Domestic Violence and Gender Stereotypes: Perceptions, Justifications, and Reactions

39 Pages Posted: 12 Aug 2021

See all articles by Emilia Barili

Emilia Barili

University of Milan - Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods (DEMM)

Veronica Grembi

Sapienza University of Rome

Anna Rosso

University of Milan

Date Written: June 7, 2021

Abstract

Using a new measure of the strength of gender stereotypes defined at the individual level and based on responses to a survey conducted with more than 4,500 Italian women in July 2020, we show that women with stronger stereotypes are more likely to state that they know a victim of violence but are not more likely to state that violence (physical or psychological) is widespread in their area of residence. They are also more likely to rank behaviours meant to control a victim’s interpersonal contacts and access to financial resources as more serious than physically and sexually violent behaviours and to justify violent acts using distressing, event-specific circumstances (e.g., a period of economic distress) rather than the deep-seated psychological issues of the attackers. Finally, when personal stereotyping is stronger, respondents are more likely to suggest that a hypothetical victim of violence either not react to or deal directly with the partner rather than look for formal help. Using different controls for the impact of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic on the respondents’ personal and economic lives does not affect our main findings.

Keywords: Gender Stereotypes, Domestic Violence Perceptions, Justifications for Violent Behaviour, COVID-19

JEL Classification: J12, I18

Suggested Citation

Barili, Emilia and Grembi, Veronica and Rosso, Anna, Domestic Violence and Gender Stereotypes: Perceptions, Justifications, and Reactions (June 7, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3888268 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3888268

Emilia Barili (Contact Author)

University of Milan - Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods (DEMM) ( email )

Via Conservatorio, 7
Milan, 20122
Italy

Veronica Grembi

Sapienza University of Rome ( email )

Anna Rosso

University of Milan ( email )

Via Conservatorio 7
Milano, 20122
Italy

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