? More specifically, how frequently does heterosexual role playing occur in gay male relationships? The Pattern of Most Gay Male Relationships Currently there are three areas of research investigating masculine-feminine role playing in gay male relationships which include: sexual behavior, household division of labor, and decision making. In terms of sexual behavior, Harry (1984) reports that in his sample of 1,556 gay men, sexual reciprocity was the norm; therefore, performing sexual acts such as anal intercourse was positively correlated with receiving anal intercourse. Further, Harry (1976) reports that most gay men enjoy a wide repertoire of sexual acts which allow for both active and passive roles. In terms of household division of labor, Bell and Weinberg (1978) report that 61% of their gay male sample said they equally shared chores. Moreover, 90% of this same sample reported that one partner did not consistently do all the feminine-typed tasks or masculine-typed tasks. Finally, Peplau and Cochran (1990) report that 95% of gay men in their study supported the statement, "ideally, partners should share equally in power". Ironically (but probably typical of most relationships irrespective of sexual preference), only half of these men confirmed that their relationship actually lived up to the ideal. When it did occur in gay male relationships, power imbalance was attributed to predictable differences in personal resources such as education, income and age (Caldwell & Peplau, 1980; Harry & Devall, 1978). Gay Male Domestic Violence 12 Thus, there is general consensus in the literature that male/female role playing in gay male relationships is the exception rather than the norm. When it does occur within a relationship, it is usually for a limited duration of time and is typically associated with a change in the relationship due to illness or unemployment. In fact, Saghir and Robins (1973) report that only 17% of gay men in their study engaged in domestic role playing for three months or longer. Moreover, those couples who do engage in this type of behavior are typically older and rely on a relationship script that predates the advent of homophile organizations and gay liberation (Peplau & Gordon, 1983).9 Harry (1984) contends that homogamous selection is the key defining characteristic of most gay male relationships; individuals are attracted to partners who have a similar degree of masculinity or femininity. Thus, butch/butch or femme/femme relationships are more likely than the supposed butch/femme pattern. One gay man in the Saghir and Robins (1973) study confirms this in his statement, "When I am asked who is the husband and who is the wife, I would say we're a couple of happily married husbands". Kelly and Warshafsky (1987) report findings that generally concur with this homogamous selection hypothesis. In their sample of gay and lesbian couples, cross sex pairing (couples including both a masculine and a feminine partner) was very rare. While 36% of their subjects shared a similar sex role identity with their partner, in most cases crossing was between a male role, or to a lesser extent female role (26% of the gay male sample 9 Marecek, Finn, and Cardell (1982) confirm that an objective of the Gay Liberation Movement is to actively encourage relationships which are distinct from those of heterosexual couples. Gay Male Domestic Violence 13 were effeminate) with an androgynous or undifferentiated sex role. Finally, Harry (1984) asserts that "best friends" rather than husband and wife is the best way to characterize the majority of gay male relationships. Given the assumption that the primary relationship pattern of coupled gay males is egalitarian-friendship, and the reported finding that masculine/feminine role playing is not typical of such relationships; one might conclude (albeit prematurely) that domestic violence is incompatible with the image of the gay male relationship. Indeed, one could argue that because both partners share a similar socialization and perspective (demonstrated by homogamous selection), there might be a concomitant harmony in the relationship that is not experienced by heterosexual couples (Peplau & Gordon, 1983). However, the egalitarian nature of gay male relationships can be contrasted with Symons' (1980) assertion that, "in homosexuality, we see male and female sexuality in its purest, uncompromised form". Assuming that gay men are biologically male and culturally conditioned as such (Reece & Segrist, 1982), one could extend this proposition and argue that gay males confronting conflict in their relationship respond in a way typical of men, recalling that in heterosexual relationships it is the men who are most often the perpetrators of damaging physical abuse. Thus, one must be amenable to the idea that gay male domestic violence may occur at an even greater frequency than heterosexual domestic violence. Indeed, Island and Letellier (1991) assert that because two males are necessarily involved in a gay male relationship (and either man has the same ^ Gay Male Domestic Violence 14 probability of being a batterer), the probability of gay male domestic violence is double the probability of that in a heterosexual couple. So one is placed at a cross-roads in understanding gay male domestic violence. The extant statistics reported above (recall that domestic violence estimates in this population vary between 18% and 62%) must be contrasted with the fact that the majority of gay couples are characterized by equality and friendship. Thus, it is important to return to the heterosexual domestic violence literature which primarily emphasizes factors associated with the male as batterer, in the hope of delineating factors which may clarify this disturbing contradiction in the gay male population. The Abusive Personality Structure and Male Assault of Women A promising line of research investigating heterosexual domestic violence reveals that 80% to 90% of men in treatment for wife abuse have diagnosable personality disorders (Hamberger & Hastings, 1986, 1991; Hart, Dutton & Newlove, 1993). This rate is striking given that the rate of personality pathology found in the general population is only 15-20% (Kernberg, 1977; Zimmerman & Coryell, 1989). Interestingly, Island and Letellier (1991) also implicate psychopathology as a causal factor in gay male domestic violence. However, their presumption is not based on empirical research, but rather on clinical and anecdotal evidence. In fact, Island and Letellier are quite adamant that the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual include an Abusive Personality category that characterizes the cognitive and behavioral patterns of intimate batterers, which is Gay Male Domestic Violence 15 separate and distinct from prevailing diagnostic categories such as Anti-Social Personality or Sadistic Personality Disorder (Island & Letellier, 1991). More specifically, Dutton and Starzomski (1993) report that Borderline Personality Organization (BPO; Oldham et al., 1985) is a central feature in a constellation of individual factors exhibited by heterosexual males convicted for partner abuse. According to a comprehensive research programme conducted by Dutton et al., the constellation can be aptly described as an "abusive personality" structure (see Dutton, 1994; Dutton, Starzomski & Ryan, in press) since personality variables account for an impressive amount of the variance in partners' reports of psychological abuse, and to a lesser extent, physical abuse. Perhaps even more relevant to present investigation, this constellation was also predictive of psychological abuse in a group of heterosexual males nor formally identified as abusive (Dutton, 1994). Therefore, it is important to note that Island and Letellier's (1991) anecdotal findings among gay men are highly consonant with the Dutton et al. (1994) empirical research conducted with heterosexual samples. BPO, the central component in the Dutton constellation can be characterized by: 1) a proclivity for intense, unstable interpersonal relationships expressed in intermittent undermining of the significant other, manipulation and masked dependency. 2) An unstable sense of self with an intolerance of being alone and abandonment anxiety; and 3) intense anger, demandingness and impulsivity, usually tied to substance abuse or promiscuity (Gunderson, 1984). BPO is Gay Male Domestic Violence 16 understood in terms of a continuum with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) at one extreme pole. Silverstein (1988) suggests that BPD may be more prevalent among gay men primarily because for some, the development of identity in a gay individual can be grossly impaired both by self, and other's negative attitudes regarding homosexuality (Harry, 1984; 1989). Indeed, recall that many gay males report childhood experiences that differ from those of heterosexual males on key dimensions such as effeminacy, and that defeminization only occurs in late adolescence due to social pressure. Therefore, it is not inconceivable that this childhood environment could contribute to self-hatred (internalized homophobia) resulting in a more precarious sense of self and hence, a greater proclivity for Borderline Personality Organization. A Review of Attachment Theory As previously stated, abandonment anxiety is one of the constituent elements of BPO. This form of anxiety is specific to interpersonal relationships. Thus it would make sense to briefly review the intimate attachment literature. Just as the study of close relationships is becoming quite popular in the social sciences, so too has there been an increased interest in attachment theory. However, interest in attachment dates back to John Bowlby's 1951 address to the World Health Organization (WHO) on maternal separation and subsequent delinquency. Questions raised by Bowlby in his address propelled him into a 20 year research Gay Male Domestic Violence 17 program where he eventually developed a comprehensive theory of child/caregiver attachment which in turn has generated new theories of adult intimate attachment. The major precepts of Bowlby's theory are that infants in their first two to three years of life evolve behaviors that function to maintain proximity with caregivers. Any real or perceived obstacle to proximity maintenance results in anxiety which in turn activates attachment behaviors designed to re-establish contact with the caregiver (Hazan & Shaver, 1994). Faced with even a short period of separation, Bowlby observed children going through a protest stage which involves crying, active searching and resistance to placation by anyone other then the caregiver; followed by a despair stage characterized by passivity and sadness, and finally the detachment stage where the child ceases his or her emotional investment in the caregiver. The eventual attachment pattern of a given child then, is a result of a continual interaction between the primary caregiver's response and the child's response to anxiety provoking situations. Importantly, these attachment patterns become most salient during periods of anxiety or uncertainty (this also true in the case of adult attachment, as is clarified below). Given that the attachment style a child develops is an interaction between the primary caregiver and the child, individual differences in general child attachment patterns make intuitive sense. In fact, three different attachment styles (e.g., Secure, Anxious/Ambivalent and Anxious/Avoidant) were observed by Gay Male Domestic Violence 18 Ainsworth, Blehar, Waters, and Wall (1978) using their well-known strange-situation paradigm. 