CAHSS Faculty Articles

Title

Sex role identity and jealousy as correlates of abusive behavior in lesbian relationships

Department

Department of Justice and Human Services

Publication Date

6-1-2003

Publication Title

Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment

Volume

8

Issue

2/3

First Page

153

Last Page

169

Peer Reviewed

1

Abstract

This article presents the findings of a study from a cross-sectional sample of 105 lesbians taken from a non-clinical setting to investigate to what extent they exhibited abusive behavior toward an intimate female partner and whether the abuse was physical, psychological, or both. This study examined whether an association exists between a lesbian's sex role identity, particularly the dimension of femininity, and her abusive behavior. The hypothesis that jealousy in the relationship would be positively associated with reported incidences of abusive behavior was also examined. The results show that when abuse is broadly defined a sizable minority report high incidences of overall abuse and psychological abuse at some time during their current relationship. The most salient finding of this study was the strong evidence of a relationship between jealousy and abusive behavior. The implications of these findings underscore the need for continued and enhanced delivery of services. Other implications of this study point toward consciousness-raising to the larger community about institutionalized and individual homophobia and heterosexism.

DOI

10.1300/J137v08n02_10