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Religion and Intimate Partner Violence in Chile: Macro- and Micro-Level Influences

33 Pages Posted: 30 Mar 2009  

Evelyn L. Lehrer

University of Illinois at Chicago - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Vivian L. Lehrer

Urban Justice Center

Ramona Krauss

University of Illinois at Chicago

Abstract

The Catholic Church has had a strong influence on the Chilean legal and social landscape in ways that have adversely affected victims of intimate partner violence; e.g., it succeeded until just five years ago in blocking efforts to legalize divorce. At the same time, quantitative studies based on survey data from the United States and other countries show a generally favorable influence of religion on health and many other domains of life, including intimate partner violence. The present study explores the puzzle posed by these seemingly opposing macro- and micro- level forces. Results based on data from the 2005 Survey of Student Well-Being, a questionnaire on gender based violence administered to students at a large public university in Chile, show that moderate or low levels of religiosity are associated with reduced vulnerability to violence, but high levels are not. This non-linearity sheds light on the puzzle, because at the macro level the religious views shaping Chile's legal and social environment have been extreme.

Keywords: intimate partner violence, religion

JEL Classification: Z12, J12, J16

Suggested Citation

Lehrer, Evelyn L. and Lehrer, Vivian L. and Krauss, Ramona, Religion and Intimate Partner Violence in Chile: Macro- and Micro-Level Influences. IZA Discussion Paper No. 4067. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1369813

Evelyn Lehrer (Contact Author)

University of Illinois at Chicago - Department of Economics ( email )

725 University Hall (UH)
Chicago, IL 60607-7121
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Vivian Lehrer

Urban Justice Center ( email )

123 William Street
16th Floor
New York, NY 10038
United States

Ramona Krauss

University of Illinois at Chicago

1200 W Harrison St
Chicago, IL 60607
United States

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