Gene Expression

Is beating a woman ever justified?

Global Health Magazine has some data up on the “% of women who believe it is OK for husbands to beat them.” If you click through the original data, the question is more extensive:

% of girls and women aged 15-49 who responded that a husband or partner is justified in hitting or beating his wife under certain circumstances (2001-2007)

I was going to cross-reference the data with the World Values Survey (which has a similar question), but I don’t have time right now, so I’ll simply pass on the raw data sorted by country. There’s a rather large gap.

Jordan 90
Guinea 85.6
Zambia 85.4
Sierra Leone 85
Lao PDR 81.2
Ethiopia 81
Congo 75.7
Somalia 75.7
Mali 75.2
Tajikistan 74.4
Gambia The 74
Burkina Faso 71.4
Maldives 70.2
Uganda 70.2
Niger 70.1
Uzbekistan 69.6
Algeria 67.9
Kenya 67.9
Senegal 65.2
Côte d’Ivoire 64.5
Nigeria 64.5
Vietnam 63.8
Tanzania 59.6
Liberia 59.3
Iraq 59.1
Cameroon 55.6
Cambodia 55.2
India 54.4
Togo 53.2
Guinea-Bissau 51.5
Egypt 50
Azerbaijan 49
Rwanda 48
Zimbabwe 47.7
Ghana 46.7
Benin 46.6
Turkey 39.2
Swaziland 37.9
Kyrgyzstan 37.7
Turkmenistan 37.7
Namibia 35.2
Sao Tome & Principe 32
Albania 29.8
Haiti 29
Malawi 28.2
Madagascar 28
Indonesia 24.8
Philippines 24.1
Nepal 23.2
Armenia 22.1
Moldova 20.8
Macedonia 20.7
Mongolia 20.4
Guyana 17.9
Nicaragua 16.9
Honduras 15.5
Suriname 13.2
Belize 12.2
Montenegro 10.9
Kazakhstan 10.4
Dominican Republic 8.6
Trinidad & Tobago 7.6
Georgia 6.9
Serbia 6.2
Jamaica 6.1
Ukraine 5
Bosnia & Herzegovina 4.8

The gap between Tajikstan and Kyrgyzstan makes me suspicious, the data are from the same survey so there shouldn’t have been differences in the wording of the question.



  1. #1 Russell
    September 6, 2009

    Living in Texas, I’m not sure I want to see the data for US states.

  2. #2 Tom Rees
    September 7, 2009

    Also Egypt and Jordan. I would’ve expected them to be similar.

  3. #3 jim
    September 7, 2009

    I see the Vietnamese score is pretty high. I’ve known Vietnamese immigrant communities here in the US. I found them surprisingly violent. Had to talk one guy (a co-worker) out of killing his cousin — his cousin had started doing drugs and bringing shame to the family. At first I thought he was joking. My co-worker had made a good life for himself in America and was seriously considering throwing it away to settle some family honor score. It was crazy. Guy was 5 ft nothing but scared the hell out of me.

  4. #4 Caledonian
    September 8, 2009

    That question is awfully vague. I can imagine situations where hitting a spouse – male or female – would be totally justified. The issue isn’t whether, it’s when.

The site is currently under maintenance. New comments have been disabled during this time, please check back soon.