The correlation is especially prevalent among gays, lesbians and bisexuals -- more so than in heterosexuals, says Tonda Hughes, professor and interim head of health systems science in the UIC College of Nursing. Hughes is lead author of the study, published in the journal Addiction.
Researchers compared victimization experiences of unwanted sexual activity, neglect, physical violence, and assault with a weapon, across four sexual-identity subgroups -- heterosexual, gay or lesbian, bisexual, or "not sure." The study used data collected nationally from 34,635 adults from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions.
Hughes and her research team wondered if sexual-minority women and men are at a heightened risk for victimization. The results, Hughes said, showed that they are.
Lesbian and bisexual women were more than twice as likely as heterosexual women to report any victimization over their lifetime. Lesbians, gay men and bisexual women also reported a greater number of victimization experiences than did heterosexuals. Three times as many lesbians as heterosexual women reported childhood sexual abuse.
One possible explanation for this disproportionality, Hughes said, is that lesbians are more willing to acknowledge and report this experience.
"Gays and lesbians tend to be more self-reflective," she said. "This means they are more likely to think about and report negative or stigmatizing life experiences. Heterosexuals may not be inclined to do so."
Gay men also had high rates of victimization, with about half of them reporting any lifetime victimization. They reported significantly higher rates of childhood sexual abuse, childhood neglect, partner violence and assault with a weapon than heterosexual men.
Not only are there higher rates of violence and victimization among sexual minorities, but there is also a higher rate of substance abuse, Hughes said.
Regardless of sexual identity, women who reported two or more victimization experiences had two to four times the prevalence of alcohol dependence, drug abuse or drug dependence as women who reported no victimization, she said.
The research also concluded that gay, lesbian and bisexual youth may use substances to cope with adverse psychological and interpersonal effects of victimization, increasing the risk for further victimization from others, she said.
The study was funded through grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, two of the National Institutes of Health.
Other authors on the Addiction paper were Sean Esteban McCabe, Brady West and Carol Boyd of the University of Michigan and Sharon Wilsnack of the University of North Dakota.
Sam Hostettler | EurekAlert!
New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)
Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
Two researchers at Heidelberg University have developed a model system that enables a better understanding of the processes in a quantum-physical experiment...
Glaciers might seem rather inhospitable environments. However, they are home to a diverse and vibrant microbial community. It’s becoming increasingly clear that they play a bigger role in the carbon cycle than previously thought.
A new study, now published in the journal Nature Geoscience, shows how microbial communities in melting glaciers contribute to the Earth’s carbon cycle, a...
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
03.04.2017 | Event News
21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
21.04.2017 | Health and Medicine
21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy