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A quarter of men in some Asian nations admit to rape

Sep 13, 2013

Half of men report using violence and a quarter perpetrate rape according to UN survey of 10,000 men in Asia-Pacific.

Bangkok: A UN study of 10,000 men in Asia and the Pacific, released today, found that overall nearly half of those men interviewed reported using physical and/or sexual violence against a female partner, ranging from 26 percent to 80 percent across the sites studied.  Nearly a quarter of men interviewed reported perpetrating rape against a woman or girl, ranging from 10 percent to 62 percent across the sites.

Men were interviewed across nine sites in Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Papua New Guinea. The study, entitled ‘Why Do Some Men Use Violence Against Women and How Can We Prevent It? Quantitative Findings from the UN Multi-country Study on Men and Violence in Asia and the Pacific’ was conducted by Partners for Prevention, a regional joint programme of the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), UN Women and United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme in Asia and the Pacific. It asked men about their use and experiences of violence, gendered attitudes and practices, childhood, sexuality, family life and health.

“This study reaffirms that violence against women is preventable, not inevitable” says James Lang, Programme Coordinator, Partners for Prevention. “Prevention is crucial because of the high prevalence of men’s use of violence found across the study sites and it is achievable because the majority of the factors associated with men’s use of violence can be changed.”

Regarding rape, the study found that in the sites where the survey was conducted:

Men begin perpetrating violence at much younger ages than previously thought. Half of those who admitted to rape reported their first time was when they were teenagers; 23 percent of men who raped in Bougainville, Papua New Guinea, and 16 percent in Cambodia were 14 years or younger when they first committed this crime.

Of those men who had admitted to rape, the vast majority (72-97 percent in most sites) did not experience any legal consequences, confirming that impunity remains a serious issue in the region.

Across all sites, the most common motivation that men cited for rape was related to sexual entitlement – a belief that men have a right to sex with women regardless of consent. Over 80 percent of men who admitted to rape in sites in rural Bangladesh and China gave this response.

Overall, 4 percent of respondents said they had perpetrated gang rape against a woman or girl, ranging from 1 to 14 percent across the various sites. This is the first time we have data from such a large sample of men on the perpetration of gang rape.

The study’s findings reaffirm that violence against women is an expression of women’s subordination and inequality in the private and public spheres. The findings show how men’s use of violence against women is associated with men’s personal histories and practices, within a broader context of structural inequalities.

SOURCE: UN Women

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