Wives' attitudes toward gender roles and their experience of intimate partner violence by husbands in Central Province, Sri Lanka

Achini Jayatilleke, Krishna C Poudel, Kayako Sakisaka, Junko Yasuoka, Achala Upendra Jayatilleke, Masamine Jimba
Journal of Interpersonal Violence 2011, 26 (3): 414-32
The authors conducted a community based, cross-sectional study to describe the prevalence of intimate partner violence (IPV) by husbands and the association between wives' attitudes toward gender roles and their experience of IPV in Central Province, Sri Lanka. This article included a representative sample of 624 wives between 15 and 49 years of age and examined the prevalence of physical, psychological, and sexual abuse. Then, using multivariate logistic regression analysis, the authors examined the association between wives' attitudes toward gender roles and IPV. Of the 624 wives, 36% had experienced at least one episode of physical, psychological, or sexual abuse by their husbands during their life time (ever abuse), and 19% had experienced such abuse during the past 12 months (current abuse). The wives were less likely to experience current abuse by husbands if they believed that "outsiders should not intervene to protect abused wives." They were more likely to experience ever and current isolated psychological abuse by husbands if they did not believe that "a good wife always obeys her husband." This study suggests that the prevalence of IPV is high in Sri Lanka. Although several published studies on IPV suggest that traditional gender role attitudes tend to increase women's vulnerability to IPV, this study suggests that in Sri Lanka, the wives who respect cultural norms tend to experience less IPV by husbands.

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