Six out of 10 men in India admit to having perpetrated violence against their wives or partners, according to the ‘Masculinity, Intimate Partner Violence and Son Preference’ report, by the United Nations World Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Washington-based International Center for Research on Women, which polled 9,205 men, aged 18 to 49, across seven States to understand their views on masculinity, partner violence and son preference.
Violence was defined as emotional such as insults, intimidation and threats, or physical and sexual such as pushing, punching and rape. It also included economic abuse in which a man did not permit his wife or partner to work or took her earnings against her will.
“Many men in India act in a manner that is fairly pre-determined by their gendered roles and expectations, socio-economic characteristics and childhood experiences,” said the report.
“Men who experience economic stress were more likely to have perpetrated violence ever or in the past 12 months. This may be because of norms related to masculinity, which reinforce the expectation that men are primary economic providers for their households.”
The study — across the States of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra — found that men who had experienced discrimination as children were four times more likely to be violent towards their partners.
The highest reports of violence came from Odisha and Uttar Pradesh, with more than 70% of men in these regions admitting to being abusive towards their wives and partners.
More than 38% of all crimes committed against women in India in 2013 were those registered under the charge of cruelty by husband or his relatives, according to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).