1 0 Bowlby, however, did not limit his theory of attachment solely to that of the child/caregiver relationship. Rather, he stated that attachment was so integral to human development that it persisted "from the cradle to the grave" (Bowlby, 1979). Subsequent researchers have investigated the connection between primary attachment styles in childhood and attachment in intimate adult relationships. These researchers have found that the patterns or responses children exhibit when facing anxiety evoking stimuli in their primary relationship (typically mother/child) are often maintained in adult intimate relationships (Dutton, Saunders, Starzomski, & Bartholomew, 1994). Bartholomew and colleagues have developed a comprehensive four category typology of adult attachment that neatly delineates the varying response styles of adults when they are in intimate relationships (Bartholomew, 1990; Bartholomew & Horowitz, 1991). Bartholomew's model is rooted in the two dimensions of positive/negative self-regard and positive/negative other-regard. Specifically, this model includes: Secure, Preoccupied, Dismissing and Fearful attachment styles. Note that the following attachment patterns are a result of the different forms of child/caregiver interactions: 1) Secure: Caregivers are consistently available and responsive. These children may experience distress when the primary caregiver leaves but they are comforted by his or her return and are able to engage in active exploration while the caregiver is present. 2) Anxious/Ambivalent: Caregivers appear to be inconsistent in their response to the child. As a result these children appear to be anxious and angry and are preoccupied with their caregivers to such a degree that they do not engage in exploration. 3) Anxious/Avoidant: Caregivers consistently rebuff or deflect the child's demands for comfort, especially for close body contact; these children do not appear to express distress by separation and avoid contact with their caregiver. They exhibit signs of detachment. Gay Male Domestic Violence 19 Secure attachment is characterized by a general comfort with intimacy and autonomy. These individuals have a positive regard for both themselves and their significant other and, therefore, typically have secure and fulfilling adult relationships. Preoccupied attachment describes those individuals who are overly dependent, while their regard for the significant other is high, self-regard is generally low. Thus, these individuals have a strong feeling of unworthiness expressed by an incessant need to please others, as well as make constant demands on others. Dismissing attachment is the direct contrast of preoccupied attachment. Individuals with a dismissing style have a positive self-image but a low regard for others; a premium is placed on independence and the result of this is the general avoidance of close relationships. When such relationships are established and rejection results, these individuals distance themselves and devalue the importance or worth of the relationship. The final style in the Bartholomew typology is labeled fearful attachment. These individuals have a negative regard for both self and other and while they desire social contact and intimacy they experience pervasive distrust and fear of rejection. Their relationships are characterized by a high degree of anxiety and relationship anger. It is this last attachment style (fearful) and to a lesser degree, preoccupied attachment that is most closely associated with the abusive personality structure which characterizes many male batterers. In fact, Dutton, Saunders, Starzomski, and Bartholomew (1994) found that fearful and preoccupied attachment correlated significantly with scores on BPO, anger, and jealousy in a group of heterosexual Gay Male Domestic Violence 20 men convicted for wife assault. Thus, it is important to investigate whether this same relationship can be generalized to a gay male sample. Beyond Attachment Theory: The Relationship Between Childhood Experiences and the Abusive Personality Structure While attachment theorists such as Bowlby believe that attachment patterns are generally established by the age of three, this does not imply that the environment and home life experienced throughout childhood are not without influence on subsequent adult relationships. Indeed, subsequent childhood and adult experiences can certainly ameliorate or exacerbate poor early attachment (Blatt, 1990). In regard to this latter case, Dutton, Starzomski and Ryan (in press) have found that recollections of negative childhood experiences (including experiencing physical abuse) are also highly associated with the abusive personality structure. In general, research has indicated that there is a connection between early trauma and the development of BPO (van der Volk, 1987; Herman, Perry, & van der Volk, 1989). Specifically, Dutton et al. (in press) have found that paternal rejection and to a lesser degree absence of maternal warmth, accounted for a significant portion of the variance in the BPO scores of male batterers. Thus, Dutton tentatively concluded that in the heterosexual example, parental mistreatment could very well be an antecedent to the development of an abusive personality structure. This connection between negative childhood events and subsequent problems in intimate relationships is extremely important in understanding the case Gay Male Domestic Violence 21 of gay male domestic violence. In fact, McWhirter and Mattison (1984) report that when one or both partners in a gay male couple express childhood memories of parental alienation, there is an observed increased difficulty in conflict resolution in the current relationship. Moreover, historically there has been a considerable amount of research generated by the issue of gay male child/parent relationship (e.g., Freud, 1925; Apperson & McAdoo, 1968; Evans, 1969; Hooker, 1969; Seigelman, 1974; Buhrich & McConaghy, 1978). For example, the often cited study by Bieber, Dain, Dince, Drellich, Grand, Gundlach, Kremer, Rifkin, Wilbur, & Bieber (1962) found that a specific parental pattern was common in their sample of 106 adult gay males. This pattern involved a "close-binding intimate" mother and a father who was detached, hostile and generally unable to provide the son with a positive relationship. A caveat must be sounded here prior to any interpretation of the Bieber et al. findings, many flaws are apparent in their methodology: the sample was chosen from a psychiatric setting, the data were based not on actual self-reports but on the therapists' opinions, and the therapists where not blind to the study's hypotheses. However, the Bieber et al. study was replicated in a non-clinical population by Evans (1969) and the results of this second study were remarkably similar to the Bieber et al. findings. Furthermore, keeping in mind the previously stated Dutton et al. (in press) findings regarding the relationship between childhood trauma and the development of the abusive personality in heterosexual male batterers, Evans (1969) reports that not only did his gay male subjects express recollections of a Gay Male Domestic Violence 22 negative father/son relationships but these men also often experienced fear that their father might physically harm them. Evans (1969) did not report whether the fear was justified, e.g., whether these men were actually physically abused by their fathers. However, Harry (1989) has found that gay men are significantly less attached to their fathers than heterosexual men and that as adolescents, gay men are more likely to have suffered physical abuse (perpetrated by their parents) than heterosexual men. Indeed, while there is some dissension in the literature regarding the nature of mother/son relationships experienced by gay males during childhood and adolescence, there does appear to be consensus that the majority of gay men experience poor father/son relationships. Thus, the relationship between early childhood experiences and subsequent difficulty at conflict resolution in adult intimate relationships also merits investigation. Research Questions 1) To what extent does domestic violence occur in a self-selected sample of gay male couples? Given the Harry (1984) finding that gay male relationships are typically equal and aptly described as "best friendships", is the rate of gay male domestic violence found in this sample lower than the heterosexual rate? Alternatively, following from the Island and Letellier (1991) perspective that the male/male dynamic inherent in such relationships doubles the probability of abuse, is this rate higher than the heterosexual norms? Gay Male Domestic Violence 23 2) If abuse is present in the gay male sample, is it more likely to occur in relationships characterized by inequality in decision making? 