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Soc Sci Med. 1997 Apr;44(8):1169-80.

Wife-beating in rural south India: a qualitative and econometric analysis.

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Department of Economics, Williams College, Williamstown, MA 01267, USA.


This paper uses ethnographic and econometric methods to study the determinants of wife abuse in a community of potters in Southern India. The qualitative work demonstrates that wife abuse is more likely when dowries are perceived as inadequate, when husbands are alcoholic, and when the cause of the abuse is perceived as "legitimate" by the community. Hypotheses generated from the qualitative work are tested with survey data, which confirm that the risk of wife abuse significantly increases with smaller dowry payments and alcohol consumption. Furthermore, the statistical analysis reveals that women who are sterilized or have fewer male children are more likely to be abused.

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