Issues of teen dating
about 10 percent of high school students reported experiencing physical or sexual dating violence.Unfortunately, most studies of IPV in the LGBTQ community focus exclusively on adults, and most studies of teen dating violence fail to take into account respondents’ sexual orientation or gender identity.As difficult as it may be to admit, LGBTQ people – including LGBTQ youth – can be and are perpetrators of violence as well as its victims, and too often, that violence occurs in the context of romantic and/or sexual relationships.
Interestingly, the rates of reported victimization versus perpetration in the state were similar for boys and girls. However, when it comes to severe teen dating violence — including sexual and physical assault — girls were disproportionately the victims. At a recent workshop on teen dating violence, co-sponsored by the U. Departments of Justice (DOJ) and Health and Human Services (HHS), researchers presented findings from several studies that found that girls and boys perpetrate the same frequency of physical aggression in romantic relationships.
This finding was at odds with what practitioners attending the workshop said they encounter in their professional experience.
Most of the practitioners in attendance — representing national organizations, schools and victim service community-based agencies — said that they primarily see female victims, and when they discuss teen dating violence with students, they hear that boys are the primary perpetrators. Because teen dating violence has only recently been recognized as a significant public health problem, the complex nature of this phenomenon is not fully understood.
Although research on rates of perpetration and victimization exists, research that examines the problem from a longitudinal perspective and considers the dynamics of teen romantic relationships is lacking.
According to the 2007 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, approximately 10 percent of adolescents nationwide reported being the victim of physical violence at the hands of a romantic partner during the previous year. The rate of psychological victimization is even higher: Between two and three in 10 reported being verbally or psychologically abused in the previous year, according to the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. As for perpetration rates, there are currently no nationwide estimates for who does the abusing, and state estimates vary significantly.
In South Carolina, for example, nearly 8 percent of adolescents reported being physically violent to a romantic partner.The limited data available on LGBTQ teen dating violence, however, is cause for concern.showed significantly higher rates of dating violence among LGB youth than among non-LGB youth.While 29 percent of heterosexual youth surveyed reported being physically abused by dating partners, for example, 42.8 percent of LGB youth reported the same.The rates of sexual victimization for LGB respondents was 23.2 percent, nearly double that of heterosexual youth, of whom 12.3 percent reported sexual coercion.“He seemed honestly happy, he was really good at hiding what was going on,” Chris describes.