Puerto Rican drug users' experiences of physical and sexual abuse: Comparisons based on sexual identities

H. Ann Finlinson, Rafaela R. Robles, Héctor M. Colón, Mayra Soto López, Maria Del Carmen Negrón, Denise Oliver-Vélez, Sherry Deren, Jonny F. Andía, John G H Cant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study integrates the results of quantitative and qualitative methods to elucidate the association between sexual identity and physical and sexual abuse among Puerto Rican drug users. A structured questionnaire was administered to 800 subjects in New York and 399 in Puerto Rico. A total of 93 subjects (7.9%) self-identified as homosexual or bisexual. Gay males were significantly more likely than heterosexual males to report first occurrence of physical abuse by a family member in childhood. Both gay and bisexual males were more likely than their heterosexual counterparts to report first experiencing unwanted sex in childhood and intimate partner physical abuse later in life. Lesbians were more likely than female heterosexuals to report unwanted sex in childhood. Qualitative data were collected through in-depth life histories with 21 subjects and suggest that gay and lesbian subjects perceive antihomosexual prejudice on the part of family members as one cause of childhood physical and sexual abuse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)277-285
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Sex Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Psychology
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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