3) Given an incidence of domestic violence in the gay male sample, will there also be a corresponding association between abuse and BPO, fearful attachment, and poor child/parent relationships? Method Participants Fifty-two gay male couples participated in the study. The demographic profile of the men in the (entire) sample is as follows: average age: 34 years (range 20-64), average level of education: 2 years college or university. The majority of the sample was Euro-Canadian (86%), followed by First Nations-Canadian (7%), Asian (4%), and Other (3%) (please see Appendix I for a breakdown of the samples' self-reported ethnicity). The modal joint annual income of couples was $60,000. The mean length of relationship was five and a half years (range six months to 31 years). Materials Demographic and Background Information Participants provided information regarding age, occupation, ethnic background, education (last year completed), relationship status, length of time in current relationship, and income (represented by 7 intervals ranging from less then $10,000 to over $60,000). Power Measure Gay Male Domestic Violence 24 Relationship Power. The Marital Power Scale (MPS; Coleman & Straus, 1985) is a modified version of the Decision Power Index developed by Blood and Wolfe (1960) and was further revised for use with a gay sample. This instrument asks respondents "Who has the final say" in decision making about the following seven issues: buying a car, whether to buy life insurance, what house or apartment to take, whether a partner should go to work or quit work, how much money to spend on food, what job either partner should take, and where to go on vacation. The Coleman and Straus (1985) findings are based on a nationally representative sample of 2,143 heterosexual couples (either married or cohabiting). Based on their self reports, participants were classified into one of the four relationship power categories: egalitarian, partner dominated, self dominated, or divided power.1 1 The difference between the egalitarian and divided power types is that the former are equal in the sense of making most decisions jointly, whereas the latter are equal in the sense of dividing responsibility for decisions, with each individual in the couple having a final say for different decisions (Coleman & Straus, 1986). Personality Measures Borderline Personality Organization. The Self-Report Instrument for Borderline Personality Organization (Oldham, Carkin, Appelbaum, Carr, Kernberg, Lotterman, & Haas, 1985) is a 30-item instrument derived through factor analysis of a 130 item questionnaire designed by the authors. The thirty item scale retains Coleman and Straus (1985) actually define this first group as "equalitarian", but for ease in comprehension, the term "egalitarian" will be used in this discussion. Gay Male Domestic Violence 25 items with the strongest factor loadings for each of the three subscales of identity diffusion, primitive defenses and reality testing. The first subscale, identity diffusion, measures a poorly integrated sense of self or of significant others. Identity diffusion is assessed by ascertaining difficulties in describing one's own personality or the personalities of others, uncertainty about career or goals, contradictory behaviors, and instability in intimate relationships. The second subscale measures primitive defenses. Items were written to cover defenses of splitting, idealization, devaluation, omnipotence, denial, projection and projective identification. Reality testing items were written to cover external versus internal origins of perceptions, evaluation of own behavior in terms of social criteria of reality, differentiation of self from non-self, internal reality testing, and the cognitive process of reality testing. Oldham et al. (1985) report on the scale's intrascale consistency, interscale relationships and relationship to BPD differential diagnosis, and the application of the scale to differing theories of Borderline Personality Organization and its DSM-IIIR Axis 2 definition. Cronbach's alpha for the BPO subscales are Identity Diffusion .92, Primitive Defenses .87, Reality Testing .84. The BPO self-report instrument does not assess abusiveness or aggression. Hence, any associations with other scales reported below are not attributable to item overlap. Anger. The Multidimensional Anger Inventory (MAI; Siegel, 1986) is a 38-item self-report scale assessing the following dimensions of anger response: Gay Male Domestic Violence 26 frequency, duration, magnitude, mode of expression, hostile outlook, and range of anger-eliciting situations. Siegel reports the results of a factor analysis of this scale and the reliability of its subscales (alphas = .51 to .83) and the scale as a whole (alpha equal to .84 and .89 for two separate samples). The scale was validated by correlation with other, conceptually similar anger inventories. Attachment. Relationship Scales Questionnaire (RSQ; Griffin & Bartholomew, 1994) is a 30-item self-report measure with items drawn from Hazan and Shaver's (1987) attachment measure, Bartholomew and Horowitz's (1991) Relationship Questionnaire, as well as items from Collins and Read's (1990) Adult Attachment Scale. Measures of each of the four attachment patterns (secure, fearful, preoccupied, dismissing) identified by Bartholomew and Horowitz (1991) were created by summing four or five items from the corresponding prototypic descriptions. Each participant in this sample received a continuous rating for each attachment pattern. The RSQ attachment scores show convergent validity with interview ratings of the four attachment patterns (Griffin & Bartholomew, 1994). The correlations between the Interview Attachment Ratings and the RSQ are of modest magnitude (e.g., Secure: .25, Fearful: .32, Preoccupied: .34, Dismissing: .47). However Griffin and Bartholomew (1994) do report that no one method of measuring attachment is better than the others, rather, they believe that theory should influence choice of measurement. In this regard, the self-report RSQ was chosen because it can be administered annonymously and would, therefore, appeal to those gay men who Gay Male Domestic Violence 27 would not be willing to publicly disclose their sexual orientation in a face-to-face interview. Recollections of Early Childrearing. Egna Minnen Betraffande Uppfostran (EMBU; Perris, Jacobsson, Lindstrom, von Knorring & Perris, 1980) scale was used to provide a quantitative measure of the respondents' memories of their upbringing. The EMBU was originally developed in Sweden and has been translated and widely used with English speaking samples (Gerslma, Emmmelkamp, & Arrindell, 1990). It is an 80-item scale that assesses memories of parental rearing behavior. The psychometric properties of the English version were developed by Ross, Campbell and Clayter (1982). The English version has 14 subscales, scored separately for mother and father. For purposes of this study, only subscales assessing recollections of maternal warmth and rejection and paternal warmth and rejection were assessed, comprising 43-items. The rejection subscale included items pertaining to both physical and psychological abuse. An example of a physical abuse item from the rejection subscale is, "My parents beat me for no reason". An example of a psychological abuse item from the rejection subscale is, "My parents treated me in such a way that I felt ashamed". Dependent Measures Two abuse measures were used in this study. The measure of physical abuse is used only in the frequency of abuse analysis since norms for the physical abuse scale (CTS) have been generated using heterosexual samples (Gelles & Straus, 1988) thus allowing for direct comparison with the self-selected gay male Gay Male Domestic Violence 28 sample. Moreover, given that the gay sample is drawn from the general population and has not been formally identified as abusive, it makes greater sense to use psychological abuse than physical abuse as a dependent measure since this form of abuse has previously been identified in a normative population using the Psychological Maltreatment Inventory (Kasian & Painter, 1992). There are also a number of theoretical reasons for using a psychological abuse measure over a physical abuse measure as the primary dependent variable. In particular, it has been well documented that psychological abuse is a precurssor and often accompanies physical abuse (Tolman, 1989; Walker, 1979). Similarly, self-reports by battered women suggest that effects of psychological abuse on self-esteem and recovery are more prolonged and emotionally debilitating than the immediate impact of physical abuse (Dobash & Dobash, 1981; Walker, 1984). Finally, it has been observed that while many men are able to stop physical abuse after arrest and treatment, they often continue or even increase the use of psychological abuse as a way of maintaining control (Tolman, 1989). Physical abuse. The Conflict Tactics Scale (CTS; Straus, 1979) is a standardized scale designed to measure the frequency and intensity of 19 tactics used in dyads to resolve conflict. The scale includes rational tactics, withdrawal, and a variety of verbally, emotionally and physically abusive strategies. Respondents report both their own use of these tactics and their use by an interactant on a scale ranging from 0 (never) to 6 (over 20 times). This allows independent assessment of both use of, and being a recipient of, various conflict Gay Male Domestic Violence 29 tactics on affective reactions to stimulus materials. Straus, Gelles and Steinmetz (1980) have published population norms for usage of each tactic in a variety of intimate relationships. Emotional abuse. Psychological Maltreatment Inventory (PMI; Kasian & Painter 1992) was used to assess emotional abuse. The PMI is based on Tolman's (1989) Psychological Maltreatment of Women Inventory (PMWI) but the PMI can be used with both men and women. Where relevant, the wording was revised to accommodate a gay male sample. The PMI contains 58-items rated from "never" (0) to "more than twenty times"(6) that cover forms of emotional and verbal abuse which have occurred during the last year. The PMI has five psychological maltreatment subscales: jealousy, isolation and emotional control, withdrawal, verbal abuse and undermining of partner's self esteem which can be aggregated to form a general measure of psychological abuse. The PMI also has a positive behavior subscale which includes items such as "my partner was affectionate with me" and "my partner said things to encourage me." All subscales have alpha coefficients of .7 or greater. Participants completed a PMI based on their partner's behavior. Design and Procedure Couples responded to advertisements placed in two local gay and lesbian newspapers (please refer to Appendix J for an example of the advertisement). The initial contact was made via the telephone, at which point participants were asked the status of their sexual orientation (as well as their partner's) and it was Gay Male Domestic Violence 30 confirmed that they had been together for at least six months. Both partners were mailed two identical questionnaire packages along with two self-addressed, stamped envelopes. In order to ensure honesty in responding, participants were asked to fill out questionnaires separately, without partner consultation. Identification numbers were assigned to each individual to ensure anonymity. When completed questionnaire packages were returned by both members of the couple, each participant was mailed a $30 payment fee. Measures to ensure confidentiality were employed; participants were informed that payment forms which included addresses would be kept separate from the body of the questionnaire and would be destroyed at the point of payment. The measures discussed in this thesis (listed above) are part of a larger assessment battery. Participants responded enthusiastically