Are Muslims More Likely to Beat Their Wives Than Members of Other Religions? An Empirical Study of 60 Countries
8 Pages Posted: 1 Jun 2017
Date Written: May 30, 2017
Wife beating, spousal abuse, domestic violence, or whatever else you want to call it, has been around for centuries, probably since the beginning of human existence. There are several reasons why this kind of behavior exists, but the present paper will not get into those reasons. For more on this aspect of the topic, see the items listed in the reference section of this paper.
The goal of the present paper is more modest, to merely measure the extent of support for wife beating, and determine whether wife beating is more acceptable in some religions than in others. The Muslim religion has been receiving a lot of bad press in the United States and elsewhere, partly because of the belief that most terrorists are Muslim and partly because of the way they allegedly treat their women. One purpose of the present study is to determine whether Muslims are more likely to beat their wives than are members of other religions.
The most recent wave of World Values Surveys examined 60 countries. One question in its survey asked whether wife beating can be justified. It used a 10-point Likert Scale where 1 = never justifiable and 10 = always justifiable. Thus, it is possible to find an answer to the question of whether Muslims are more supportive of wife beating than are members of other religious, although it does not answer the question of whether Muslims are more likely to beat their wives than are members of other religions.
The present paper is part of a series on wife beating. Studies in this series examine male and female views on wife beating to determine if women think differently about this issue than men; a longitudinal study to determine whether wife beating has become more or less popular over time; two studies that examine the relationship between religion and wife beating; a study that ranks the acceptability of wife beating in 60 countries; and a study of attitudes toward wife beating in the United States. Links to these studies are provided in the reference section of this paper.
Keywords: Spousal Abuse, Wife Beating, Domestic Violence, Feminism, Gender Studies, Gender Equality, Islam, Muslim, Religion, Women's Rights, Assault, Battery, Battered Woman Syndrome, Country Studies, World Values Survey
JEL Classification: D6, D63, J12, J16, K14, K42, O51, O52, O53, O54, O55, O56, O57
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation