This report presents the findings from the UN Multi-country Study on Men and Violence in Asia and the Pacific. This study was designed to generate knowledge on how masculinities—identities and patterns of practices that shape gender norms for men—relate to men’s perceptions and perpetration of violence against women in order to prevent it. The study aimed to deepen understanding of the meaning and causes of men’s violence against women. The research was also conceptualised to ascertain men’s own experiences of violence as victims and/or as witnesses and to assess how that may be related to men’s perpetration of different types of violence.
The study was a collaborative effort involving partners from academia, research institutes, civil society, the United Nations family and governments around the globe. It was developed and coordinated by Partners for Prevention with the Medical Research Council of South Africa and study teams in each country who led the surveying. This report is based upon the population-based quantitative survey component of the study, which was conducted from 2010-2013 with more than 10,000 men and 3,000 women in nine sites across six countries in the region (Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Papua New Guinea).
The data were collected and analysed from a scientific epidemiological perspective. To ensure data comparability across sites, the study used a standardised structured questionnaire. Male subjects were interviewed by male interviewers and female subjects were interviewed by female interviewers.
- Men’s use of violence against intimate female partners was pervasive across the Asia-Pacific region, but prevalence varied across sites. Patterns of intimate partner violence perpetration varied across sites. Male rape of women was pervasive across the region but prevalence varied across sites. Rape of an intimate partner was more common than non-partner rape in most sites.
- Rape perpetration started early in life and was most commonly motivated by a sense of sexual entitlement. The majority of men who perpetrated rape did not experience any legal consequences. Although not nearly as prevalent as the rape of women, some men also perpetrate rape against other men.
- Men and women supported gender equality in the abstract but less so in practice. Men’s experiences of abuse during childhood were common and had serious consequences. Some men also experienced rape by other men. A large proportion of men suffered from work-related stress, depression and suicidal tendencies.
- Not all men used violence, but by those who did, their use of violence was associated with a complex interplay of factors at different levels. Intimate partner violence was largely driven by factors related to gender inequality, childhood experiences and the enactment of harmful forms of masculinity. Men’s rape of women was strongly associated with having more sexual partners, transactional sex, using physical violence against female partners, men’s own victimisation and participation in violence outside the home. Rape of a man was strongly associated with having more sexual partners, men’s own victimisation and participation in violence outside the home. Factors associated with men’s use of violence against women varied by type of violence across sites.
- Change social norms related to the acceptability of violence and the subordination of women.
- Promote non-violent masculinities oriented towards equality and respect.
- Address child abuse and promote healthy families and nurturing, violence-free environments for children.
- Work with young boys to address early ages of sexual violence perpetration.
- Promote healthy sexuality for men and address male sexual entitlement.
- End impunity for men who rape.
- Develop interventions that respond to the specific patterns of violence in each context.