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1.  Violence against women: The perspective of academic women 
BMC Public Health  2010;10:490.
Opinion surveys about potential causes of violence against women (VAW) are uncommon. This study explores academic women's opinions about VAW and the ways of reducing violence.
Quantitative and qualitative methods were used in this descriptive study. One hundred-and-fifteen academicians participated in the study from two universities. A questionnaire was used regarding the definition and the causes of VAW, the risk groups and opinions about the solutions. Additionally, two authors interviewed 8 academicians from universities other than that of the interviewing author.
Academicians discussed the problem from the perspective of "gender-based violence" rather than "family violence". The majority of the participants stated that nonworking women of low socioeconomic status are most at risk for VAW. They indicated that psychological violence is more prevalent against educated women, whilst physical violence is more likely to occur against uneducated and nonworking women. Perpetrator related factors were the most frequently stated causes of VAW. Thirty-five percent of the academicians defined themselves as at risk of some act of VAW. Recommendations for actions against violence were empowerment of women, increasing the educational levels in the society, and legal measures.
Academic women introduced an ecological approach for the explanation of VAW by stressing the importance of taking into account the global context of the occurrence of VAW. Similar studies with various community members -including men- will help to define targeted interventions.
PMCID: PMC2931473  PMID: 20716338
2.  ‘Expanding your mind’: the process of constructing gender-equitable masculinities in young Nicaraguan men participating in reproductive health or gender training programs 
Global Health Action  2012;5:10.3402/gha.v5i0.17262.
Traditional forms of masculinity strongly influence men's and women's wellbeing.
This study has two aims: (i) to explore notions of various forms of masculinities in young Nicaraguan men participating in programs addressing sexual health, reproductive health, and/or gender equality and (ii) to find out how these young men perceive their involvement in actions aimed at reducing violence against women (VAW).
A qualitative grounded theory study. Data were collected through six focus groups and two in-depth interviews with altogether 62 young men.
Our analysis showed that the informants experienced a process of change, labeled ‘Expanding your mind’, in which we identified four interrelated subcategories: The apprentice, The responsible/respectful man, The proactive peer educator, and ‘The feminist man’. The process showed how an increased awareness of gender inequities facilitated the emergence of values (respect and responsibility) and behavior (thoughtful action) that contributed to increase the informant's critical thinking and agency at individual, social, and political levels. The process was influenced by individual and external factors.
Multiple progressive masculinities can emerge from programs challenging patriarchy in this Latin American setting. The masculinities identified in this study show a range of attitudes and behaviors; however, all lean toward more equitable gender relations. The results suggest that learning about sexual and reproductive health does not directly imply developing more gender-equitable attitudes and behaviors or a greater willingness to prevent VAW. It is paramount that interventions to challenge machismo in this setting continue and are expanded to reach more young men.
PMCID: PMC3412571  PMID: 22870066
gender; grounded theory; masculinity; Nicaragua; young men; change
3.  Talk, trust and time: a longitudinal study evaluating knowledge translation and exchange processes for research on violence against women 
Violence against women (VAW) is a major public health problem. Translation of VAW research to policy and practice is an area that remains understudied, but provides the opportunity to examine knowledge translation and exchange (KTE) processes in a complex, multi-stakeholder context. In a series of studies including two randomized trials, the McMaster University VAW Research Program studied one key research gap: evidence about the effectiveness of screening women for exposure to intimate partner violence. This project developed and evaluated KTE strategies to share research findings with policymakers, health and community service providers, and women's advocates.
A longitudinal cross-sectional design, applying concurrent mixed data collection methods (surveys, interviews, and focus groups), was used to evaluate the utility of specific KTE strategies, including a series of workshops and a day-long Family Violence Knowledge Exchange Forum, on research sharing, uptake, and use.
Participants valued the opportunity to meet with researchers, provide feedback on key messages, and make personal connections with other stakeholders. A number of factors specific to the knowledge itself, stakeholders' contexts, and the nature of the knowledge gap being addressed influenced the uptake, sharing, and use of the research. The types of knowledge use changed across time, and were specifically related to both the types of decisions being made, and to stage of decision making; most reported use was conceptual or symbolic, with few examples of instrumental use. Participants did report actively sharing the research findings with their own networks. Further examination of these second-order knowledge-sharing processes is required, including development of appropriate methods and measures for its assessment. Some participants reported that they would not use the research evidence in their decision making when it contradicted professional experiences, while others used it to support apparently contradictory positions. The online wiki-based 'community of interest' requested by participants was not used.
Mobilizing knowledge in the area of VAW practice and policy is complex and resource-intensive, and must acknowledge and respect the values of identified knowledge users, while balancing the objectivity of the research and researchers. This paper provides important lessons learned about these processes, including attending to the potential unintended consequences of knowledge sharing.
