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Study reveals dramatic changes in global attitudes toward domestic violence
Date:4/25/2013

WASHINGTON, DC, April 25, 2013 Global attitudes about domestic violence changed dramatically during the first decade of the 2000s, according to a new University of Michigan study that analyzes data from 26 low- and middle-income countries.

Nigeria had the largest change, with 65 percent of men and 52 percent of women rejecting domestic violence in 2008, compared with 48 percent and 33 percent, respectively, in 2003.

In the study, which appears in the April issue of the American Sociological Review, University of Michigan researcher Rachael Pierotti analyzes data on hundreds of thousands of people collected in Demographic and Health Surveys funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Half of the countries surveyed are in sub-Saharan Africa.

"In many countries, men were even more likely to reject violence than women were," says Pierotti, a graduate student in sociology.

Data on male attitudes was available in 15 of the countries Pierotti studied. Men were more likely than women to reject domestic violence in Benin, Ethiopia, Ghana, Indonesia, Madagascar, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.

The survey questions about attitudes toward domestic violence differed slightly from one country to another. But the most common form was as follows:

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?

  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
  5. if she burns the food

In general, Pierotti found that people were most likely to say that violence was justified if a wife neglected the children and least likely to consider it justifiable if a wife burned the food.

In two countries Madagascar and Indonesi
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Contact: Daniel Fowler
pubinfo@asanet.org
202-527-7885
American Sociological Association
Source:Eurekalert

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