Attitudes toward intimate partner “honor”-based violence in India, Iran, Malaysia and Pakistan

Michelle Lowe, Roxanne Khan, Vanlal Thanzami, Mahsa Barzy, Rozina Karmaliani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Although intimate partner violence (IPV) and “honor”-based violence (HBV) are major concerns throughout the world, little research has investigated the acceptance of these forms of abuse outside of the West. The purpose of this paper is to therefore respond to this gap in the literature by exploring attitudes toward HBV in a fictional depiction of IPV across four Asian samples: India, Iran, Malaysia and Pakistan. Design/methodology/approach: Participants (n=579) read a hypothetical scenario in which a husband, despite his own marital infidelity, verbally abuses and physically assaults his wife after discovering that she has been unfaithful. Participants then completed a questionnaire that assessed perceptions of damage to the husband’s honor, approval of intimate partner HBV against the wife, and perceptions of both the victim-wife and the perpetrator-husband. Findings: The findings revealed that more males than females, across all four nations, were endorsing of honor-adhering attitudes in response to the perceived threat to the husband’s reputation resulting from the wife’s infidelity. Additionally, of the four samples, Pakistani participants were the most approving and Malaysians least endorsing of honor-adhering attitudes. Originality/value: The results are discussed in relation to studies of honor-adherence in Asian populations. This study provides an original glimpse into the perceptions of intimate partner HBV in these not-often sampled nationalities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-292
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018


  • Attitudes
  • Collectivist cultures
  • Cultural factors
  • Intimate partner violence
  • Perceptions
  • “Honor”-based violence


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