PMCID: PMC3178499  PMID: 21896170
4.  Alcohol-serving venues in South Africa as sites of risk and potential protection for violence against women 
Substance use & misuse  2012;47(12):1271-1280.
This qualitative study explores alcohol-serving venues as sites of risk or protection from violence against women (VAW) in one South African community. In 2010, we conducted in-depth interviews with 31 female patrons, 13 male patrons and 11 venue staff, and conducted structured observations in six alcohol venues. VAW was a common experience and venues contributed to risk through aggression, negative attitudes towards women, risks leaving the venues, and owners tolerating VAW. Concurrently, venues offered potential to avoid VAW through perceived safety and owner protection. Results highlight the influence of the venue environment and importance of addressing the setting of alcohol consumption.
PMCID: PMC3523302  PMID: 22738267
South Africa; Qualitative; Violence against women; Gender-based violence; Alcohol; Venues; Gender
5.  Macro-level gender equality and alcohol consumption: A multi-level analysis across U.S. States 
Higher levels of women’s alcohol consumption have long been attributed to increases in gender equality. However, only limited research examines the relationship between gender equality and alcohol consumption. This study examined associations between five measures of state-level gender equality and five alcohol consumption measures in the United States. Survey data regarding men’s and women’s alcohol consumption from the 2005 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System were linked to state-level indicators of gender equality. Gender equality indicators included state-level women’s socioeconomic status, gender equality in socioeconomic status, reproductive rights, policies relating to violence against women, and women’s political participation. Alcohol consumption measures included past 30-day drinker status, drinking frequency, binge drinking, volume, and risky drinking. Other than drinker status, consumption is measured for drinkers only. Multi-level linear and logistic regression models adjusted for individual demographics as well as state-level income inequality, median income, and % Evangelical Protestant/Mormon. All gender equality indicators were positively associated with both women’s and men’s drinker status in models adjusting only for individual-level covariates; associations were not significant in models adjusting for other state-level characteristics. All other associations between gender equality and alcohol consumption were either negative or non-significant for both women and men in models adjusting for other state-level factors. Findings do not support the hypothesis that higher levels of gender equality are associated with higher levels of alcohol consumption by women or by men. In fact, most significant findings suggest that higher levels of equality are associated with less alcohol consumption overall.
PMCID: PMC4086912  PMID: 22521679
Alcohol consumption; Gender equality; Woman’s role; United States
6.  Gender Differences in Public and Private Drinking Contexts: A Multi-Level GENACIS Analysis 
This multi-national study hypothesized that higher levels of country-level gender equality would predict smaller differences in the frequency of women’s compared to men’s drinking in public (like bars and restaurants) settings and possibly private (home or party) settings. GENACIS project survey data with drinking contexts included 22 countries in Europe (8); the Americas (7); Asia (3); Australasia (2), and Africa (2), analyzed using hierarchical linear models (individuals nested within country). Age, gender and marital status were individual predictors; country-level gender equality as well as equality in economic participation, education, and political participation, and reproductive autonomy and context of violence against women measures were country-level variables. In separate models, more reproductive autonomy, economic participation, and educational attainment and less violence against women predicted smaller differences in drinking in public settings. Once controlling for country-level economic status, only equality in economic participation predicted the size of the gender difference. Most country-level variables did not explain the gender difference in frequency of drinking in private settings. Where gender equality predicted this difference, the direction of the findings was opposite from the direction in public settings, with more equality predicting a larger gender difference, although this relationship was no longer significant after controlling for country-level economic status. Findings suggest that country-level gender equality may influence gender differences in drinking. However, the effects of gender equality on drinking may depend on the specific alcohol measure, in this case drinking context, as well as on the aspect of gender equality considered. Similar studies that use only global measures of gender equality may miss key relationships. We consider potential implications for alcohol related consequences, policy and public health.
PMCID: PMC2898041  PMID: 20623016
context of drinking; on- and off-premises alcohol use; gender equity; economic development; culture; hierarchical linear models (HLM); cross-national study; GENACIS
7.  Gender differences in socioeconomic inequality in mortality 
Objectives: There is uncertainty about whether position in a socioeconomic hierarchy confers different mortality risks on men and women. The objective of this study was to conduct a systematic review of gender differences in socioeconomic inequality in risk of death.
Methods: This research systematically reviewed observational cohort studies describing all cause or cause specific mortality for populations aged 25–64 in developed countries. For inclusion in the review, mortality had to be reported stratified by gender and by one or more measures of socioeconomic status. For all eligible studies, five absolute and six relative measures of the socioeconomic inequality in mortality were computed for male and female populations separately.
