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Perceptions, beliefs, and attitudes towards intimate partner violence against women : an exploratory study of urban dating versus married participants in Bangladesh

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Item Summary

Title:Perceptions, beliefs, and attitudes towards intimate partner violence against women : an exploratory study of urban dating versus married participants in Bangladesh
Authors:Hadi, Syeda Tonima
Keywords:domestic violence
Date Issued:Aug 2011
Publisher:[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [August 2011]
Abstract:This dissertation explores people's perceptions, beliefs, and attitudes towards intimate partner violence in Bangladesh. Despite the importance of people's perceptions behind the prevalence of violence against women, no Bangladeshi study has explored further the factors that shape people's perceptions and beliefs. Moreover, far less is known about urban intimate partners outside rural marital relationships. This study utilizes a survey instrument to collect data from Bangladeshi urban college students (n = 331) and a small group of professionals (n = 99). Of those participants who were in a relationship (n = 313), a majority (73 percent) reported being in a dating relationship and the rest in a marital relationship. Thus, in addition to participants' perceptions of partner violence, the researcher collected data on the prevalence of violence in their relationships. The main factors analyzed in association with people's perceptions and their experiences of intimate partner violence are: gender, age, education, relationship status, profession, and having abusive male friends.
Overall, participants' perceptions of partner violence were poor. Out of 430 participants, 191 refused to provide any information on their perceptions about what actions are considered abusive or which relationships experience violence. Another 120 said they "do not know" about intimate partner violence. A good percentage of participants perceived various forms of abuse (especially if perpetrated by men) as "proper." For example, between 20 and 30 percent of the participants thought destroying partner's belongings, threatening to stop financial support, restricting movement, and stalking are "proper" if perpetrated by men. When examined further, male participants (35 percent) were more likely to perceive stalking as appropriate compared to females (22 percent). Professionals and those with more education (between 16 and 18 percent) were less likely to perceive stalking as "proper" compared to students and those with less education (35 percent). In addition to their lack of perceptions about partner violence, the participants held strong patriarchal beliefs and attitudes: between 45 and 55 percent of participants believed that men have ultimate power to control women; 20 percent believed that women who are raped are partly to blame, and 14 percent thought that a man has the right to force his partner to have sex. Once again, the male, young, less educated, and student participants were more likely to uphold patriarchal beliefs and attitudes.
Given the lack of perceptions among participants about partner violence and their strong patriarchal beliefs and attitudes, high levels of violence within participants' own relationships were expected (supported by literature). Sure enough, high levels of partner violence and more alarmingly severe forms of physical abuse were reported, especially by the dating participants (mostly the college students). Between 23 and 27 percent of dating participants were beaten up, kicked, bit, hit, or choked by their partners compared to 12 to 15 percent of married participants. Moreover, 64 percent of participants reported having male friends who were abusive in their relationships. Later, a correlation analysis revealed that students, participants with less education, and dating participants were more likely to have abusive friends, which in turn influenced the prevalence of IPV in their relationships. Those having abusive friends were three times more likely to perpetrate physical as well as psychological abuse. These participants were also two times more likely to be the victims of physical abuse.
Description:Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2011.
Includes bibliographical references.
Appears in Collections: Ph.D. - Sociology

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