Power to Choose? Examining the Link between Contraceptive Use and Domestic Violence
35 Pages Posted: 6 Jan 2023 Last revised: 17 Apr 2023
Date Written: April 15, 2023
Contraceptive usage is a crucial tool that empowers women to control their bodily autonomy and reproductive outcomes. At the same time, violence against women remains a pressing pubIic health issue worldwide depleting women's autonomy. In this paper, we establish a causal link between the decision to use contraceptives and the occurrence of intimate partner violence. We use a nationally representative survey data from the fifth wave of the National Family Health Surveys of India for 2019-21 to estimate our causal effects. To address potential endogeneity in the decision to use contraceptives, we utilize an instrumental variable approach. Using exogenous variation in the cluster average of women's exposure to family planning messages via radio as an instrument, we show that if the decision to use contraceptives is solely taken by the woman, she is at a significantly higher risk of IPV. The results point to greater likelihood of physical, sexual as well as emotional domestic violence. Our findings underscore the importance of increasing focus on sexual and reproductive health concerns in the existing initiatives that aim to reduce the prevalence of domestic violence. The heterogeneous results by employment status of men and women also call for an expansion of government programs aimed at improving men's understanding of the use of contraceptives and family planning.
Keywords: contraceptive, intimate partner violence, mass-media, family planning, NFHS-5, India
JEL Classification: 15, J12, J13, J16, C26
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation