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Domestic violence by men 'shocking': survey (2)

(China Daily)

08:10, May 10, 2013

The gender-based violence study in China released on Thursday showed that 52 percent of around 800 male respondents have committed an act of domestic violence against their partners.

The survey randomly interviewed about 1,000 men and 1,100 women in a county in South China, according to Wang Xiangxian, an associate professor of sociology from Tianjin Normal University who participated in the research.

The county was not identified to protect the confidentiality of participating respondents, she said, adding that about 90 percent of the interviewees were married or divorced when the interview was conducted in 2011.

The domestic survey revealed that about one-fifth of male respondents said they had forced their partners to have sex, Wang said.

The study in China also showed that women are more at risk of rape from a partner than a non-partner. Among women who had been raped, three in five had been raped by a partner.

Domestic violence has a serious impact on women's physical, mental and reproductive health, it said. For instance, among women who had been physically abused by their partners, 40 percent had been injured, resulting in their taking leave from work or having to stay in bed.

The domestic study also tried to find out what shaped men's violent behavior, and it found that the respondents' attitude toward masculinity can be a deep-rooted reason.

Nearly all men and women polled agreed that women should be equal with men. More than 90 percent of respondents said they were opposed to men perpetrating violence against their partners.

However, the survey also reflected wide tolerance of men's privileges.

Some 72 percent of men and 61 percent of women polled said they believe men should have a bigger voice than women in major decisions.

About 73 percent of men and 55 percent women respondents agreed that men should be tough.

Half of men and one-fifth of women supported the idea that men can use violence to defend their reputation.

More than half of respondents felt that men need sex more than women.

"The widely accepted norms about masculinity are a major driving force for the prevalence of domestic violence against women," said Wang, the sociologist.

"It's pointless to talk about the abstract idea of gender equality if we don't eliminate the prejudice that is accepted by individuals, communities and even the whole society," she said.

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