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Why Do Some Men Use Violence Against Women and How Can We Prevent it?

NCJ Number
Emma Fulu; Xian Warner; Stephanie Miedema; Rachel Jewkes; Tim Rosellii; James Lang
Date Published
September 2013
121 pages
This is the report on the findings and recommendations of the United Nations (UN) Multi-country Study on Men and Violence in Asia and the Pacific, which was conducted to determine how masculinities (identities and patterns of practices that shape gender norms for men) relate to men's perceptions and perpetration of violence against women; the study was conducted so as to guide efforts in preventing such violence.
This study's findings reaffirm that men's violence against women stems from women's subordination and inequality in the private and public spheres. The factors associated with men's violence against women were found to stem from influential narratives of masculinity that justify and celebrate domination, aggression, strength and power to inflict harm, as well as men's heterosexual performance and control over women. These risk factors for men's violence against women are embedded in patriarchal cultures that promote male dominance over women. Seven recommendations are presented. First, change social norms that promote the subordination of and violence against women. Second, promote non-violent and respectful masculine behavioral norms toward women. Third, address child abuse and promote healthy families and nurturing, violence-free environments for children. Fourth, work with young boys to address early signs of sexually violent behavior. Fifth, promote healthy sexuality for men and address the male attitude of sexual entitlement. Sixth, end impunity for men who rape; and seventh, develop interventions that respond to the specific patterns of violence against women in each context. The study was conducted between 2010 and 2013 and involved approximately 10,000 men and 3,000 women in 9 sites across 6 countries: Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Papua New Guinea. In order to ensure data comparability across sites, the study used a standardized structured questionnaire. 21 tables, 10 figures and approximately 150 references