Contact Information:

Media Contact

Daniel Fowler

Twitter: ASANews

Kredyty mieszkaniowe Kredyty mieszkaniowe

Sprawdź aktualny ranking najlepszych kredytów mieszkaniowych w Polsce - atrakcyjne kredytowanie nieruchomości. - Press Release Distribution
RSS - Press News Release
Add Press Release

Polygamy and alcohol linked to physical abuse in African marriages

( CHICAGO -- African women in polygamous marriages or with alcoholic husbands have a significantly higher risk of being physically abused by their husbands than women in monogamous marriages or women whose husbands don't abuse alcohol, new research shows.

A trio of researchers pulled data from the Demographic Health Survey to look at intimate partner physical violence in Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, and Zimbabwe. The four countries have high rates of domestic violence. The researchers selected the countries based on the availability of timely data and to represent different regions of Sub-Saharan Africa. They used survey responses from more than 14,000 married women. Depending on the country, 13 to 28 percent of the surveyed women experienced physical violence from their husbands.

The research, conducted by Elizabeth Asiedu, a professor of economics at the University of Kansas; Christobel Asiedu, an associate professor of sociology at Louisiana Tech University; and Tatenda Zinyemba, a graduate student in public affairs at Indiana University, will be presented at the 110th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association (ASA).

"It is important for us to know more about the factors that put women at risk for intimate partner violence because it is a significant risk factor for poor health in women," Christobel Asiedu said.

Contingent on the country, about 10 to 17 percent of the sampled marriages were polygamous. Women in such relationships were, depending on the country, about 1.3 to 2 times more likely to be at risk for physical violence from their husbands than women in monogamous marriages.

Contingent on the country, women with alcoholic husbands were about 2 to 3 times more likely to experience physical violence compared to women whose husbands didn't abuse alcohol. This was especially concerning since, depending on the country, husbands were classified as alcoholics in 33 to 45 percent of the sampled marriages.

While polygamy and alcohol abuse were universal risk factors for intimate partner physical violence in the four countries, the researchers found that women's education levels, whether women lived in rural or urban areas, the age difference between husbands and wives, and being employed did not have a uniform effect.

For example, having higher levels of education put wives at less risk for physical abuse from their husbands in Kenya and Zimbabwe, whereas it had no effect in Malawi and Ghana. The risk of physical violence was higher for wives living in urban areas as opposed to rural areas in Ghana and Malawi, but there was not a significant difference in Kenya and Zimbabwe. And, having a job lowered the risk for women in Kenya, but didn't have an effect in Zimbabwe, Ghana, and Malawi.

The results for polygamy didn't come as surprise, Christobel Asiedu said, because women in polygamous marriages tend to have less power and are more likely to be dependent on their husbands. However, she didn't expect to see such a strong connection between alcohol and physical violence or that women's education levels didn't make a difference in Malawi and Ghana.

"The assumption is that women who are more educated are more likely to be economically independent and are more likely to have power in relationships," Christobel Asiedu said. "So, you would think a higher education would mean a lower probability of being in an abusive relationship or staying in one. But in Malawi and Ghana that doesn't really make any difference."

One of the study's main goals was to show that risk factors for domestic violence differ throughout Africa, a point policymakers will hopefully keep in mind when drafting preventive measures, according to Christobel Asiedu.

The research was facilitated through the Association of Advancement of African Women Economists, which was founded by Elizabeth Asiedu, and strives to support the scholarship of African women economists.


About the American Sociological Association The American Sociological Association, founded in 1905, is a non-profit membership association dedicated to serving sociologists in their work, advancing sociology as a science and profession, and promoting the contributions to and use of sociology by society.

The paper, "Risk Factors of Intimate Partner Physical Violence Among Married Women in Sub-Saharan Africa: Evidence from Ghana, Kenya, Malawi and Zimbabwe," will be presented on Sunday, Aug. 23, at 10:30 a.m. CDT in Chicago at the American Sociological Association's 110th Annual Meeting.

To obtain a copy of the paper; for assistance reaching the study's author(s); or for more information on other ASA presentations, members of the media can contact Daniel Fowler, ASA Media Relations Manager, at (202) 527-7885 or During the Annual Meeting (Aug. 22-25), ASA Public Information Office staff can be reached in the on-site press office, located in the Hilton Chicago's Boulevard Room B, at (312) 294-6616 or (914) 450-4557 (cell).

This press release was written by Christine Metz Howard, University of Kansas News Service. For more information about the study, members of the media can also contact Metz Howard at (785) 864-8852 or

Papers presented at the ASA Annual Meeting are typically working papers that have not yet been published in peer reviewed journals.

Contact: Daniel Fowler, (202) 527-7885, (914) 450-4557 (cell), On-site Press Office (Aug. 22-25): Hilton Chicago, Boulevard Room B, (312) 294-6616


Study finds people's spiritual awareness varies throughout the day

CHICAGO -- People who report having spiritual awareness have it vary throughout the day, rather than being constant, according to a study by University of Connecticut researchers. The study, which will be presented at the 110th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association (ASA), found that people had the highest levels of spiritual awareness in the morning and while engaged in activities such as praying, worship, and meditation. Spiritual awareness also was high when people listened to music, read, or exercised. It was low while people were doing work-related ...

US has 5 percent of world's population, but had 31 percent of its public mass shooters from 1966-2012

CHICAGO -- Despite having only about 5 percent of the world's population, the United States was the attack site for a disproportionate 31 percent of public mass shooters globally from 1966-2012, according to new research that will be presented at the 110th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association (ASA). "The United States, Yemen, Switzerland, Finland, and Serbia are ranked as the Top 5 countries in firearms owned per capita, according to the 2007 Small Arms Survey, and my study found that all five are ranked in the Top 15 countries in public mass shooters ...

