Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 13–40 | Cite as

Patriarchal ideology and wife-assault: A meta-analytic review

  • David B. Sugarman
  • Susan L. Frankel


Using the framework of patriarchal theory, the present meta-analytic review examined the predicted relation between wife assault and the maintenance of a patriarchal ideology. This relationship was evaluated using three measures of patriarchal ideology: (1) attitudes toward violence, (2) gender attitudes, and (3) gender schemas. Overall, assaultive husbands reported more positive attitudes toward marital violence and lower scores on masculine and feminine gender schema scales than nonassaultive husbands. Methodological factors accounted for the significant heterogeneity among the gender attitude effect estimates for men. A nonsignificant average effect in the males' gender attitude emerged in studies which used husbands' self-report data and case-control comparison groups. In contrast to men, assaulted wives held more feminine gender schema and tended to exhibit more liberal gender attitudes than nonassaulted wives across studies. These meta-analytic findings offer limited support for the ideological component of the patriarchal theory of wife assault and are discussed with respect to their theoretical and methodological implications.

Key Words

patriarchal ideology wife-assault gender schemas and role violence attitudes 


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References References marked with an asterisk indicate studies included in the meta-analysis

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • David B. Sugarman
    • 1
  • Susan L. Frankel
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyRhode Island CollegeProvidence
  2. 2.University of New HampshireUSA

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