to the advertisement. Approximately 75 calls were received overall but only the first 55 callers who met the requirements of the study were accepted for participation. All but one of the callers (a lesbian couple), failed to meet the requirements. The high degree of interest is most probably due to the anonymous nature of the study. In particular, participants responded well and conscientiously to the self-report format. Mailing out questionnaires, as well as including stamped, self-addressed envelopes reduced concerns regarding public disclosure of sexual orientation, and therefore, likely contributed to a more representative sample. Interestingly, no couple who showed initial interest (e.g., made the telephone call) declined to participate after hearing Gay Male Domestic Violence 31 details of the study. The response rate for completed and returned questionnaires was .94. A debriefing form was included at the end of the questionnaire package (please see Appendix L for an example) which encouraged participants to call the laboratory for a referral to a qualified counselor if they were disturbed by some of the sensitive issues raised in the questionnaire. Only one couple called with concerns regarding the level of discord in their relationship and an appointment with the counselor was arranged. Results For all analyses: Given the likelihood of within couple interdependence, the dyad as opposed to scores from individual participants was chosen as the appropriate unit of analysis (n=52). This methodology provides a more conservative test of the null hypothesis (Kenny, 1988). Within each couple psychological abuse scores (PMI; Kasian & Painter, 1992) were assessed. The individual with the higher PMI score was coded as the "abuser" and his self-reports on the independent measures were used. In three cases both members of the couple had identical PMI scores, therefore, one member of the couple was randomly assigned to the abuser category. All dependent measures were based on corresponding partner reports. The mean PMI scores (with standard deviations in parenthesis) for the "abusers" and partners are 75.39 (24.68) and 61.65 (16.62), respectively. A significant difference between the two means was observed, t Gay Male Domestic Violence 32 (89.35) = 3.33, p_ = .001. 1 2 Table 1 shows the individual PMI scores for each member of the couple. Insert Table 1 here Frequency of Abuse In testing the first research question, frequency of abuse was based on partners' reports on the Conflict Tactic Scale (CTS) total physical violence subscale (items 11-19, please see Appendix). The proportion of the sample who indicated at least one violent episode occurred in the last year is 31 % (16/52). Using a z test of independent proportions, the physical violence rate in this sample was compared to the Gelles and Straus (1988) rate of husband to wife violence which is 11.3% (113/1000) and a significant difference between the two rates was observed, z = 4.44, p_ < .001. The Relationship Between Psychological Abuse and Decision-making Power The second research question investigated the relationship between psychological abuse and decision-making power. Specifically, a one factor ANOVA was used to assess whether PMI (abuse) scores differed as a function of relationship power categories. Although participants could be placed in one of four categories based on their MPS (power) scores, in actuality, participants reported membership in only three of the categories which were: egalitarian (n=29), self-1 2 To test the assumption of homogeneous variances, Levene's Test for Equality of Variances was performed, F = 8.12, g = .005. As can be observed, the variances appear to be significantly different, therefore adjusted degrees of freedom are reported. Gay Male Domestic Violence 33 dominated (o=5), and divided power (n=14). Power scores were missing for four participants, hence the total in this analysis was 48. The PMI means (with standard deviations in parenthesis) for the three respective groups are 66.21 (18.07), 84.6 (23.65), and 90.29 (30.62). The results of the ANOVA are reported in Table 2. It can be observed that PMI scores differed significantly as a function of power category, F(2,45) = 5.70, p_ =.006. The omnibus F was decomposed in two comparisons using a Bonferronied alpha (ocB = .025). In the first comparison, egalitarian relationships were compared to self-dominated relationships and no significant difference was observed, t (45) = -1.66, p_ = .10. A significant difference was observed in the comparison between egalitarian relationships and divided-power relationships, t (45) = 3.23, p_ = 002, indicating that psychological abuse scores were higher in those couples characterized as divided in power. Insert Table 2 here The Relationship Between Psychological Abuse and The Abusive Personality Structure To test the third research question regarding the relationship between psychological abuse arid the Abusive Personality Structure, self-reported scores on the independent variables were correlated with partner reports of physical and psychological abuse. These correlations are presented in Table 3. Gay Male Domestic Violence 3 4 Partner reports of physical abuse were significantly correlated with self-reports of BPO, anger, fearful attachment, recollections of paternal rejection and recollections of maternal rejection. The negative correlations between physical abuse and recollections of paternal or maternal warmth were, however, not statistically significant. Similarly, partner reports of psychological abuse were significantly correlated with self reports of BPO, anger, fearful attachment, recollections of paternal rejection, recollections of maternal rejection and negatively correlated with secure attachment and paternal warmth. There was no significant association between (lack of) maternal warmth and psychological abuse. Insert Table 3 here A step-wise multiple regression was performed to determine which variables best predict psychological abuse as measured by the PMI. Seven predictor variables were entered in the multiple regression including: BPO (total scores), RSQ (fearful attachment subscale), MAI (total anger scores), and the EMBU (paternal and maternal rejection subscales as well as paternal and maternal warmth subscales). Borderline Personality Organization was found to predict a significant portion of the variance in emotional/psychological abuse, (R2 = .41, B = .64), F(1, 50) = 34.15, p = .000. In addition, recollection of paternal rejection in childhood (measured by an EMBU subscale) accounted for a significant portion of the variance over and above that accounted for by BPO, (R2change = 08, B = .30) Gay Male Domestic Violence 35 Echange (2, 49) = 23.08, p_ = .01. Finally, lack of paternal warmth (measured by an EMBU subscale) accounted for an additional portion of the variance, (R 2 c h a nge = 05, B = -.24) F c h a n g e (3, 48) = 18.69, p_ = .02. The results of the multiple regression are shown in Table 4. Given its primacy in predicting psychological abuse, BPO was correlated with the other constituent elements of the Abusive Personality Structure. A significant positive relationship was found between BPO and anger, fearful attachment, preoccupied attachment, paternal rejection, and maternal rejection. Predictably, a significant negative relationship was also observed between BPO and secure attachment. The clear and consistent relationship between BPO and the other independent variables seems to indicate that BPO is a central feature in the Abusive Personality Structure. Figure 1 depicts the theoretical and statistical centrality of BPO in this constellation. Insert Table 4 here Insert Figure 1 here Discussion The first goal of this study was to determine whether the rate of gay male physical abuse (in a self-selected sample) differed from the male to female Gay Male Domestic Violence 36 heterosexual abuse norms observed by Gelles and Straus (1988). Data in this study are consistent with such a notion but given the sample size (n = 52), and the possible bias due to the voluntary selection procedure, caution must be used when comparing this proportion of abuse with the heterosexual rate which was based on a large, representative sample. It may be the case that because the participants in this study are volunteers, their responses are not entirely representative of the general gay population. This lack of representativeness is an inevitable factor inherent in doing research with marginalized groups (Morin, 1977). Same-sex intimacy is not fully sanctioned by society (thus making individuals hesitant to express such proclivity), nor is sexual orientation recorded in census data, which drastically reduces access to gay and lesbian populations. On a more positive note, Rosenthal and Rosnow (1975) have outlined the ways volunteers differ from non-volunteers on a number of dimensions, and while they do not include aggression (much less, intimate aggression) in their discussion, these authors do offer ten suggestions to reduce bias among volunteers, nine of which were followed in this study (please see Appendix K for a complete list of their suggestions). It is likely that the elevated physical abuse rate in the gay sample is a true effect and not a methodological artifact. One could argue that the high rate of physical abuse is a result of the fact that homosexuality may be an expression of male sexuality in its purest form (Symons, 1980). Thus, the abuse rate is an overt manifestation of two males attempting to assert their need for dominance. Gay Male Domestic Violence 37 However, one can not disregard the fact that only 10% of the sample (5/48) reported an imbalance in relationship power. This suggests that gay male relationships are more likely to follow the egalitarian-friendship model suggested by Harry (1984). The second goal of this study was to investigate the relationship between psychological abuse and decision making power. In this regard, it is interesting to note that the highest rate of psychological abuse (based on partner reports) was found not in those relationships characterized as self-dominated, but rather in divided power relationships. This contrasts directly with the Coleman and Straus (1986) finding that heterosexual abuse was highest in couples where there was an imbalance in power. Of course, in this study, given that the number of participants in the self-dominated group was low (n = 5), the statistical power to detect a significant difference was most probably restricted. Nonetheless, the high rate of psychological abuse in divided power couples is particularly interesting. Recall that Coleman and Straus (1986) assert that for heterosexual relationships, the divided power dynamic is very similar to the egalitarian dynamic, with the