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      Risk Factors for Men’s Lifetime Perpetration of Physical Violence against Intimate Partners: Results from the International Men and Gender Equality Survey (IMAGES) in Eight Countries

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          This paper examines men’s lifetime physical intimate partner violence (IPV) perpetration across eight low- and middle-income countries to better understand key risk factors that interventions can target in order to promote gender equality and reduce IPV. We use data from men (n = 7806) that were collected as part of the International Men and Gender Equality Survey (IMAGES) in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Chile, Croatia, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), India, Mexico, and Rwanda. Results show that there is wide variation across countries for lifetime self-reported physical violence perpetration (range: 17% in Mexico to 45% in DRC), men’s support for equal roles for men and women, and acceptability of violence against women. Across the sample, 31% of men report having perpetrated physical violence against a partner in their lifetime. In multivariate analyses examining risk factors for men ever perpetrating physical violence against a partner, witnessing parental violence was the strongest risk factor, reinforcing previous research suggesting the inter-generational transmission of violence. Additionally, having been involved in fights not specifically with an intimate partner, permissive attitudes towards violence against women, having inequitable gender attitudes, and older age were associated with a higher likelihood of ever perpetrating physical IPV. In separate analyses for each country, we found different patterns of risk factors in countries with high perpetration compared to countries with low perpetration. Findings are interpreted to identify key knowledge gaps and directions for future research, public policies, evaluation, and programming.

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          Most cited references 22

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          Social cognitive theory: an agentic perspective.

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          The capacity to exercise control over the nature and quality of one's life is the essence of humanness. Human agency is characterized by a number of core features that operate through phenomenal and functional consciousness. These include the temporal extension of agency through intentionality and forethought, self-regulation by self-reactive influence, and self-reflectiveness about one's capabilities, quality of functioning, and the meaning and purpose of one's life pursuits. Personal agency operates within a broad network of sociostructural influences. In these agentic transactions, people are producers as well as products of social systems. Social cognitive theory distinguishes among three modes of agency: direct personal agency, proxy agency that relies on others to act on one's behest to secure desired outcomes, and collective agency exercised through socially coordinative and interdependent effort. Growing transnational embeddedness and interdependence are placing a premium on collective efficacy to exercise control over personal destinies and national life.
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            Constructions of masculinity and their influence on men's well-being: a theory of gender and health.

             W H Courtenay (2000)
            Men in the United States suffer more severe chronic conditions, have higher death rates for all 15 leading causes of death, and die nearly 7 yr younger than women. Health-related beliefs and behaviours are important contributors to these differences. Men in the United States are more likely than women to adopt beliefs and behaviours that increase their risks, and are less likely to engage in behaviours that are linked with health and longevity. In an attempt to explain these differences, this paper proposes a relational theory of men's health from a social constructionist and feminist perspective. It suggests that health-related beliefs and behaviours, like other social practices that women and men engage in, are a means for demonstrating femininities and masculinities. In examining constructions of masculinity and health within a relational context, this theory proposes that health behaviours are used in daily interactions in the social structuring of gender and power. It further proposes that the social practices that undermine men's health are often signifiers of masculinity and instruments that men use in the negotiation of social power and status. This paper explores how factors such as ethnicity, economic status, educational level, sexual orientation and social context influence the kind of masculinity that men construct and contribute to differential health risks among men in the United States. It also examines how masculinity and health are constructed in relation to femininities and to institutional structures, such as the health care system. Finally, it explores how social and institutional structures help to sustain and reproduce men's health risks and the social construction of men as the stronger sex.
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              Intimate partner violence: causes and prevention.

               Rachel Jewkes (2002)
              Unlike many health problems, there are few social and demographic characteristics that define risk groups for intimate partner violence. Poverty is the exception and increases risk through effects on conflict, women's power, and male identity. Violence is used as a strategy in conflict. Relationships full of conflict, and especially those in which conflicts occur about finances, jealousy, and women's gender role transgressions are more violent than peaceful relationships. Heavy alcohol consumption also increases risk of violence. Women who are more empowered educationally, economically, and socially are most protected, but below this high level the relation between empowerment and risk of violence is non-linear. Violence is frequently used to resolve a crisis of male identity, at times caused by poverty or an inability to control women. Risk of violence is greatest in societies where the use of violence in many situations is a socially-accepted norm. Primary preventive interventions should focus on improving the status of women and reducing norms of violence, poverty, and alcohol consumption.

                Author and article information

                Role: Academic Editor
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, CA USA )
                3 March 2015
                : 10
                : 3
                [1 ]Department of Health Behavior, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina, 302 Rosenau Hall, Chapel Hill, NC, 27599-7440, United States of America
                [2 ]Carolina Population Center, University of North Carolina, 211 W. Cameron, Chapel Hill, NC, 27599–7440, United States of America
                [3 ]The World Bank Group, 1818 H Street NW, Washington, DC, 20433, United States of America
                [4 ]Promundo-US, 1367 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite #310, Washington, DC, 20036, United States of America
                [5 ]International Center for Research on Women, 1120 20th Street NW, Suite 500 North, Washington, DC, 20036, United States of America
                Örebro University, SWEDEN
                Author notes

                Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

                Conceived and designed the experiments: PF JM MM RL BH GB. Analyzed the data: PF MM RL BH. Wrote the paper: PF JM MM RL BH GB. Oversaw data collection: GB.


                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited

                Figures: 0, Tables: 4, Pages: 18
                The data collection and the data analysis were generously funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation (, The Government of Norway (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Norad), the Ford Foundation (, the Nordic Trust Fund, the World Bank (, and an anonymous donor. Portions of the country-level work were supported by CARE-Norway (Croatia and Bosnia); UNDP (Rwanda and Chile); UNIFEM and UNFPA (Chile), SIDA (DRC). The authors are grateful to the Carolina Population Center for training support (T32 HD007168) and for general support (R24 HD050924). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
                Research Article
                Custom metadata
                Data are available upon request. We are unable to publicly share the dataset because the coordinating organizations (Promundo or the International Center for Research on Women) require that they have a written agreement with anyone who is going to use the data. To request a written agreement, individuals will need to contact either Promundo or the International Center for Research on Women. They may contact Ruti Levtov, at r.levtov@ .



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