Power to Choose? Examining the Link between Contraceptive Use and Domestic Violence
37 Pages Posted: 6 Jan 2023
Date Written: December 12, 2022
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 dataset 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 exposure to family planning messages via radio as an instrument, we show that if the decision to use contraceptives is solely the woman's, she is at a significantly higher risk of IPV. Our results point to greater likelihood of physical, sexual as well as emotional domestic violence as a result of woman's decision to use contraceptives. Our findings suggest that sexual and reproductive health focus in women empowerment initiatives may be important in reducing IPV. In addition, the results also call for expansion of government programs aimed at improving men's understanding of the use of contraceptives and family planning given the interesting results we note for households with employed husbands.
Keywords: contraceptive, intimate partner violence, mass-media, family planning, NFHS-5, India
JEL Classification: 15, J12, J13, J16, C26
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation