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Intimate violence between same-sex couples is similar, in terms of characteristics and dynamics, to violence between couples of different sex. This qualitative article has the main objective of portraying violence between same-sex couples through representations of gay men. Thus, two focus groups were held with 17 young people, aged between 19 and 29 years (M = 24.06). After an analysis of thematic content, we conclude that despite the similarities between the different couples, there are factors (e.g., double stigmatization, invisibility, isolation) that point to an increased concealment of the violence. The creation of victim support services and the training of professionals were identified as the main ways of combating violence, considering it pertinent to integrate gender equality content in school programs.
Intimate violence is a complex social problem that significantly affects people’s daily lives. Affecting different age groups, of different cultural origins, violence today seems to be a trivialized relational resource and legitimized by contemporary societies, appearing in their practices and in their discourses, despite the fact that social intolerance towards violence has grown, both in terms of representations in general, either at the legislative and public policy level (eg note the differences between current penal codes and those prior to 1974).
In recent decades, studies have shown that, among the spectrum of intimate violence, dating violence is one of the most expressive, affecting both couples of the same sex and people of different sex. In the 1980s, with the publication of the first investigation into the nature and prevalence of violence in heterosexual dating, Makepeace (1981) already suggested that relationships between young people were guided by experiences of victimization, estimating that one in five university students / had experienced, at least once in his life, an episode of physical violence in the context of intimacy. Such evidence has been corroborated by other investigations carried out over the past 40 years, which highlight the mutual and reciprocal character of dating violence (eg Neves, 2014a, 2014b; Magalhães et al., 2016; O’Leary et al., 2008; Straus, 2008).
Despite the fact that research on same-sex dating violence is much more scarce, having only emerged in the late 1980s (Duke and Davidson, 2009; Hill et al., 2012; Murray and Mobley, 2009) and very associated to HIV / AIDS issues (Byrne, 1996; Finneran and Stephenson, 2012), the data indicate that its prevalence is no different from the prevalence of violence in heterosexual intimacy (Freedner et al., 2002), as well as many its general characteristics (Antunes and Machado, 2005; Costa et al., 2011; Topa, 2010; Wise and Bowman, 1997). Indeed, the violence perpetrated within same-sex couples, whether lesbian or gay (LG), appears to have the same incidence as that which occurs in relationships between people of different sex (Matthews et al.