Couples that split childcare duties have higher quality relationships and sex lives

CHICAGO -- Heterosexual couples that split childcare duties have higher quality relationships and sex lives than those who don't, according to new research that will be presented at the 110th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association (ASA). The study by Daniel L. Carlson, an assistant professor of sociology at Georgia State University (GSU), and GSU graduate students Sarah Hanson and Andrea Fitzroy, used data from 487 heterosexual couples in the 2006 Marital and Relationship Survey (MARS). The GSU researchers grouped the couples, all of whom had children, ...

Study explores how nations' policies affect mothers' ability to balance work-family life

CHICAGO -- When it comes to supporting working mothers, the United States' work-family welfare policies leave much to be desired, according to a comparative study of working mothers in multiple countries by the University of Texas (UT) at Austin. "Work-family policies reflect and reinforce ideologies about gender: what men and women 'should' and 'shouldn't' do," said study author Caitlyn Collins, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology at UT Austin. "Through policies, countries say something about their citizens and shape the opportunities available to them." In ...

Study suggests same-sex couples face more obstacles to infertility treatment

CHICAGO -- Same-sex couples encounter more obstacles to treatment for infertility than opposite-sex couples, suggests a new study that will be presented at the 110th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association (ASA). "For example, same-sex couples often must undergo psychological evaluations before being treated for infertility -- a process that is not normally required for opposite-sex couples," said study author Ann V. Bell, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Delaware, who noted that the U.S. medical system is standardized to work ...

Demand for coffee can create ecological, economic rift with poorer nations

CHICAGO -- The explosion in worldwide coffee consumption in the past two decades has generally not benefitted farmers of coffee beans in poorer nations along the equator. A University of Kansas (KU) researcher studying trade and globalization has found that the shift to "technified" coffee production in the 1970s and 1980s has created harsher economic and ecological consequences for heavy coffee-producing nations, such as Honduras, Colombia, Guatemala, Brazil, Vietnam and Ethiopia. "Historically, coffee has been exploited by the West in various ways, because it's consumed ...

Study shows TV's subliminal influence on women's perception of pregnancy and birth

CHICAGO -- In an era where popular culture is increasingly recognized for its impact on lay understanding of health and medicine, few scholars have looked at television's powerful role in the creation of patient expectations, especially regarding pregnancy and birth. As part of a larger research project funded by a National Science Foundation Dissertation Improvement Grant, Danielle Bessett, an assistant professor of sociology in the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Cincinnati, examined how women understand their television viewing practices ...

Americans support local food markets to feel part of something bigger than themselves

CHICAGO -- More Americans than ever before are supporting their local food markets, and it's not just because they believe the food is fresher and tastes better. According to a new University of Iowa (UI) study, people are shopping at farmers markets and joining food co-ops in record numbers because they enjoy knowing who grows their food. These so-called "locavores" are also driven to eat locally grown produce and locally raised meat because their commitment to do so makes them feel a part of something greater than themselves -- a community that shares their passion ...

Veterans live in more diverse neighborhoods than their civilian counterparts of same race

CHICAGO -- When members of the U.S. military leave the service, they tend to settle in neighborhoods with greater overall diversity than their civilian counterparts of the same race, according to a new study that will be presented at the 110th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association (ASA). "It's encouraging that having served in the military appears to have a long-term impact on how people choose their neighborhoods," said study co-author Mary J. Fischer, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Connecticut. "According to the social contact ...

Women more likely than men to initiate divorces, but not non-marital breakups

CHICAGO -- Women are more likely than men to initiate divorces, but women and men are just as likely to end non-marital relationships, according to a new study that will be presented at the 110th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association (ASA). "The breakups of non-marital heterosexual relationships in the U.S. are quite gender neutral and fairly egalitarian," said study author Michael Rosenfeld, an associate professor of sociology at Stanford University. "This was a surprise because the only prior research that had been done on who wanted the breakup was ...


How your brain decides blame and punishment -- and how it can be changed

Uniquely human brain region enables punishment decisions

Pinpointing punishment

Chapman University publishes research on attractiveness and mating

E-cigarettes: Special issue from Nicotine & Tobacco Research

Placental problems in early pregnancy associated with 5-fold increased risk of OB & fetal disorders

UT study: Invasive brood parasites a threat to native bird species

Criminals acquire guns through social connections

Restoring ocean health

Report: Cancer remains leading cause of death in US Hispanics

Twin study suggests genetic factors contribute to insomnia in adults

To be fragrant or not: Why do some male hairstreak butterflies lack scent organs?

International team discovers natural defense against HIV

Bolivian biodiversity observatory takes its first steps

Choice of college major influences lifetime earnings more than simply getting a degree

Dominant strain of drug-resistant MRSA decreases in hospitals, but persists in community

Synthetic biology needs robust safety mechanisms before real world application

US defense agencies increase investment in federal synthetic biology research

Robots help to map England's only deep-water Marine Conservation Zone

Mayo researchers identify protein -- may predict who will respond to PD-1 immunotherapy for melanoma

How much water do US fracking operations really use?

New approach to mammograms could improve reliability

The influence of citizen science grows despite some resistance

Unlocking secrets of how fossils form

What happens on the molecular level when smog gets into the lungs?

Using ultrasound to clean medical instruments

Platinum and iron oxide working together get the job done

Tiny silica particles could be used to repair damaged teeth, research shows

A quantum lab for everyone

No way? Charity's logo may influence perception of food in package

[] Polygamy and alcohol linked to physical abuse in African marriages is a service of DragonFly Company. All Rights Reserved.
Issuers of news releases are solely responsible for the accuracy of their content.