difference being that whereas in the latter case there is equality as individuals make most decisions jointly, in the former case there is equality in that each individual has a final say for different decisions. This apparent heterosexual/gay difference may be due to the fact that divided power in heterosexual relationships is easier to delineate because of societally shared gender role norms. Heterosexual couples who choose to divide power have a Gay Male Domestic Violence 38 shared schema to follow. Gay couples, however, rarely engage in male/female role playing, and do not necessarily have a pre-ordained relationship script to follow. Thus, in the latter case, a peaceful delineation of divided power rests not only on patience and tolerance (trial and error), but on exceptionally good verbal and negotiating skills. Unfortunately, articulating emotional needs is a skill more typically associated with a female socialization than with a male socialization (Hatfield, 1983). Interestingly, Dutton and Strachan (1987) found that, compared to satisfactorily married controls, heterosexual men convicted of wife assault had a high need to exert relationship power but poor verbal skills, which inevitably led to chronic frustration. The MPI used in this study is ostensibly a measure of objective decision making power but this scale is obviously limited, insofar as it includes only seven items. Thus, dissension regarding who cooks or where to vacation (items on the MPI) could very well be an overt manifestation of felt interpersonal impotence. Unresolved emotional issues are probably what truly underlies the elevated psychological abuse rates in divided power couples but the MPI may just not be capable of elucidating this dynamic. Replication of this relationship using a more thorough measure of interpersonal power is therefore recommended. Returning again to the discussion of the first research question, the higher rate of physical violence in gay male relationships is probably a result of the same factors that contribute to the high levels of suicides among gay (and lesbian) individuals, namely an estrangement from traditional social support systems Gay Male Domestic Violence 39 (Meyer, 1990). It has been well documented that compared to women, men in general have a less expansive social support network (e.g., Sarason, Sarason, Hacker, & Basham, 1985). This may be, in part, because men are socialized to be independent and self-reliant, which, contrasts directly with help seeking behaviors (Kurdek & Schmitt, 1987). Thus, the presence of two men in a gay relationship may compound the isolation effect. Furthermore, Kurdek and Schmitt (1987) found that the sources of social support available to gay male couples (as well as lesbian couples) are significantly different then the sources available to heterosexual couples. Specifically, gay men are less likely to view family as an important source of emotional support. Instead, they are more likely to rely on friends and partners to help buffer against stress and anxiety (Kurdek, 1988). Thus, it logically follows that a broad friendship base is a requirement for adequate levels of social support. This may pose a problem for the gay male who is not out of the closet, since masking one's sexual orientation necessitates a general lack of self-disclosure to others (a requisite for the establishment and maintenance of friendships). Similarly, one may assume that the gay male who is open about his sexual orientation may have access to a supportive gay community. However, Meyer (1990) claims that committed gay relationships are often incompatible with an unstable gay community. When gay men enter relationships, a concomitant pulling away from the gay community is observed (Meyer, 1990). Gay Male Domestic Violence 40 If access to a friendship network is restricted, the partner is left as the primary source of support. This in itself is problematic if there is evidence of intimate abuse, particularly if the Abusive Personality Structure is present in one (or both) of the partners. Recall that individuals with Borderline Personality Organization (and fearful attachment) experience chronic relationship ambivalence characterized by an undermining of the significant other, manipulation, and masked dependency, as well as an unstable sense of self with intense abandonment anxiety. The lack of extra-dyadic social support implies the lack of external mechanisms available to ameliorate or diffuse relationship tension. Therefore, sole reliance on the partner most probably exacerbates the Borderline's dependent tendencies as well as their abandonment anxieties, resulting in escalated levels of abuse. The third goal of this study was to examine the relationship between psychological abuse and the Abusive Personality Structure. The results indicate that the Abusive Personality Structure is clearly present in this gay male sample. Partner reports of psychological abuse (and to a lesser extent physical abuse) strongly correlate with the constituent elements of the Abusive Personality Structure: BPO, anger, fearful attachment and recollection of poor child/parent relationships (including both mother and father). Specifically, the multiple regression reveals that Borderline Personality Organization accounts for much of the variance in partners' reports of psychological abuse (41 %). Gay Male Domestic Violence 41 This finding makes sense, given Silverstein's (1988) assertion that BPD may occur in gay populations because of the impact internalized and external homophobia has on the development of a gay identity. This relationship between BPO and psychological abuse should in no way imply that on the whole, the gay sample suffers from elevated rates of psychopathology. This finding simply indicates that when psychological abuse does occur in gay male relationships it is likely to be conjoined with Borderline Personality Organization. It should be noted that the mean BPO score in the gay sample did not differ significantly from rates observed in a analogously self-selected heterosexual sample. 1 3 While BPO rates may be similar in both heterosexual and gay populations, the antecedents may vary somewhat due to the different environmental conditions affecting the developing individuals. For example, in the latter case, boyhood effeminacy, paternal rejection, and internalized homophobia may have a primordial influence in the formulation of Borderline tendencies. The multiple regression also revealed that recollections of a poor father/son relationship (paternal rejection and lack of paternal warmth) accounted for a significant portion of the variance (13 %) over and above that accounted for by BPO. It is not really surprising that this relationship is observed in the data, as there are consistent reports in the literature that gay men suffer from poor father/son relationships (e.g., Bieber etal., 1962; Evans, 1969; Harry 1989). Moreover, recall the McWhirter and Mattison (1984) assertion that an inability to 1 3 Comparison of BPO means in the gay sample with the Dutton and Starzomski (1993) sample of heterosexual men not formally identified as abusive reveals no significant difference, t (94) = -1.26, g = .21. Gay Male Domestic Violence 42 deal effectively with tension and conflict in (adult) gay intimate relationships is often associated with memories of parental alienation during childhood. A stable, supportive, paternal figure in childhood may very well help ameliorate the potential for abuse in subsequent adult relationships. Following from this, if parents and educators are made aware of the relationship between boyhood effeminacy and future same-sex proclivity in men, they can make a concerted effort to ensure that a strong supportive male figures prominently in the effeminate boy's childhood and hopefully help defend against a propensity for abusivenes. General Conclusions The first and foremost conclusion that can be drawn from this investigation is that some dynamics underlying intimate abuse are not specific to male - female relationships but transcend the boundaries of sexual orientation. In particular, this conclusion is based on the correspondence between the findings of this study and the finding that an Abusive Personality Structure is strongly related to partner reports of psychological abuse (and to a lesser extent, physical abuse) in samples of heterosexual male batters as well as heterosexual men not formally identified as abusive (Dutton, 1994; Dutton & Starzomski, 1993). More specifically, the centrality of BPO in the Abusive Personality Structure appears to be consistent across both heterosexual and gay male samples, however, recollections of poor father/son relationships during childhood does appear to contribute uniquely in the case of gay male intimate abuse. Gay Male Domestic Violence 43 One can also conclude that intimate abuse does not appear to be a function of male - female gender typed relationship models. Evidence for this assertion comes from the literature reviewwhich finds the following: 1) Masculinity in gay men is not related to abuse (Kelly & Warshafsky, 1987). 2) Most gay men are not effeminate (Bell et al., 1981; Harry, 1982), nor are their relationships divided according to male/female gender roles (Harry, 1984) thus allowing one to conclude that rarely is there a "functional wife" in these relationships. 