Results: A total of 136 published papers were reviewed for eligibility, with 58 studies deemed eligible for inclusion. Of these eligible studies, 20 papers published data that permitted the computation of both absolute and relative measures of inequality. Absolute measures of socioeconomic mortality inequality for men and women generally agreed, with about 90% of studies indicating that male mortality was more unequal than female mortality across socioeconomic groups. In contrast, the pattern of relative inequality results across the 20 studies suggested that male and female socioeconomic inequality in mortality was equivalent.
Conclusions: Inferences about gender differences in socioeconomic inequality in mortality are sensitive to the choice of inequality measure. Wider understanding of this methodological issue would improve the clarity of the reporting and synthesis of evidence on the magnitude of health inequalities in populations.
PMCID: PMC1732354  PMID: 14652265
8.  The Cross-Cultural Association Between Marital Status and Physical Aggression Between Intimate Partners 
Journal of family violence  2013;28(4):403-418.
Some research suggests that the risk of physical aggression by an intimate partner is related to marital status, but this relationship may vary across cultures and by gender. In the present study, we systematically examine the relationship between marital status and physical partner aggression by gender across 19 countries. Logistic and multilevel regression confirmed previous findings of lower rates of physical aggression for legally married versus cohabiting and separated/divorced women and men across most, but notably, not all countries. Single status was associated with higher risk in some countries and lower in others reflecting possible cultural differences in risk for different marital statuses. For example, single women had significantly lower rates of victimization than did married women in India where violence against wives is often accepted. The variation in the cross-cultural findings highlights the importance of examining both men and women and considering the cultural context when interpreting the relationship between partner aggression and marital status.
PMCID: PMC3769183  PMID: 24039342
IPV; cohabit; divorce; single; country; gender; victimization; perpetration
9.  Patterns of Violence Against Women: A Latent Class Analysis 
This study examined patterns of nine types of violence against women (VAW) and associated mental health problems. The following self-reported, lifetime violence victimization was examined among 1424 employed women: (1) childhood physical abuse, (2) childhood sexual abuse, (3) physical abuse between parents/guardians during childhood, (4) psychological intimate partner violence (IPV), (5) physical IPV, (6) sexual IPV, (7) adult physical or sexual assault by a non-intimate partner, (8) physical workplace violence, and (9) psychological workplace violence. Latent class analysis was used to identify homogenous patterns, called “classes,” of women's “yes/no” responses to experiencing these types of violence. The best model consisted of 4-classes characterized by the following probabilities: low violence (class 1: 63.1%), high psychological and physical IPV (class 2: 15.6%), high physical and psychological workplace violence (class 3: 12.4%), and moderate to high childhood abuse (class 4: 9.0%). When compared to class 1 (low violence), membership in classes 2 (IPV) and 4 (childhood abuse) was associated with screening positive for depression in the past week at baseline after controlling for the influence of demographic characteristics on class membership. Also, when compared to class 1 (low all), membership in class 2 (IPV) was associated with greater odds of screening positive for posttraumatic stress disorder in the past month at the six month follow-up assessment. Findings document distinct patterns of VAW and associated proximal and distal mental health outcomes. Implications for interventions aimed to improve employed women's health are discussed.
PMCID: PMC3362828  PMID: 22662284
childhood abuse; intimate partner violence; workplace violence; posttraumatic stress; depression
10.  A Review of Research on Women’s Use of Violence With Male Intimate Partners 
Violence and victims  2008;23(3):301-314.
This article provides a review of research literature on women who use violence with intimate partners. The central purpose is to inform service providers in the military and civilian communities who work with domestically violent women. The major points of this review are as follows: (a) women’s violence usually occurs in the context of violence against them by their male partners; (b) in general, women and men perpetrate equivalent levels of physical and psychological aggression, but evidence suggests that men perpetrate sexual abuse, coercive control, and stalking more frequently than women and that women also are much more frequently injured during domestic violence incidents; (c) women and men are equally likely to initiate physical violence in relationships involving less serious “situational couple violence,” and in relationships in which serious and very violent “intimate terrorism” occurs, men are much more likely to be perpetrators and women victims; (d) women’s physical violence is more likely than men’s violence to be motivated by self-defense and fear, whereas men’s physical violence is more likely than women’s to be driven by control motives; (e) studies of couples in mutually violent relationships find more negative effects for women than for men; and (f ) because of the many differences in behaviors and motivations between women’s and men’s violence, interventions based on male models of partner violence are likely not effective for many women.
PMCID: PMC2968709  PMID: 18624096
women’s violence; women’s aggression; partner abuse; domestic violence
11.  Addressing Gender Dynamics and Engaging Men in HIV Programs: Lessons Learned from Horizons Research 
Public Health Reports  2010;125(2):282-292.
