Map: Why Women in Some Countries Still Say Domestic Violence Is Okay
A new study in the American Sociological Review, by Rachael S. Pierotti of the University of Michigan, looks at the attitudes of women in 26 different countries toward intimate partner violence. The findings, which could be potentially quite important for curbing domestic violence, suggest that global cultural attitudes increasingly reject it, and that women who are exposed to these ideas are more likely to adopt them.
The surveys, conducted over several years, asked women, “Sometimes a husband is annoyed or angered by things which his wife does. In your opinion, is a husband justified in hitting or beating his wife in the following situations?”
I’ve mapped out the results above. In blue countries, a majority of women answered “no,” and in red countries, a majority answered “yes.” The highest proportion who said they rejected domestic violence was in the Dominican Republic, where 95.54 percent of women said no to the survey question. In Ethiopia, which scored lowest, only 17.84 percent of women answered no.
The survey also presented women with five different scenarios for why a husband might hit his wife: “(1) if she goes out without telling him, (2) if she neglects the children, (3) if she argues with him, (4) if she refuses to have sex with him, and (5) if she burns the food.”
The surveys found growing female rejection of domestic violence in 23 of the 26 countries, suggesting a global trend. It found that “women with greater access to global cultural scripts through urban living, education, or access to media were more likely to reject intimate partner violence.” The phrase “cultural scripts” is academic jargon for global attitudes; in this case, the idea that domestic violence is unacceptable.
Here’s a snip from the paper:
In 22 countries, women who lived in urban areas had higher odds of rejecting intimate partner violence,