3) There are often high rates of abuse found in lesbian relationships (Lie et al., 1991; Renzetti, 1988, 1992). Therefore, it can be cautiously stated that a direct cause and effect relationship between intimate abuse (at the very least gay male abuse) and societal patriarchy is unlikely. Rather, this form of abuse is more likely to stem from personality variables organic to the perpetrator (e.g., the Abusive Personality Structure). This is not meant to imply that social factors external to the intimate dyad do not have an effect on the internal workings of the relationship (recall that the presence of an extra-dyadic social support network has been offered as one factor that may help ameliorate or diffuse relationship tension). In fact, it may be that individuals with a propensity for abusiveness actually seek out elements of the ambient culture to justify their actions in an effort to reduce their feelings of guilt and remorse (Dutton, 1994b). Patriarchy should be seen not as a causal factor, but rather as a mediating (contextual) factor in intimate abuse. Gay Male Domestic Violence 44 Limitations and Future Considerations Given the enthusiastic and conscientious response of participants in this study, it becomes quite clear that the dearth of research on gay male relationships in general, and on gay male domestic violence in particular, is a fault of social scientists rather than a failure on the part of the gay community to cooperate. Such research, therefore is both possible and necessary. With regard to this study, replication is recommended with a much larger sample. Currently, only a tentative statement regarding the high rate of physical abuse in this population is possible, and replication would certainly increase confidence in the statistical reliability of this finding. Increasing the number of participants might also increase the likelihood of finding couples who have imbalanced relationships (e.g., relationships that could be classified as either self-dominated or partner-dominated) and, therefore, allow for a more robust study of the association between power and psychological abuse. Of course, in addition to measures of objective power (e.g., the MPI), measures of interpersonal power are needed. As well as increasing the size, an attempt should be made to increase the demographic diversity of the sample. The demographic profile in this study was overwhelmingly that of young, high economic status, white men. The underrepresentation of older, blue collar, less educated, and racial/ethnic minority gay men is not specific to this study, but is a common complaint of most Gay Male Domestic Violence 45 researchers in the field of gay male studies (e.g., Bell & Weinberg, 1978; Harry, 1984). One of the important conclusions that can be drawn from this study is that in some key domains, intimate abuse transcends the boundaries of sexual orientation and that many of the factors (e.g., the Abusive Personality Structure) implicated in heterosexual domestic violence are also present in the gay male case. This finding is of considerable importance for the issue of developing treatment programs. Few, if any, programs designed to treat gay male domestic violence currently exist. It may be somewhat comforting to know that in developing such programs, much of the foundation can be modeled after heterosexual treatment programs which address issues of dependency, anger management, and communication skills (especially for gay couples that characterize their relationship as being divided in power). It can be further suggested, given the primacy of BPO in perpetration of psychological abuse, that inchoate programs include methods that would diminish the reliance on primitive defenses (possibly through teaching better communication skills), emphasize the importance of accurate reality testing, as well as increase self-esteem. Undoubtedly there are factors that differentiate gay male and heterosexual intimate abuse which were not investigated in the present study. For example, it is conceivable that internalized homophobia contributes to the development of Borderline tendencies in young gay men. This possibility needs to be empirically tested. Moreover, both internalized homophobia and external homophobia may Gay Male Domestic Violence 46 have an impact on self-perceived access to social support, which, in turn may exacerbate the abuse dynamic within the dyad. These and other issues specific to gay male intimate abuse need to be investigated and possibly addressed in treatment programs. It would also be useful for future investigators to conduct cross-sectional and longitudinal studies to investigate developmental factors related to abuse such as maternal / paternal rejection, and the availability of peer relationships (or lack thereof). Finally, this study was highly exploratory in nature. It was neither designed nor intended to tell the complete story of gay male intimate abuse. Rather, it was a necessary and timely first step in a series of comprehensive studies. As such, this study only focussed on unilateral intimate battering. It is recommended that future studies consider the possibility of reciprocal violence (e.g., self-defense, retaliation, and/or mutual aggression) and contextual factors that influence the expression of violence. Although still speculative, it may very well be that homogamous selection occurs for personality constellations, suggesting that individuals with an Abusive Personality Structure may actually seek partners with a similar personality organizations. Tentative evidence for this is the finding that the self-reported BPO scores of the gay men classified as "abusers" correlated positively and significantly with their partners' self-reported BPO scores, r = .49, p_ = .000. Gay Male Domestic Violence 47 References Ainsworth, M. D. S., Blehar, M. C , Walters, E., & Wall, S. (1978). Patterns of attachment: A psychological study of the Strange Situation. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawerence Erlbaum. Apperson, L. B., & McAdoo, W. G., Jr. (1968). Parental factors in the childhood of homosexuals. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 73. 201-206. Bartholomew, K. (1990). Avoidance of intimacy: An attachment perspective. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. 7, 147-178. Bartholomew, K., & Horowitz, L. M. 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Gay Male Domestic Violence 61 Table 1 Participant Scores on the Psychological Maltreatment Inventory Couple PMI PMI Couple PMI PMI Number Score Score Number Score Score (A) (B) (A) (B.) 1 121 101 27 63 55 2 82 81 28 59 54 3 85 77 29 73 52 4 94 83 30 65 63 5 111 59 31 62 44 6 103 92 32 72 60 7 92 48 33 56 43 8 65 59 34 94 73 9 46 45 35 99 80 10* 63 63 36 65 56 11 68 62 37 100 94 12 116 72 38 88 78 13 57 54 39 94 78 14 98 68 40 50 47 15* 57 57 41 115 107 16 56 47 42 51 46 17 73 62 43 77 51 18 48 43 44 58 53 19 110 61 45 45 40 20 63 52 46 160 88 21* 46 46 47 67 64 22 76 50 48 61 50 23 83 81 49 54 47 24 65 57 50 49 45 25 56 50 51 48 47 26 109 78 52 52 43 A = "Abuser" B = Partner * = Random Assignment Gay Male DomesticViolence 62 Table 2 Omnibus Analysis of Variance for Relationship Power Categories Source SS df MS F Power Category 5973.16 2 2986.58 5.70* Within Groups 23570.82 45 523.80 Total 29543.98 47 *p_ = .006. Gay Male Domestic Violence 63 Table 3 Correlations of Abuse Measures with Total Scores on Other Measures S E L F - R E P O R T 1 1 PARTNER 1 I PARTNER 1 1 | R E P O R T | | R E P O R T | Physical Abuse (CTS) Psychological Abuse (PMI) BPO: 4g *** 54*** Primitive Defenses .45** .63*** Identity Diffusion 47*** .62*** Reality Testing .40** .44** Anger (MAI) .33* .54*** RSQ: Fearful 49*** .52*** Preoccupied .12 .18 Dissmissing .20 .19 Secure -.22 -.46** Paternal Rejection .31* 49*** (EMBU) Maternal Rejection .57*** .37** (EMBU) Paternal Warmth (EMBU) -.25 -.33* Maternal Warmth (EMBU) -.13 -.22 n = 52 p_ < .05, two-tailed. **p_ < .01, two-tailed. ***p_ < .001, two-tailed. Gay Male Domestic Violence 64 Table 4 Step-wise Multiple Regression Analyses of Independent Variables and Psychological Abuse B Beta S E B I P. BPO .79 .52 .16 4.97 .000 Paternal Rejection .44 .26 .18 2.42 .02 Paternal Warmth (lack of) -.42 -.24 .18 -2.36 .02 Multiple R = .73 F(3, 48) = 18.69 p. = .000 Adjusted R Square = .51 Gay Male Domestic Violence 65 Figure Caption Figure 1. The centrality of BPO in a sample of gay males. 99 33U3I0Iy\ 0US9UIOQ SfB]/\[ AE£) Gay Male Domestic Violence 67 Appendix A General Information Sheet Part I Please fill out this section for both you and your present partner. Self Partner Age: Occupation: Ethnic background: Education (last grade completed): Part II Please fill this section out just for yourself. Current Marital Status (check appropriate one): Married Common-law Single Divorced Separated Length of time involved in present relationship: Income Level (joint annual income before tax deductions): Circle the appropriate number: 1. less than $10,000 2. $10,001-$20,000 3. $20,001 -$30,000 4. $30,001-$40,000 5. $40,001-$50,000 6. $50,001-$60,000 7. over $60,000 Gay Male Domestic Violence 68 Appendix B B P O For each of the statements below, please indicate how true it is about you by circling the most appropriate number beside each statement. 1 2 3 4 5 never true seldom true sometimes true often true always true 1. I feel like a fake or an imposter, that others see me as quite 1 2 3 4 5 different at times. 2. I feel almost as if I'm someone else like a friend or relative or 1 2 3 4 5 even someone I don't know. 3. It is hard for me to trust people because they so often turn 1 2 3 4 5 against me or betray me. 4. People tend to respond to me by either overwhelming me with 1 2 3 4 5 love or abandoning me. 5. I see myself in totally different ways at different times. 1 2 3 4 5 6. I act in ways that strike others as unpredictable and erratic. 1 2 3 4 5 7. I find I do things which get other people upset and I don't 1 2 3 4 5 know why such things upset them. 8. Uncontrollable events are the cause of my difficulties. 1 2 3 4 5 9. I hear things that other people claim are not really there. 1 2 3 4 5 10. I feel empty inside. 1 2 3 4 5 11. I tend to feel things in a somewhat extreme way, experiencing 1 2 3 4 5 either great joy or intense despair. 12. It is hard for me to be sure about what others think of me, 1 2 3 4 5 even people who have known me very well. 13. I'm afraid of losing myself when I get sexually involved. 1 2 3 4 5 Gay Male Domestic Violence 69 14. I feel that certain episodes in my life do not count and are 1 2 3 4 5 better erased from my mind. 15. I find it hard to describe myself. 1 2 3 4 5 16. I've had relationships in which I couldn't feel whether I or the 1 2 3 4 5 other person was thinking or feeling something. 17. I don't feel like myself unless exciting things are going on 1 2 3 4 5 around me. 18. I feel people don't give me the respect I deserve unless I put 1 2 3 4 5 pressure on them. 19. People see me as being rude or inconsiderate and I don't 1 2 3 4 5 know why. 20. I can't tell whether certain physical sensations I'm having are 1 2 3 4 5 real, or whether I am imagining them. 21. Some of my friends would be surprised if they knew how 1 2 3 4 5 differently I behave in different situations. 22. I find myself doing things which feel okay while I am doing 1 2 3 4 5 them but which I later find hard to believe I did. 23. I believe that things will happen simply by thinking about 1 2 3 4 5 them. 24. When I want something from someone else, I can't ask for it 1 2 3 4 5 directly. 25. I feel I'm a different person at home as compared to how I am 1 2 3 4 5 at work or at school . 26. I am not sure whether a voice I have heard, or something that 1 1 2 3 4 5 have seen, is my imagination or not. 27. I have heard or seen things when there is no apparent reason 1 2 3 4 5 for it. 28. I feel I don't get what I want. 1 2 3 4 5 29. I need to admire people in order to feel secure. 1 2 3 4 5 30. Somehow, I never know quite how to conduct myself with 1 2 3 4 5 people. Gay Male Domestic Violence 70 Appendix C MAI Everybody gets angry from time to time. A number of statements that people have used to describe the times that they get angry are included below. Read each statement and circle the number to the right of the statement that best describes how it applies to you, from 1 (completely undescriptive of you) to 5 (completely descriptive of you). There are no right or wrong answers. 