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Factors associated with men’s perpetration of physical violence against intimate partners in India

Abstract

Men’s perpetration of violence against their female partners is widely recognized as a serious social problem. Yet research on intimate partner violence (IPV) has been primarily focused on women’s exposure and not on men’s perpetration. This paper fills this gap and explores the intensity of and the factors associated with men’s perpetration of violence against their intimate partners. In 2013, a cross-sectional survey with multistage sampling approach was conducted in seven states of India, including 9,135 men. The study adapted the International Men and Gender Equality Survey (IMAGES) tool. This paper analyses data from 6,081 currently married men included in the survey. Multinomial and logistic regression were applied to determine factors associated with the intensity of physical violence perpetration in the men’s lifetime and perpetration in the past 12 months, respectively. Over one-third of the men reported ever perpetrating physical violence (15% often and 19% moderately), and almost half of them (48%) had perpetrated physical violence in the past 12 months. Education, substance abuse, and experience of violence (including bullying) during childhood stand out as the most important factors associated with violence perpetration among men.

Résumé

La perpétration de la violence par les hommes à l'encontre de leurs partenaires féminines est largement reconnue comme un grave problème social. Pourtant, la recherche sur la violence entre partenaires intimes (VPI) s'est principalement concentrée sur l'exposition des femmes et non sur la perpétration des hommes. Cet article comble cette lacune et explore l'intensité et les facteurs associés à la perpétration de la violence par les hommes contre leurs partenaires intimes. En 2013, une enquête transversale a été menée dans sept états de l'Inde, incluant 9 135 hommes. L'étude a adapté l'outil de l'Enquête internationale sur les hommes et l'égalité des sexes (IMAGES). Le présent article analyse les données collectées chez 6 081 hommes actuellement mariés de cet échantillon. Des régressions multinomiales et logistiques ont été appliquées pour déterminer les facteurs associés à l'intensité de la violence physique commise au cours de la vie et à la perpétration au cours des 12 derniers mois, respectivement. Plus d'un tiers des hommes de notre échantillon ont déclaré avoir commis des actes de violence physique dans leur vie (15% souvent et 19% modérément) et près de la moitié d'entre eux (48%) avaient commis un acte de violence physique au cours des 12 derniers mois. L'éducation, la consommation des substances, et l'expérience de violence pendant l'enfance et la jeunesse (incluant l’intimidation par les pairs) ressortent comme les facteurs le plus importants associés à la perpétration de VPI.

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Availability of data and materials

The data for the current research can be accessed by sending a request to agatuam@icrw.org. The data was analysed in SPSS, version 19, and the syntax and codes are available upon request.

Notes

  1. 1.

    Unadjusted relative risk ratios from multinomial models including only one variable at a time are presented in the Appendix.

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Acknowledgements

We are grateful to UNFPA India and Asia-Pacific team for providing technical support in finalizing the research design and tools and extending the support in each state during the data collection. We thank to the research and field team of Nielsen India Pvt. Ltd. for collecting the data. Lastly, we are thankful to all the participants who agreed to give time for the interview and shared detailed information with us.

Funding

The study was funded by United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

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Authors

Contributions

RV and AG designed the study. AG, KKS, and BPS conceptualize the research piece. AG led manuscript writing. All authors contributed to final draft.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Abhishek Gautam.

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Ethics approval

The present study uses data from the “Masculinity, Intimate Partner Violence and Son Preference in India Study” conducted in 2013–2014 by the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) with support from UNFPA. The protocol, tools, sampling methods, consent process, and consent forms were approved by ICRWs Institutional Review Board (IRB) prior to the survey.

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All authors consent to the publication of this paper.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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Appendix

Appendix

Table 5 Unadjusted relative risk ratios (RRR) from multinomial logistic regressions on intensity of violence perpetration controlling for background characteristics

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Gautam, A., Singh, K.K., Singh, B.P. et al. Factors associated with men’s perpetration of physical violence against intimate partners in India. Can. Stud. Popul. (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s42650-021-00052-0

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Keywords

  • Intimate partner violence (IPV)
  • Physical violence
  • Men’s perpetration
  • Childhood abuse
  • Bullying

Mots-clé

  • Violence entre partenaires intimes (VPI)
  • violence physique
  • perpétration par les hommes
  • maltraitance infantile
  • intimidation