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Indeterminate Responses to Attitudinal Questions About Intimate Partner Violence Against Women in Rural Bangladesh

Kathryn M. Yount, Nafisa Halim, Sara Head and Sidney Ruth Schuler
Population Research and Policy Review
Vol. 31, No. 6 (December 2012), pp. 797-830
Published by: Springer in cooperation with the Southern Demographic Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23360528
Page Count: 34
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Indeterminate Responses to Attitudinal Questions About Intimate Partner Violence Against Women in Rural Bangladesh
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Abstract

Using data from 165 participants in a survey experiment in six Bangladeshi villages, we explored the levels and correlates of women's indeterminate responses to a five-part attitudinal question on intimate partner violence (IPV) against women from the 2007 Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey. Over 80 % had indeterminate responses to all five parts of the question. Indeterminate responses included silence or initial non-response (53—58 %), misunderstanding the question (30—37 %), and conditional opinions (7—13 %). The percentages of women who justified IPV were lower when indeterminate responses were permitted (7—12 %) than when they were not (37—57 %). Older women (≥26 years) with less schooling (≤2 grades) whose husbands were older (≥36 years), had less schooling (≤8 grades), and were at least 7 years older than the respondent often had higher odds of giving indeterminate responses. Husbands' attributes and spousal age gaps were most consistently associated with women's indeterminate responses. Latent power, or fears of expressing transgressive views, may underlie women's indeterminate responses to attitudinal questions about IPV against women. Recommendations for further research are discussed.

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