In the field of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevention, there has been increasing interest in the role that gender plays in HIV and violence risk, and in successfully engaging men in the response. This article highlights findings from more than 10 studies in Asia, Africa, and Latin America—conducted from 1997 through 2007 as part of the Horizons program—that have contributed to understanding the relationship between gender and men's behaviors, developing useful measurement tools for gender norms, and designing and evaluating the impact of gender-focused program strategies. Studies showed significant associations between support for inequitable norms and risk, such as more partner violence and less condom use. Programmatic lessons learned ranged from insights into appropriate media messages, to strategies to engage men in critically reflecting upon gender inequality, to the qualities of successful program facilitators. The portfolio of work reveals the potential and importance of directly addressing gender dynamics in HIV- and violence-prevention programs for both men and women.
PMCID: PMC2821858  PMID: 20297757
12.  Violence against Children: A Challenge for Public Health in Pakistan 
World Health Organization has identified violence against children as a growing public-health issue with a global magnitude. This paper explored violence against children as a challenge in the developing world using Pakistan as a case study. A systematic review of existing research and literature on violence against children was followed by assessing the magnitude of this challenge and its impact on policy. Most research done in Pakistan is observational, descriptive, and anecdotal with data collected through survey methods and interviews with small sample sizes. The findings suggest that the confluence of macro risk factors, such as poverty, poor legal protections, illiteracy, large family size, and unemployment, create an enabling environment for violence against children. Lack of empirical data makes it difficult to assess the magnitude of this issue. The health problems reported and the extent of human potential destroyed are unknown. Conclusion calls for focused research to examine the prevalence, potential interventions, and policies in Pakistan.
PMCID: PMC2753994  PMID: 17985818
Child abuse; Human development; Public health; Violence; Pakistan
13.  Self-administered questionnaire versus interview as a screening method for intimate partner violence in the prenatal setting in Japan: A randomised controlled trial 
Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a serious social issue in Japan. In order to start effective interventions for abused women, the appropriate method of screening for IPV in healthcare settings needs clarifying. The objective of this study was to compare the effectiveness of a face-to-face interview with a self-administered questionnaire. We used the Violence Against Women Screen (VAWS), a Japanese screening instrument for intimate partner violence (IPV), for identifying pregnant women who have experienced abuse.
We conducted a randomised controlled trial to screen participants at three points in time in a prenatal clinic in Tokyo, Japan. There were 328 consenting women between 14 and 25 weeks of pregnancy who were consecutively selected and randomly assigned to either the interview or self-administered questionnaire group. Both groups completed the same screening instrument three times during their pregnancy. The primary outcome was the total number of women identified by each screening method and the secondary outcome was the effect of the screening as measured by the women's comfort level and their expressed need to consult with the nurse.
For all three screenings, the identification rate in the interview group was significantly lower than that for the self-administered questionnaire group (relative risk 0.66, 95% CI 0.46 to 0.97), even after controlling for smoking (adjusted odds ratio 0.59, 95% CI 0.35 to 0.98). The two groups did not differ for secondary outcomes.
The self-administered questionnaire identified more IPV than the face-to-face interview when screening pregnant women in a Japanese prenatal clinic.
Trial Registration
PMCID: PMC3017017  PMID: 21182802
14.  ‘One Man Can’: shifts in fatherhood beliefs and parenting practices following a gender-transformative programme in Eastern Cape, South Africa 
Gender and development  2013;21(1):111-125.
‘One Man Can’ (OMC) is a rights-based gender equality and health programme implemented by Sonke Gender Justice in South Africa. It has been featured as an example of best practice by the World Health Organization, UNAIDS, and the UN Population Fund, and translated into nearly a dozen languages and implemented all across Africa. South Africa has strong gender and HIV-related policies, but the highest documented level of men’s violence against women in the world, and the largest number of people living with HIV. In this context, OMC seeks to improve men’s relationships with their partners, children, and families, reduce the spread and impact of HIV and AIDS, and reduce violence against women, men, and children. To understand whether and how OMC workshops brought about changes in men’s attitudes and practices related to parenting, an academic–non-government organisation partnership was carried out with the University of California at San Francisco, the University of Cape Town, and Sonke. The workshops appear to have contributed powerfully to improved parenting and more involved and responsible fathering. This article shares our findings in more detail and discusses the promises and challenges of gender-transformative work with men, underscoring the implications of this work for the health and well-being of women, children, and men.
