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Beliefs About Wife Beating Among Medical Students From Turkey

NCJ Number
Journal of Family Violence Volume: 23 Issue: 2 Dated: February 2008 Pages: 119-133
Muhammad M. Haj-Yahia; Aynur Uysal
Date Published
February 2008
15 pages
Using a self-administered questionnaire, this study examined 173 Turkish students' beliefs about wife-beating.
Approximately three-fourths (75.8 percent) of the students expressed some level of agreement that "there is no excuse for a man to beat his wife;" however, between 4.5 and 38.7 percent of the participants expressed some level of agreement that in some cases or on some occasions wife-beating was justified. For example, 38.7 percent expressed some level of agreement that "a sexually unfaithful wife deserves to be beaten," and 13.9 percent indicated some level of agreement that "a woman who constantly disobeys her husband and doesn't listen to him is asking to be beaten." Also, there was some level of agreement that women benefited from beatings for between 3.5 percent and 5.3 percent of the students; and between 4.7 percent and 28.5 percent of the participants expressed some level of agreement that battered women were responsible for their beating. More favorable attitudes toward wife beating under various circumstances were related to support of a traditional patriarchal ideology and exposure to violence in one's family. These findings are consistent with social learning theory, which argues that violent behavior, along with attitudes and beliefs that support such behavior, are learned in various socialization processes that occur mainly in childhood and adolescence. The study was conducted with a convenience sample of 173 medical students (46 percent women) at a major university in Turkey. Students completed a self-administered, anonymous questionnaire that solicited information on background, beliefs about wife beating, attitudes toward women, marital role expectations, exposure to family violence, psychological symptoms, and family functioning. Details of study procedures and statistical analyses are provided. 4 tables and 44 references