Beliefs of Jordanian Women About Wife–Beating

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Abstract

The beliefs of 356 Jordanian women about wife–beating were investigated, using a self–administered questionnaire. The participants showed a strong tendency to justify wife–beating, to believe that women benefit from violence against them, and to blame women for their beating. Furthermore, the participants expressed clear opposition to formal assistance for battered women from governmental agencies. In this vein, they considered wife abuse a personal problem that should be treated within the family. The results also revealed that while the women showed a weak tendency to blame violent husbands for wife abuse, the prevailing belief was that violent men should not be punished for their behavior. The results are analyzed in light of the patriarchal ideology that typifies Arab culture and predominates in Jordanian society. Finally, the article discusses the implications of the results for future research, prevention, and establishment of appropriate services for combating wife abuse in Jordanian society.

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