PMCID: PMC3758761  PMID: 24000276
fatherhood; masculinities; gender equality; care; children; ‘One Man Can’
15.  Global Patterns and Determinants of Sex Differences in Smoking 
The worldwide spread of tobacco use in recent decades raises questions about the relative prevalence of smoking among men and women. Does the degree of gender equality in nations promote equality in cigarette use? Does rising use of cigarettes by women stem from the stage of cigarette diffusion and earlier increases among men? Or have changes in economic factors and smoking policy affected the sexes differently? This study uses aggregate data for 106 nations, measures of smoking prevalence circa 2000, and lagged measures of gender equality, cigarette diffusion, and tobacco access to address these questions and evaluate the underlying theories. With the logged ratio of female to male prevalence as the dependent variable, regression results reveal that gender equality has inconsistent effects on women’s smoking relative to men, cigarette diffusion has more consistent and moderately strong effects, and economic factors have weak effects. Global patterns of adoption of cigarettes by women appear most closely associated with the early adoption by men and then movement through a regular pattern of cigarette diffusion.
PMCID: PMC3160810  PMID: 21874066
cigarette diffusion; gender; global patterns; smoking
16.  “Do Changes in Spousal Employment Status Lead to Domestic Violence? Insights from a Prospective Study in Bangalore, India” 
Social science & medicine (1982)  2009;70(1):136-143.
The prevalence of physical domestic violence – violence against women perpetrated by husbands – is staggeringly high across the Indian subcontinent. Although gender-based power dynamics are thought to underlie women's vulnerability, relatively little is known about risk and protective factors. This prospective study in southern India examined the association between key economic aspects of gender-based power, namely spousal employment status, and physical domestic violence. In 2005-2006, 744 married women, aged 16-25, residing in low-income communities in Bangalore, India were enrolled in the study. Data were collected at enrolment, 12 and 24 months. Multivariable logistic regression models were used to examine the prospective association between women's employment status, their perceptions of their husband's employment stability, and domestic violence. Women who were unemployed at one visit and began employment by the next visit had an 80% higher odds of violence, as compared to women who maintained their unemployed status. Similarly, women whose husbands had stable employment at one visit and newly had difficulty with employment had 1.7 times the odds of violence, as compared to women whose husbands maintained their stable employment. To our knowledge, this study is the first from a developing country to confirm that changes in spousal employment status are associated with subsequent changes in violence risk. It points to the complex challenges of violence prevention, including the need for interventions among men and gender transformative approaches to promote gender-equitable attitudes, practices and norms among men and women.
PMCID: PMC2791993  PMID: 19828220
India; gender; domestic violence; longitudinal analysis; economic empowerment; intimate partner violence (IPV); employment status
17.  Differences in Female and Male Victims and Perpetrators of Partner Violence With Respect to WEB Scores 
Journal of interpersonal violence  2008;23(8):1041-1055.
Measurements of intimate partner violence (IPV) based on acts of violence have repeatedly found substantial bilateral violence between intimates. However, the context of this violence is not well defined by acts alone. The objective of this research was to compare differences in women and men within each IPV status category (victim, perpetrator, and both) with respect to levels of battering as defined by their scores on the Women’s Experience With Battering Scale (WEB), which asks gender-neutral questions about the abuse of power and control and fear in an intimate relationship. In our study, women disclosed higher levels of battering on the WEB, despite IPV status (victimization or both victimization and perpetration). In addition, female IPV victims were 5 times more likely than their male counterparts to disclose high rates of battering on the WEB. Depressive symptoms, symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder, African American race, and IPV victimization were independently associated with higher WEB scores.
PMCID: PMC2562919  PMID: 18272721
intimate partner violence; victim; perpetrator; battering; mental health; Women’s Experience With Battering Scale
18.  Gender Equality and Violent Behavior: How Neighborhood Gender Equality Influences the Gender Gap in Violence 
Violence and victims  2014;29(1):89-108.
Using a sample of 703 African American adolescents from the Family and Community Health Study (FACHS) along with census data from the year 2000, we examine the association between neighborhood-level gender equality and violence. We find that boys’ and girls’ violent behavior is unevenly distributed across neighborhood contexts. In particular, gender differences in violent behavior are less pronounced in gender-equalitarian neighborhoods compared to those characterized by gender inequality. We also find that the gender gap narrows in gender-equalitarian neighborhoods because boys’ rates of violence decrease whereas girls’ rates remain relatively low across neighborhoods. This is in stark contrast to the pessimistic predictions of theorists who argue that the narrowing of the gender gap in equalitarian settings is the result of an increase in girls’ violence. In addition, the relationship between neighborhood gender equality and violence is mediated by a specific articulation of masculinity characterized by toughness. Our results provide evidence for the use of gender-specific neighborhood prevention programs.
PMCID: PMC3970116  PMID: 24672996
violence gender gap; gender equality; neighborhoods; masculinity; gender role ideology
19.  Sexual violence against women: Understanding cross-cultural intersections 
Indian Journal of Psychiatry  2013;55(3):244-249.
