Attitudes Toward Wife Beating Among Female and Male Adolescents in Jordan

Isabell Schuster*, Pelin Gul, Manuel Eisner, Lana Ghuneim

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Previous research in the Middle East and North Africa has revealed justifying attitudes toward wife beating among adults, but little is known about adolescent attitudes and its predictors. Therefore, the purpose of the present study was to examine theoretically relevant predictors of supportive attitudes toward wife beating among adolescents in Jordan. Due to limited evidence on the role of gender, potential differences between girls and boys were explored. A total of 856 students (455 female) from 14 secondary schools in Amman, the capital city of Jordan, participated in the cross-sectional study which was conducted during normal school hours. Religiosity, beliefs regarding control of female sexuality, moral neutralization of aggression, and parental harsh discipline were assessed to predict attitudes toward wife beating, controlling for sociodemographic variables. Acceptance rates of wife beating ranged between 6.1% and 50.5%. Hierarchical regression analysis showed that beliefs supporting control of female sexuality, moral neutralization of aggression, and paternal harsh discipline predicted supportive attitudes toward wife beating, but religiosity and maternal harsh discipline did not. Separate analyses for each gender yielded that maternal harsh discipline was a significant predictor of wife beating attitudes for girls, but not for boys, whereas paternal harsh discipline was a significant predictor for boys, but not for girls. Furthermore, beliefs regarding female sexuality and moral neutralization of aggression mediated the relationship between religiosity and wife beating attitudes. Policy measures and intervention efforts targeting particularly harsh discipline and sociocultural beliefs are sorely needed to address this issue in Jordanian society.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print/First online - 10 Feb 2020

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