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Prev Med. 2019 Jan;118:257-263. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2018.10.019. Epub 2018 Oct 28.

An ecological analysis of gender inequality and intimate partner violence in the United States.

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Chronic Disease Epidemiology, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, CT, USA. Electronic address:
Social and Behavioral Sciences, Yale School of Public Health, T32 Training, Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS, New Haven, CT, USA.


The purpose of this research was to assess the association between Gender Inequality Index and prevalence of lifetime intimate partner violence (IPV) among women and men at the state-level. Recently developed 2017 state-level prevalence estimates of IPV among a nationally-representative sample of U.S. non-institutionalized adults between 2010 and 2012 from the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey was combined with calculated indexes for state-level gender inequality. Gender Inequality Index, created by the United Nations, reflects gender-based disadvantage in reproductive health, empowerment, and labor market participation. Correlations and linear regressions were used to examine associations between gender inequality and IPV. Gender Inequality Index values ranged from 0.149 to 0.381. The lifetime prevalence of IPV ranged between 27.8% and 45.3% for women and between 18.5% and 38.6% for men. Across states, the Gender Inequality Index was positively correlated with the prevalence of any form of IPV (r = 0.28, p < .05) and psychological IPV among women (r = 0.41, p < .01). The adjusted regression model showed a positive association between gender inequality and psychological IPV among women (B = 1.61, SE = 0.57, p = .007). Structural changes to gender inequality may help to reduce occurrences of IPV and improve the wellbeing and livelihood of women and girls.


Ecological analysis; Gender inequality; Intimate partner violence; United States

[Available on 2020-01-01]

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