Following in Dad’s Footsteps? Experiences and Subsequent Perceptions of Domestic Violence among Men in Ghana

Nana Yaa G. Boakye, University of Ghana
Adriana A. Biney, University of Ghana
Francis Nii-Amoo Dodoo, Pennsylvania State University and University of Ghana

Literature suggests a number of explanations for people’s perceptions on domestic violence. Using the 2008 Ghana Demographic and Health Survey (GDHS) data, the study sought to investigate the relationship between parental violence and men’s perceptions on spousal abuse. The dependent variables were five different measures on men’s perceptions of wife-beating for transgressed gender norms, while the independent variable sought to illicit information on past parental domestic violence instances. Logistic regression models showed that men whose fathers beat their mothers were between 1.5 to 2.5 times as likely to find wife-beating acceptable as those who did not witness parental abuse. Also, younger men were relatively more likely to justify wife beating for most of the transgressed gender norms. While children of victims must be targeted with a variety of approaches including counseling, there should also be culture-specific interventions that prevent the culturally influenced acceptance of domestic violence.

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Presented in Session 31: Gender Based Violence