Sexism, intimate partner violence and risk behavior amongst men in a South African township

SOURCE: Violence and Gender
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2014
TITLE AUTHOR(S): J.Mthembu, L.Simbayi, D.Onoya, S.Jooste, V.Mehlomakulu, K.Mwaba, D.Cain, O.Harel, M.P.Carey, K.B.Carey, S.Kalichman
KEYWORDS: GENDER EQUALITY, MEN, PARTNER VIOLENCE, RISK BEHAVIOUR, SEXUAL ABUSE, TOWNSHIP
DEPARTMENT: HIV/AIDS, STIs and TB (HAST)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 8397

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Abstract

South Africa is known to have particularly high levels of intimate partner violence (IPV) against women. This study aims to examine the association between men's hostile sexist attitudes toward women and men's self-report perpetration of IPV. This study was a retrospective cross-sectional survey. A total of 829 men, aged 18 years or older, were recruited in informal drinking establishments, known as shebeens, in a Cape Town township and asked to complete an anonymous behavioral survey. Linear regression analysis was used to assess associations between hostile sexism and the variables of interest. Higher hostile sexism was associated with recent IPV (prior 30 days) and having a history of sexually transmitted infections (STI), while a lower hostile sexism was associated with communication with a male friend about violence against women, higher negative attitudes toward risky sexual behavior, and higher rates of condom use. Furthermore, being married was also associated with lower hostile sexism. Higher hostile sexism is associated with IPV, and therefore addressing sexist attitudes men hold about women can help strengthen interventions focused on IPV among men in South Africa. This study suggests that engaging men in the effort to change sexist attitudes is vital to curbing IPV.