Abstract: Education and Men's Attitudes about Intimate Partner Violence in Honduras (Society for Social Work and Research 23rd Annual Conference - Ending Gender Based, Family and Community Violence)

347P Education and Men's Attitudes about Intimate Partner Violence in Honduras

Friday, January 18, 2019
Continental Parlors 1-3, Ballroom Level (Hilton San Francisco)
* noted as presenting author
Selina Forsyth, MSW, Recent MSW Graduate, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT
Background and Purpose: Violence against women is a widespread global human rights issue. Women in all parts of the world face higher risks of domestic violence than their male counterparts. Domestic violence is associated with a myriad of negative physical and mental health outcomes for women and their children. In the effort to reduce domestic violence against women, it is important to explore the attitudes of men regarding whether or not violence against an intimate partner is justified. This paper examined factors predictive of men’s attitudes toward intimate partner violence in Honduras. Specifically, this study modeled the effects of male educational attainment and media access on male attitudes concerning the justification of wife-beating.

Methods: This analysis utilized data from the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) conducted in Honduras in 2011-2012. The DHS conducts nationally representative household surveys in low- and middle-income countries. The Honduras 2011-2012 DHS contains a Men’s Survey with information about health behaviors and attitudes as well as general demographic indicators. Only respondents currently married or cohabiting were included in this analysis, reducing the sample size to 4,760 men.

Attitudes regarding domestic violence were measured by counting the number of situations for which a respondent claimed that wife-beating was justified. Participants in this survey were asked if beating one’s wife was justified in each of five different situations: if the wife (1) goes out without telling her husband, (2) neglects the children, (3) argues with her husband, (4) refuses to have sex with her husband, or (5) burns the food. Answers were combined to form a 0 to 5 count totalling the number of situations in which a respondent stated that wife-beating is justified. Poisson regression was used to model the relationship between education, media access, and other variables and the justification of domestic violence.

Results: This analysis found that each level increase in a man’s educational attainment is associated with a decrease in attitudes justifying wife-beating. However, media access had mixed results. Reading a newspaper or magazine at least once a week was associated with less justification of wife-beating, while listening to the radio at least once a week was strongly associated with increased justification of wife-beating (p<.001). Other protective factors against justification of wife-beating included joint decision-making in the couple, older current age of respondent and older age at first union. Risk factors for justification of wife-beating included wealth index and frequency of drinking.

Conclusions and Implications: As increased education for men is associated with less justification of wife-beating, education for men may be an effective intervention to decrease domestic violence. More research is needed, however, to directly connect education, attitudes regarding domestic violence, and the actual incidence of domestic violence. Further research is also needed to understand the effects of media use, especially radio programming, on wife-beating attitudes. Radio exposure among this sample currently appears detrimental to egalitarian attitudes; future research should explore reasons for this relationship and how this issue could be remedied.