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Gender differences in the acceptance of wife-beating in Nigeria: evidence from the 2018 Demographic and Health Survey
Authors: Tunde A. Alabi, Mark J. Ramsden
Source: Heliyon, Volume 7, no. 10; DOI:
Topic(s): Domestic violence
Intimate Partner Violence (IPV)
Women's health
Country: Africa
Published: OCT 2021
Abstract: The world over, more than one-third of women have been victims of either physical or sexual violence, or both, most of which are perpetrated by intimate partners. Intimate partner violence (IPV) has negative consequences for women's health, socio-economic and psychological wellbeing. Similarly, acceptance of IPV has negative implications for its spread, sympathy for victims, and utilisation of antenatal and postnatal healthcare services among women. This study investigates the influence of age, education, location, religion, marriage type, employment, wealth level, extramarital sex, smoking, internet use, media exposure and decision making on the justification of IPV, and how the associations vary between men and women. The study utilised the 2018 Nigeria's Demographic and Health Survey. The data analysed was comprised of 8,018 men and 28,888 women who were married or living with a partner. It was found that women are more likely to accept IPV than men (AOR: 1.627). Educational difference between spouses influences women's experience of and acceptance of IPV. Overall, being young, being uneducated, living in the north, being Muslim, being polygamous, being employed, being poor, having extra-marital sex, being a smoker, not having access to internet, and not being exposed to the media increased the odds of IPV justification. However, while Muslim women had higher odds of accepting IPV than Christians (AOR: 1.587), Muslim men have lower likelihood of IPV justification than Christian men (AOR: 0.759). Gender differences also exist in the influence of age, marriage type, employment, extra-marital sex, smoking, media exposure and decision making. This study underscores the importance of applying differing intervention programmes to men and women where necessary.