Interpersonal violence whether it is sexual or nonsexual, remains a major problem in large parts of the world. Sexual violence against children and women brings with it long-term sequelae, both psychiatrically and socially. Apart from sexual gratification itself, sexual violence against women is often a result of unequal power equations both real and perceived between men and women and is also strongly influenced by cultural factors and values. Within sociocentric and ego-centric cultures, the roles and representations of genders, and attitudes toward sexual violence differ. Cultures which are described as feminist, provide equal power to both men and women. Sexual violence is likely to occur more commonly in cultures that foster beliefs of perceived male superiority and social and cultural inferiority of women. Although culture is an important factor to understand sexual violence in its entirety, we need to look at, as well as beyond cultural structures, their strengths and weaknesses.
PMCID: PMC3777345  PMID: 24082244
Culture; gender; sexual violence; women
20.  The Effects of Husband's Alcohol Consumption on Married Women in Three Low-Income Areas of Greater Mumbai 
AIDS and behavior  2010;14(Suppl 1):S126-S135.
Gender-based violence rooted in norms, socialization practices, structural factors, and policies that underlie men's abusive practices against married women in India is exacerbated by alcohol. The intersection of domestic violence, childhood exposure to alcohol and frustration, which contribute to drinking and its consequences including forced sex is explored through analysis of data obtained from 486 married men living with their wives in a low-income area of Greater Mumbai. SEM shows pathways linking work-related stress, greater exposure to alcohol as a child, being a heavy drinker, and having more sexual partners (a proxy for HIV risk). In-depth ethnographic interviews with 44 married women in the study communities reveal the consequences of alcohol on women's lives showing how married women associate alcohol use and violence with different patterns of drinking. The study suggests ways alcohol use leads from physical and verbal abuse to emotional and sexual violence in marriage. Implications for gendered multi-level interventions addressing violence and HIV risk are explored.
PMCID: PMC2956186  PMID: 20544380
Domestic violence; Alcohol; HIV/AIDS
21.  Taxing Sin and Saving Lives: Can Alcohol Taxation Reduce Female Homicides? 
Social science & medicine (1982)  2011;73(1):169-176.
With costs exceeding $5.8 billion per year, violence against women has significant ramifications for victims, their families, the health care systems that treat them, and the employers who depend on their labor. Prior research has found that alcohol abuse contributes to violence against both men and women, and that stringent alcohol control policies can reduce alcohol consumption and in turn some forms of violence. In this paper, we estimate the direct relationship between an important alcohol control measure, excise taxes, and the most extreme form of violence, homicide. We use female homicide rates as our measure of severe violence, as this measure is consistently and accurately reported across multiple years. Our results provide evidence that increased alcohol taxes reduce alcohol consumption and that reductions in alcohol consumption can reduce femicide. Unfortunately, a direct test of the relationship does not have the power to determine whether alcohol taxes effectively reduce female homicide rates. We conclude that while alcohol taxes have been shown to effectively reduce other forms of violence against women, policy makers may need alternative policy levers to reduce the most severe form of violence against women.
PMCID: PMC3806875  PMID: 21664738
female homicide; violence; domestic violence; intimate partner violence; alcohol use; substance use; policy; taxes; consumption
22.  Intimate Partner Violence and Incident Depressive Symptoms and Suicide Attempts: A Systematic Review of Longitudinal Studies 
PLoS Medicine  2013;10(5):e1001439.
Karen Devries and colleagues conduct a systematic review of longitudinal studies to evaluate the direction of association between symptoms of depression and intimate partner violence.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Depression and suicide are responsible for a substantial burden of disease globally. Evidence suggests that intimate partner violence (IPV) experience is associated with increased risk of depression, but also that people with mental disorders are at increased risk of violence. We aimed to investigate the extent to which IPV experience is associated with incident depression and suicide attempts, and vice versa, in both women and men.
Methods and Findings
We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of longitudinal studies published before February 1, 2013. More than 22,000 records from 20 databases were searched for studies examining physical and/or sexual intimate partner or dating violence and symptoms of depression, diagnosed major depressive disorder, dysthymia, mild depression, or suicide attempts. Random effects meta-analyses were used to generate pooled odds ratios (ORs). Sixteen studies with 36,163 participants met our inclusion criteria. All studies included female participants; four studies also included male participants. Few controlled for key potential confounders other than demographics. All but one depression study measured only depressive symptoms. For women, there was clear evidence of an association between IPV and incident depressive symptoms, with 12 of 13 studies showing a positive direction of association and 11 reaching statistical significance; pooled OR from six studies = 1.97 (95% CI 1.56–2.48, I2 = 50.4%, pheterogeneity = 0.073). There was also evidence of an association in the reverse direction between depressive symptoms and incident IPV (pooled OR from four studies = 1.93, 95% CI 1.51–2.48, I2 = 0%, p = 0.481). IPV was also associated with incident suicide attempts. For men, evidence suggested that IPV was associated with incident depressive symptoms, but there was no clear evidence of an association between IPV and suicide attempts or depression and incident IPV.
