Risk and Danger among the “Invisible”: Bisexual IPV Victimization, Lifestyle Factors, and Feelings of Marginalization

Maureen Outlaw, Brent Teasdale, Mindy S. Bradley, Kim S. Ménard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper examines intimate partner violence (IPV) victimization risk of bisexual individuals compared with their straight and gay peers, highlighting the ways in which risky lifestyle factors and feelings of marginalization operate to increase risk. We theorize that both behavioral and stigma-related risk factors identified in previous work may be systematically different in the bisexual population compared to their straight peers, thus increasing IPV risk. Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Wave 4, N = 14,415), we examine the extent to which risky behaviors and feelings of marginalization mediate the impact of bisexual identity on IPV risk. Findings suggest bisexual individuals are significantly more at risk for IPV (OR = 1.60) than their straight and gay peers. Their increased risk is explained by risky behaviors (e.g., drug use and number of partners), and feeling unloved. Adjusting for these mediators, the effect of being bisexual on IPV is reduced substantially (OR = 1.27) but remains significant. Understanding the unique stigmatization experiences and vulnerability of this population is critical for designing effective victimization prevention strategies. It is important to consider risk reduction strategies that may be uniquely important for bisexual adults and mitigating the burdens of stigma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)122-140
Number of pages19
JournalVictims and Offenders
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Health(social science)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Law


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