1 2 3 4 5 completely mostly partly mostly completely undescriptive undescriptive descriptive descriptive of descriptive of of you of you and partly you you undescriptive 1. I tend to get angry more frequently than most people. 1 2 3 4 5 2. Other people seem to get angrier than I do in similar 1 2 3 4 5 circumstances. 3. I harbour grudges that I don't tell anyone about. 1 2 3 4 5 4. I try to get even when I'm angry with someone. 1 2 3 4 5 5. I am secretly quite critical of others. 1 2 3 4 5 6. It is easy to make me angry. 1 2 3 4 5 7. When I am angry with someone, I let that person know. 1 2 3 4 5 8. I have met many people who are supposed to be experts 1 2 3 4 5 who are no better than I. 9. Something makes me angry almost every day. 1 2 3 4 5 10. I often feel angrier than I think I should. 1 2 3 4 5 11. I feel guilty about expressing my anger. 1 2 3 4 5 Gay Male Domestic Violence 71 12. When I am angry with someone, I take it out on whoever is 1 2 3 4 5 around. 13. Some of my friends have habits that annoy and bother me 1 2 3 4 5 very much. 14. I am surprised at how often I feel angry. 1 2 3 4 5 15. Once I let people know that I am angry, I can put it out of 1 2 3 4 5 my mind. 16. People talk about me behind my back. 1 2 3 4 5 17. At times, I feel angry for no specific reason. 1 2 3 4 5 18. I can make myself angry about something in the past just 1 2 3 4 5 by thinking about it. 19. Even after I have expressed my anger, I have trouble 1 2 3 4 5 forgetting about it. 20. When I hide my anger from others, I think about it for a 1 2 3 4 5 long time. 21. People can bother me just by being around. 1 2 3 4 5 22. When I get angry, I stay angry for hours. 1 2 3 4 5 23. When I hide my anger from others, I forget about it pretty 1 2 3 4 5 quickly. 24. I try to talk over problems with people without letting them 1 2 3 4 5 know I'm angry. 25. When I get angry, I calm down faster than most people. 1 2 3 4 5 26. I get so angry, I feel that I might lose control. 1 2 3 4 5 27. If I let people see the way I feel, I'd be considered a hard 1 2 3 4 5 person to get along with. 28. I am on my guard with people who are friendlier than I 1 2 3 4 5 expected. 29. It's difficult for me to let people know I'm angry. 1 2 3 4 5 Gay Male Domestic Violence 72 30. I get angry when: a someone lets me down 1 2 3 4 5 b people are unfair 1 2 3 4 5 c something blocks my plans 1 2 3 4 5 d I am delayed 1 2 3 4 5 e someone embarrasses me 1 2 3 4 5 f I have to take orders from someone less capable than I 1 2 3 4 5 g I have to work with incompetent people 1 2 3 4 5 h I do something stupid 1 2 3 4 5 i I am not given credit for something I have done 1 2 3 4 5 Gay Male Domestic Violence 73 Appendix D R S Q Please read each of the following statements and rate the extent to which it describes your feelings about romantic relationships by circling the appropriate number. Think about all of your romantic relationships, past and present, and respond in terms of how you generally feel in these relationships. Not at all like me Somewhat like me me Very much like 1 2 3 4 5 1. I find it difficult to depend on other people. 1 2 3 4 2. It is very important to me to feel independent. 1 2 3 4 3. I find it easy to get emotionally close to others. 1 2 3 4 4. I want to merge completely with another person. 1 2 3 4 5. I worry that I will be hurt if I allow myself to become too close to others. 1 2 3 4 6. I am comfortable without close emotional relationships. 1 2 3 4 7. I am not sure that I can always depend on others to be there when I need them. 1 2 3 4 8. I want to be completely emotionally intimate with others. 1 2 3 4 9. I worry about being alone. 1 2 3 4 10. I am comfortable depending on other people. 1 2 3 4 11. I often worry that romantic partners don't really love me. 1 2 3 4 12. I find it difficult to trust others completely. 1 2 3 4 13. I worry about others getting too close to me. 1 2 3 4 14. I want emotionally close relationships. 1 2 3 4 15. I am comfortable having other people depend on me. 1 2 3 4 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 Gay Male Domestic Violence 74 16. I worry that others don't value me as much as I value them. 1 2 3 4 5 17. People are never there when you need them. 1 2 3 4 5 18. My desire to merge completely sometimes scares people 1 2 3 4 5 away. 19. It is very important to me to feel self-sufficient. 1 2 3 4 5 20. I am nervous when anyone gets too close to me. 1 2 3 4 5 21. I often worry that romantic partners won't want to stay with 1 2 3 4 5 me. 22. I prefer not to have other people depend on me. 1 2 3 4 5 23. I worry about being abandoned. 1 2 3 4 5 24. I am somewhat uncomfortable being close to others. 1 2 3 4 5 25. I find that others are reluctant to get as close as I would like. 1 2 3 4 5 26. I prefer not to depend on others. 1 2 3 4 5 27. I know that others will be there when I need them. 1 2 3 4 5 28. I worry about having others not accept me. 1 2 3 4 5 29. Romantic partners often want me to be closer than I feel 1 2 3 4 5 comfortable being. 30. I find it relatively easy to get close to others. 1 2 3 4 5 Gay Male Domestic Violence 75 Appendix E EMBU Did your parents remain together during your childhood? Yes No . If "no," please indicate your age at the time of separation: years old. Who did you then live with? Mother Father Other (specify) . Beside each statement, please write in the number of the response listed below (1 - 4) that best describes how often the experience happened to you with your mother (or female guardian) and father (or male guardian) when you were growing up. If you had more than one mother/father figure, please answer for the persons who you feel played the most important role in your upbringing. 1 never occurred 2 occasionally occurred 3 often occurred 4 always occurred Father or Guardian Mother or Guardian 1. My parent showed with words and gestures that he/she liked me. 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 2. My parent refused to speak to me for a long time if I had done anything silly (stupid). 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 3. My parent punished me even for small offenses. 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 4. I think that my parent wished I had been different in some way. 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 5. If I had done something foolish, I could go to my parent and make everything right by asking for his/her forgiveness (apologize). 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 6. I felt that my parents liked my brother(s) and/or sister(s) more than he/she liked me. 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 7. My parent treated me unjustly (badly) and compared with how he/she treated my sister(s) and/or brother(s). 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 8. As a child I was physically punished or scolded in the presence of others. 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 9. If things went badly for me, I felt my parent tried to comfort and encourage me. 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 Gay Male Domestic Violence 76 10. My parent gave me more corporal (physical) punishment than I deserved. 11. My parent would get angry if I didn't help at home when I was asked to. 12. I felt that it was difficult to approach my parent. 13. My parent would narrate or say something about what I had said or done in front of others so that I felt ashamed. 14. My parent showed he/she was interested in my getting good marks. 15. If I had a difficult task in front of me, I felt support from my parent. 16. I was treated as a the "black sheep" or "scapegoat" of the family. 17. My parent wished I had been like somebody else. 18. I felt my parent thought it was /ny fault when he/she was unhappy. 19. My parent showed me that he/she was fond of me. 20. I think my parent respected my opinions. 21. I felt that my parent wanted to be with me. 22. I think my parent was mean and grudging toward me. 23. I think my parent tried to make my adolescence stimulating, interesting, and instructive (for instance, by giving me good books, arranging for me to go to camp, taking me to clubs). 24. My parent praised me. Father or Mother or Guardian Guardian 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 Gay Male Domestic Violence 77 25. I could seek comfort from my parent if I was sad. 26. I was punished by my parent without having done anything. 27. My parent allowed me to do the same things my friends did. 28. My parent said he/she did not approve of my behaviour at home. 29. My parent criticized me and told me how lazy and useless I was in front of others. 30. Of my sister(s) and brother(s), I was the one my parent blamed if anything happened. 31. My parent was abrupt with me. 32. My parent would punish me hard, even for trifles (little things). 33. My parent beat me for no reason. 34. My parent showed an interest in my own interests and hobbies. 35. My parent treated me in such a way that I felt ashamed. 36. My parent let my sister(s) and brother(s) have things that I was not allowed to have. 37. I was beaten by my parent. 38. I felt that warmth and tenderness existed between me and my parent. 39. My parent respected the fact that I had other opinions than had he/she. Father or Guardian Mother or Guardian 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 Gay Male Domestic Violence 78 40. My parent would be angry with me without letting me know why. 41. My parent let me go to bed without food. 42. I felt that my parent was proud when I succeeded in something I had undertaken. 43. My parent hugged me. Father or Mother or Guardian Guardian 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 Gay Male Domestic Violence 79 Appendix F MPS In every relationship, a number of decisions must be made. Sometimes couples make the decision together, and sometimes one person makes the decision for both of them. Listed below are some decisions that couples might face during their relationship. For each issue, please circle the number that matches with who has the final say in your relationship. If there are extenuating circumstances that render one or more of these questions irrelevant, please answer the questions to the best of your ability and record below why a question or questions do not apply to your situation. 1 = your partner only 2 = your partner more then yourself 3 = you and your partner exactly the same 4 = your self more then your partner 5 = your self only 1. Buying a car. 2. Whether or not to buy life insurance. 