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Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2005 Oct 1;122(2):225-31. Epub 2005 Jun 2.

A comparison of abused and non-abused women's definitions of domestic violence and attitudes to acceptance of male dominance.

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Department of Midwifery, Faculty of Medicine, Babol University of Medical Sciences, Babol, Iran.



To examine the effects of women's subjective definitions of wife abuse and of their general attitudes to acceptance of male dominance on the occurrence of domestic violence.


A case-control survey was conducted in the public health center of Babol University of Medical Sciences from November 2002 to October 2003. The Abuse Assessment Screen Form was used to identify partner violence, and the Abuse Definition Form and Abuse Attitude Form were applied to measure how the women defined wife abuse and their attitudes to male dominance.


Women with positive attitudes to male dominance had experienced more physical and emotional abuse than those with negative attitudes toward male dominance (p < 0.05). Although living in villages, low level of education, female unemployment, and low family income were important risk factors for domestic violence, the strongest predictor of physical abuse was a positive attitude to male dominance.


A positive attitude of women to male dominance increases the acceptance and frequency of partner violence. This finding shows the need to raise the educational levels of women and raise their awareness of their rights. This could convert an attitude of male dominance to equality of men and women.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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