Max Fisher put together this map in an article for the Washington Post that shows how more women across the world say that domestic violence is never okay, according to the results of a study in the American Sociological Review by Rachael S. Pierotti at the University of Michigan. Pierotti examined what women in 26 different countries thought about intimate partner violence. Those countries appear in the colored parts of the map above — the gray areas are countries that were not included in the study. Fisher’s overview:
The surveys found growing female rejection of domestic violence in 23 of the 26 countries, suggesting a global trend. It found that “women with greater access to global cultural scripts through urban living, education, or access to media were more likely to reject intimate partner violence.” The phrase “cultural scripts” is academic jargon for global attitudes; in this case, the idea that domestic violence is unacceptable.
In a press release cited in a post on MedPageToday.com, Pierotti noted:
“Nearly a 20-percentage point change within only 5 years is evidence of a very rapid shift in attitudes. This trend is the same among ever- and never-married women. In countries for which data are available, men’s attitudinal trends follow the same patterns.”
Fisher noted that the largest gains are in countries where people might expect different results:
The data also cut against the common Western perception that women are treated the worst in the Muslim world: just look at the differences in results between Jordan, Turkey and Egypt. As I’ve written before, metrics of gender equality and the treatment of women often suggest that women are, on average, worse off in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa than in the Middle East, contrary to popular Western perceptions.
In fact, the MedPageToday.com post noted that “the smallest percentage-point increases were seen in India (1.6 points), Bolivia (3.13 points) and Ethiopia (3.92 points).”