UK Data Service data catalogue record for:

Comparing Love and Domestic Violence in Heterosexual and Same Sex Relationships, 2005-2006

Title details

SN: 6332
Title: Comparing Love and Domestic Violence in Heterosexual and Same Sex Relationships, 2005-2006
Persistent identifier: 10.5255/UKDA-SN-6332-1
Depositor: Donovan, C., University of Sunderland. School of Health, Natural and Social Sciences
Principal investigator(s): Donovan, C., University of Sunderland. School of Health, Natural and Social Sciences
Hester, M., University of Bristol. School for Policy Studies
Sponsor(s): Economic and Social Research Council
Grant number: RES-000-23-0650
Other acknowledgements: Johnathon Holmes and Melanie McCarry: Research Associates


The citation for this study is:

Donovan, C.,Hester, M. (2009). Comparing Love and Domestic Violence in Heterosexual and Same Sex Relationships, 2005-2006 . [data collection]. UK Data Service. SN: 6332,

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Subject Categories

Family life and marriage - Social stratification and groupings
Gender roles - Social stratification and groupings


Abstract copyright UK Data Service and data collection copyright owner.

Comparing Love and Domestic Violence in Heterosexual and Same Sex Relationships, 2005-2006 is a mixed methods study. The study sought to increase knowledge and understanding of domestic violence in same sex relationships and had the following research aims:
  • to explore the scope of domestic violence in same sex relationships via the first comprehensive national community survey
  • to identify similarities and differences between the experiences of those in same sex and heterosexual relationships, including use of help-seeking strategies via the criminal justice system or other agencies
  • to explore the impact of narratives of love as rationales for violence in heterosexual and same sex relationships, and develop comparative understandings of ways in which sexuality may or may not influence both expectations about and the 'doing' of adult intimate relationships
  • to explore existing analyses and develop new theories regarding domestic violence in adult relationships, by comparing the experiences of individuals in 'gender free' relationships (same sex relationships) with those in gendered (heterosexual) relationships and by focusing on narratives of love rather than gender roles
These aims and objectives were achieved via a same sex community survey examining incidence of domestic violence in the preceding 12 months and previously, semi-structured interviews with heterosexual women, men, lesbians and gay men and focus groups (focus group data are not included in the collection available from the UKDA).

Further information is available from the ESRC Comparing Love and Domestic Violence in Heterosexual and Same Sex Relationships award web page.

Main Topics:
Quantitative survey:
The survey includes questions on: respondents' current relationships, decision-making and conflict resolution; experiences of emotional, physical and sexual abusive behaviours and their impact; experiences of using emotional, physical and sexual behaviours on an intimate same sex partner; the reasons for their behaviour; and help seeking.

Qualitative interview transcripts:
Interviews focused on a 'best' and a 'worst' relationship experience including questions about how they met; how they organised their relationship; whether they loved their partner and how they knew; decision-making; the best and the worst of being in the relationship; how the relationship had ended; general questions about love and domestic violence in same sex relationships.

Coverage, universe, methodology

Dates of fieldwork: November 2005 - October 2006
Country: United Kingdom
Spatial units: Regions
Observation units: Individuals
Kind of data: Textual data
Numeric data
Individual (micro) level
Semi-structured interview transcripts
Universe: National
Quantitative survey: women and men aged 16-65 who had experienced a same sex relationship in the UK.
Qualitative interview transcripts: women and men aged 18-65 who had experienced same sex and/or heterosexual relationships in the UK.
Time dimensions: Cross-sectional (one-time) study
Sampling procedures: Volunteer sample; Convenience sample
Those interviewed from the quantitative survey sample constituted a purposive sample for the semi-structured interviews. Factors such as geographical location, age and relationship experience were considered.
Number of units: Quantitative survey: 800; Qualitative interview transcripts: 59
Method of data collection: Face-to-face interview; Self-completion
Email survey
Weighting: No weighting used

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Administrative and access information

Date of release:
First edition: 01 December 2009
Copyright: Copyright C. Donovan and M. Hester
Access conditions: The depositor has specified that registration is required and standard conditions of use apply. The depositor may be informed about usage. See terms and conditions of access for further information.
Availability: UK Data Service
Contact: Get in touch


Title File Name Size (KB)
Data Listing 6332ulist.xls 36
User Guide 6332uguide.pdf 1029
Data Listing 6332ulist.pdf 24
Study information and citation UKDA_Study_6332_Information.htm 20
READ File read6332.htm 3
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By principal investigator(s):
McCarry, M., Hester, M. and Donovan C. (2007) ‘Researching same sex domestic violence: constructing a survey methodology', Sociological Research Online, 13(1). Retrieved November 25, 2009 from

Donovan, C. and Hester M. (2008) '"Because she was my first girlfriend, I didn’t know any different": making the case for mainstreaming same-sex sex/relationship education', Journal of Sex Education, 8(3), pp.277-287.

Hester, M. and Donovan, C. (2009) ‘Researching domestic violence in same sex relationships – a feminist epistemological approach to survey development’, Journal of Lesbian Studies, 13(2), pp.161-173.

Resulting from secondary analysis:


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