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Cultural or Institutional? Contextual Effects on Domestic Violence against Women in Rural China

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Abstract

Domestic violence against women is a critical social problem due to its long-lasting harmful effects on women’s health and wellbeing. Previous studies have examined the individual and household-level determinants of domestic violence, yet there remains limited research on the effects of community-level factors, especially in rural China. To address this research gap, this study investigated the relationship between cultural and institutional factors and the risk of domestic violence against women in this context. Drawing data from the nationally representative China Women Social Status Survey (CWSS), multilevel modelling was used to identify the significant contextual factors and their interaction effects on domestic violence. Both cultural and institutional factors in a community are associated with the risk of domestic violence against women. Moreover, institutional measures are significantly related to the risk of domestic violence where patriarchal cultural norms are dominant. Findings revealed the importance of changing the patriarchal norms and promoting gender equality in combatting domestic violence in rural China.

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Funding

This work is supported by Fund for Building World-class Universities (Disciplines) of Renmin University of China (2020).

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Correspondence to Yueping Song.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Song, Y., Zhang, J. & Zhang, X. Cultural or Institutional? Contextual Effects on Domestic Violence against Women in Rural China. J Fam Viol 36, 643–655 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10896-020-00198-6

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10896-020-00198-6

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