In women, IPV was associated with incident depressive symptoms, and depressive symptoms with incident IPV. IPV was associated with incident suicide attempts. In men, few studies were conducted, but evidence suggested IPV was associated with incident depressive symptoms. There was no clear evidence of association with suicide attempts.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Depression and suicide are responsible for a substantial proportion of the global disease burden. Depression—an overwhelming feeling of sadness and hopelessness that can last for months or years—affects more than 350 million people worldwide. It is the eleventh leading cause of global disability-adjusted life-years (a measure of overall disease burden), and it affects one in six people at some time during their lives. Globally, about a million people commit suicide every year, usually because they have depression or some other mental illness. Notably, in cross-sectional studies (investigations that look at a population at a single time point), experience of intimate partner violence (IPV, also called domestic violence) is strongly and consistently associated with both depressive disorders and suicide. IPV, like depression and suicide, is extremely common—in multi-country studies, 15%–71% of women report being physically assaulted at some time during their lifetime. IPV is defined as physical, sexual, or psychological harm by a current or former partner or spouse; men as well as women can be the victims of IPV.
Why Was This Study Done?
It may seem obvious to assume that IPV is causally related to subsequent depression and suicidal behavior. However, cross-sectional studies provide no information about causality, and it is possible that depression and/or suicide attempts cause subsequent IPV or that there are common risk factors for IPV, depression, and suicide. For example, individuals with depressive symptoms may be more accepting of partners with characteristics that predispose them to use violence, or early life exposure to violence may predispose individuals to both depression and choosing violent partners. Here, as part of the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010, the researchers investigate the extent to which experience of IPV is associated with subsequent depression and suicide attempts and vice versa in both men and women by undertaking a systematic review and meta-analysis of longitudinal studies that have examined IPV, depression, and suicide attempts. A systematic review uses predefined criteria to identify all the research on a given topic, meta-analysis combines the results of several studies, and longitudinal studies track people over time to investigate associations between specific characteristics and outcomes.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers identified 16 longitudinal studies involving a total of 36,163 participants that met their inclusion criteria. All the studies included women, but only four also included men. All the studies were undertaken in high- and middle-income countries. For women, 11 studies showed a statistically significant association (an association unlikely to have occurred by chance) between IPV and subsequent depressive symptoms. In a meta-analysis of six studies, experience of IPV nearly doubled the risk of women subsequently reporting depressive symptoms. In addition, there was evidence of an association in the reverse direction. In a meta-analysis of four studies, depressive symptoms nearly doubled the risk of women subsequently experiencing IPV. IPV was also associated with subsequent suicide attempts among women. For men, there was some evidence from two studies that IPV was associated with depressive symptoms but no evidence for an association between IPV and subsequent suicide attempt or between depressive symptoms and subsequent IPV.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that women who are exposed to IPV are at increased risk of subsequent depression and that women who are depressed are more likely to be at risk of IPV. They also provide evidence of an association between IPV and subsequent suicide attempt for women. The study provides little evidence for similar relationships among men, but additional studies are needed to confirm this finding. Moreover, the accuracy of these findings is likely to be affected by several limitations of the study. For example, few of the included studies controlled for other factors that might have affected both exposure to IPV and depressive symptoms, and none of the studies considered the effect of emotional violence on depressive symptoms and suicide attempts. Nevertheless, these findings have two important implications. First, they suggest that preventing violence against women has the potential to reduce the global burden of disease related to depression and suicide. Second, they suggest that clinicians should pay attention to past experiences of violence and the risk of future violence when treating women who present with symptoms of depression.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at
This study is further discussed in a PLOS Medicine Perspective by Alexander Tsai
The US National Institute of Mental Health provides information on all aspects of depression and of suicide and suicide prevention (in English and Spanish)
The UK National Health Service Choices website provides detailed information about depression, including personal stories about depression, and information on suicide and its prevention; it has a webpage about domestic violence, which includes descriptions of personal experiences
The World Health Organization provides information on depression, on the global burden of suicide and on suicide prevention, and on intimate partner violence (some information in several languages)
MedlinePlus provides links to other resources about depression, suicide, and domestic violence (in English and Spanish)
The charity Healthtalkonline has personal stories about depression and about dealing with suicide
PMCID: PMC3646718  PMID: 23671407
23.  HIV Status Disclosure to Families for Social Support in South Africa (NIMH Project Accept/ HPTN 043) 
AIDS care  2013;26(2):226-232.