3. What house or apartment to take. 4. Whether a partner should go to work or quit work. 5. How much money to spend each week on food. 6. What job either partner should take. 7. Where to go on vacation. 2 3 4 5 2 3 4 5 2 3 4 5 2 3 4 5 2 3 4 5 2 3 4 5 2 3 4 5 Gay Male Domestic Violence 80 Appendix G CTS No matter how well two people get along, there are times when they disagree on major decisions, get annoyed about something the other person does, or just have spats or fights because they are in a bad mood or tired, or for some other reason. They also use different ways of trying to settle their differences. Below are listed a number of behaviours that people use to settle their differences. Please read each one and put an "X" on the circle that best represents how often in the past year you and your partner have used these behaviors when dealing with each other. Never Once o Twice 5" 3-5 Times ™ -< CD 6-10 Times 11-20 Times Partner - In Past Year E s 1 p p > 1 P P " Z O £ v o ° _g MS ~ u s-O 1. Discussed the issue calmly. 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2. Got information to back up (your/his) side of things. 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3. Brought in or tried to bring in someone to help settle things. 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4. Argued heatedly but short of yelling. 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5. Insulted, yelled or swore at the other one. 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6. Sulked and/or refused to talk about it. 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7. Stomped out of the room or house (or yard). 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 8. Cried. 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 9. Did or said something to spite the other one. 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 10. Threatened to hit or throw something at the other one. 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 11. Threw or smashed or hit or kicked something. 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 12. Threw something at the other one. 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 13. Pushed, grabbed, or shoved the other one. 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 14. Slapped the other one. 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 15. Kicked, bit, or hit with a fist. 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 16. Hit or tried to hit with something. 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 17. Beat up the other one. 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 18. Threatened with a knife or gun. 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 19. Used a knife or gun. 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 20. Other: 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Gay Male Domestic Violence 81 Appendix H KASIAN & PAINTER-R S C A L E For each of the following statements please indicate how frequently your partner did this to you during the last year by circling the appropriate number. 0 1 2 3 4 5 not applicable never rarely occasionally frequently very frequently 1. Put down my appearance. 0 1 2 3 4 5 2. Insulted or shamed me in front of others. 0 1 2 3 4 5 3. Trusted me with members of the same sex. 0 1 2 3 4 5 4. Treated me like I was stupid. 0 1 2 3 4 5 5. Was insensitive to my feelings. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6. Treated me as if my feelings were important and worthy of consideration. 0 1 2 3 4 5 7. Told me I couldn't manage myself. 0 1 2 3 4 5 8. Said things to spite me. 0 1 2 3 4 5 9. Brought up things from my past to hurt me. 0 1 2 3 4 5 10. Called me names. 0 1 2 3 4 5 11. Respected my independence. 0 1 2 3 4 5 12. Swore at me. 0 1 2 3 4 5 13. Yelled and screamed at me. 0 1 2 3 4 5 14. Respected my choice of friends. 0 1 2 3 4 5 15. Treated me like I was an inferior. 0 1 2 3 4 5 16. Sulked and refused to talk about a problem. 0 1 2 3 4 5 Gay Male Domestic Violence 82 17. Was willing to talk calmly about problems. 0 1 2 3 4 5 18. Stomped out of the house or yard during a disagreement. 0 1 2 3 4 5 19. Gave me the silent treatment. 0 1 2 3 4 5 20. Said things to encourage me. 0 1 2 3 4 5 21. Withheld affection from me. 0 1 2 3 4 5 22. Did not let me talk about my feelings. 0 1 2 3 4 5 23. Took responsibility for his problems and behaviours. 0 1 2 3 4 5 24. Was insensitive to my sexual needs and desires. 0 1 2 3 4 5 25. Monitored my time and made me account for my whereabouts. 0 1 2 3 4 5 26. Praised me in front of others. 0 1 2 3 4 5 27. Treated me like his personal servant. 0 1 2 3 4 5 28. Ordered me around. 0 1 2 3 4 5 29. Told me my feelings were reasonable and normal. 0 1 2 3 4 5 30. Was jealous and suspicious of my friends. 0 1 2 3 4 5 31. Was jealous of other men. 0 1 2 3 4 5 32. Treated me like an equal. 0 1 2 3 4 5 33. Did not want me to go to school or other self-improvement activities. 0 1 2 3 4 5 34. Did not want me to socialize with my opposite sex friends. 0 1 2 3 4 5 35. Respected my intelligence. 0 1 2 3 4 5 36. Accused me of seeing another man. 0 1 2 3 4 5 37. Tried to keep me from seeing or talking to my family. 0 1 2 3 4 5 38. Respected my confidences or kept my secrets. 0 1 2 3 4 5 39. Interfered in my relationship with family members. 0 1 2 3 4 5 40. Tried to keep me from doing things to help myself. 0 1 2 3 4 5 Gay Male Domestic Violence 83 41. Let me talk about my feelings. 0 1 2 3 4 5 42. Told me my feelings are irrational or crazy. 0 1 2 3 4 5 43. Encouraged me to go to school or other self-improvement activities. 0 1 2 3 4 5 44. Blamed me for his problems. 0 1 2 3 4 5 45. Tr ied to turn my family and friends against me. 0 1 2 3 4 5 46. Was affectionate with me. 0 1 2 3 4 5 47. Blamed me for causing his violent behavior. 0 1 2 3 4 5 48. Tried to make me feel like I was crazy. 0 1 2 3 4 5 49. Encouraged me to socialize with my opposite sex friends. 0 1 2 3 4 5 50. My partner's moods changed radically, from very calm to very angry, or vice versa. 0 1 2 3 4 5 51. Blamed me when he was upset even if I had nothing to do with it. 0 1 2 3 4 5 52. Was sensitive to my sexual needs and desires. 0 1 2 3 4 5 53. Tried to convince my family and friends that I was crazy. 0 1 2 3 4 5 54. Threatened to hurt himself if I left him. 0 1 2 3 4 5 55. Threatened to have an affair with someone else. 0 1 2 3 4 5 56. Made requests politely. 0 1 2 3 4 5 57. Threatened to leave the relationship. 0 1 2 3 4 5 58. Encouraged me to see or talk to my family. 0 1 2 3 4 5 Gay Male Domestic Violence 84 Appendix I Self-Reported Ethnicity for the Entire Sample Couple Ethnicity Couple Ethnicity Couple Ethnicity 1a White 18a White 35a Hispanic 1b White 18b First Nations 35b White 2a White 19a White 36a First Nations 2b Norwegian 19b White 36b White 3a British 20a British/Scottish 37a Asian 3b White 20b Scottish/German 37b White 4a White 21a White 38a 1/2 Black -1/2 White 4b Irish/First Nations 21b Scottish/German 38b White 5a First Nations 22a Dutch 39a Italian/Austrian 5b First Nations 22b French-Canadian 39b German/Mayan 6a French/Irish 23a Canadian 40a Scottish 6b Spanish 23b German/Irish 40b African/American 7a White 24a Irish/Ukrainian 41a White 7b White 24b White 41b Dutch/Indonesian 8a White 25a White 42a Chinese 8b White 25b White 42b White 9a White 26a White 43a White 9b Canadian 26b White 43b Chinese 10a Scottish/Danish 27a Austrian 44a Asian 10b Scottish/Danish 27b Scottish 44b White 11a Canadian 28a German/Danish 45a Ukrainian/Scottish 11b Czechoslovakian 28b German 45b Metis 12a White 29a First Nations 46a Anglo-Canadian 12b White 29b First Nations 46b White 13a White 30a White 47a White 13b White 30b White 47b White 14a Irish/English 31a British 48a White 14b Polish 31b French-Canadian 48b Italian-Canadian 15a White 32a English/Scottish 49a White 15b White 32b Irish/Ukrainian 49b White 16a White 33a English 50a White 16b White 33b Scottish/Jewish 50b British 17a American 34a White 51a Scottish/English 17b White 34b White 51b White 52a English 52b Canadian Appendix J Gay Male Domestic Violence 85 Gay Couples! The Family Conflict Lab at U B C is looking for male homosexual couples to fill out a questionnaire about intimate relationships. Couples must have been together for at least 6 months and must be fluent' i n English- b o m participants wi l l be paid $30 for fi l l ing out a questiortnaire which takes approximately two hours to complete. ^ J J J ^ ^ To participate or for more information, call Mon ica at 822-2151. Gay Male Domestic Violence 86 Appendix K Suggestions for the Reduction of Volunteer Bias *1 . Make the appeal for volunteers as interesting as possible, keeping in mind the nature of the target population. *2. Make the appeal for volunteers as non-threatening as possible so that potential volunteers will not be "put-off' by unwarranted fears of unfavorable evaluation. *3. Explicitly state the theoretical and practical importance of the research for which volunteering is requested. *4. Explicitly state in what way the target population is particularly relevant to the research being conducted and the responsibility of potential volunteers to participate in research that has the potential for benefiting others. *5. When possible, potential volunteers should be offered not only pay for participation but small courtesy gifts simply for taking the time to consider whether they will want to participate. *6. Have the request made by a person of high status as possible and preferably by a woman. *7. When possible, avoid research tasks that may be psychologically or biologically stressful. *8. When possible, communicate the normative nature of the volunteering response. 9. After a target population has been defined, an effort should be made to have someone known to that population make an appeal for volunteers. The request for volunteers itself may be more successful if a personalized appeal is made. *10. In situations where volunteering is regarded by the target population as normative, conditions of public commitment to volunteer may be more successful; where non-volunteering is regarded as normative, conditions of private commitment may be more successful . Rosenthal & Rosnow, 1975 Gay Male Domestic Violence 87 Appendix L Debriefing Form T H A N K Y O U We appreciate your help. We will now be comparing the findings from this study with findings from other studies that look at people with a particular problem relating to intimate abuse. We recognize that some of the questions dealt with sensitive issues and may have created some personal concerns for you. If you would like to discuss them with me, or would like a referral to a professional who deals specifically with those concerns, please call me at 822-2151. I will be happy to talk with you. Donald G . Dutton, Ph.D. Professor of Psychology 


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