Literature on HIV status disclosure among persons living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) is dominated by research on the rates, barriers and consequences of disclosure to sexual partners because of the assumed preventive health benefits of partner disclosure. Disclosure of HIV status can lead to an increase in social support and other positive psychosocial outcomes for PLWHA, but disclosure can also be associated with negative social outcomes including stigma, discrimination and violence. The purpose of this article is to describe the HIV status disclosure narratives of PLWHA living in South Africa. Thirty in-depth interviews were conducted with 13 PLWHA (11 women, 2 men) over a three year time period. We explored disclosure narratives of the PLWHA through questions about who they chose to disclose to, how they disclosed to these individuals, and how these individuals reacted. Narratives focused on disclosure to family members and contained relatively little discussion of disclosure to sexual partners. Participants often disclosed first to one trusted family member, and news of the diagnosis remained with this person for a long period of time, prior to sharing with others. This family member helped the PLWHA cope with the news of their diagnosis and prepared them to disclose to others. Disclosure to one’s partner was motivated primarily by a desire to encourage partners to test for HIV. Two participants described overtly negative reactions from a partner upon disclosure, and none of the PLWHA in this sample described very supportive relationships with their partners after disclosure. The critical role that family members played in the narratives of these PLWHA emphasizes the need for a greater focus on disclosure to families for social support in HIV counseling protocols.
PMCID: PMC4074900  PMID: 23875539
To explore gender differences in prevalence, types, perpetrators and correlates of recent violence experiences among university students at campus clinics at 5 universities in the Midwest and Pacific Northwest U.S. and Canada.
Systematic survey of students presenting for routine primary care visits (N=2,091), pencil-&-paper screen for recent emotional and physical violence exposure (past 6 months), demographics, plus sensation seeking, at-risk alcohol use, and depression. Chi-square tests compared prevalence by gender; correlates for types of violence were analyzed separately for men and women using chi-square with adjusted standardized residuals comparing no violence, intimate partner violence (IPV) and other violence (Other).
Similar rates of men (17%) and women (16%) reported any violence in the past 6 months; women were more likely to report emotional and men to report physical violence. Of those reporting emotional violence, 45.5% women and 50% men indicated it was IPV, and 23.7% women and 20.9% men reported physical IPV. Correlates differed by gender; demographics were not linked to IPV. At-risk drinking was associated with both IPV and Other violence for women, but only Other violence for men. Depression was the only correlate significantly linked to IPV for men.
Recent violence exposure among university students affects nearly 1 in 5 attending campus clinics. Screening for violence exposure should include both men and women, especially students who indicate heavy drinking patterns or depressive symptoms. Campus health promotion interventions should address healthy dating relationships. Further research on IPV among college men is needed.
PMCID: PMC2784423  PMID: 19931831
Campus health clinics; relationship violence; violence exposure; college students; alcohol use; depression; gender differences
25.  The GENACIS project: a review of findings and some implications for global needs in women-focused substance abuse prevention and intervention 
Substance Abuse and Rehabilitation  2012;3(Suppl 1):5-15.
Gender, Alcohol, and Culture: An International Study (GENACIS) is a collaborative study of gender-related and cultural influences on alcohol use and alcohol-related problems of women and men. Members conduct comparative analyses of data from comparable general population surveys in 38 countries on five continents. This paper presents GENACIS findings that (1) age-related declines in drinking are uncommon outside North America and Europe; (2) groups of women at increased risk for hazardous drinking include women who cohabit, women with fewer social roles, more highly educated women in lower-income countries, and sexual minority women in North America; (3) heavier alcohol use shows strong and cross-culturally consistent associations with increased likelihood and severity of intimate partner violence; and (4) one effect or accompaniment of rapid social, economic, and gender-role change in traditional societies may be increased drinking among formerly abstinent women. These findings have potentially important implications for women-focused intervention and policy. Substance abuse services should include attention to middle-aged and older women, who may have different risk factors, symptoms, and treatment issues than their younger counterparts. Creative, targeted prevention is needed for high-risk groups of women. Programs to reduce violence between intimate partners must include attention to the pervasive role of alcohol use in intimate partner aggression. Social and economic empowerment of women, together with social marketing of norms of abstention or low-risk drinking, may help prevent increased hazardous alcohol use among women in countries undergoing rapid social change. Greater attention to effects of gender, culture, and their interactions can inform the design of more effective prevention, intervention, and policy to reduce the substantial global costs of alcohol abuse in both women and men.
PMCID: PMC3889179  PMID: 24474872
GENACIS; women; alcohol; substance abuse; international; intervention; prevention

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