Conflict within intimacy : a socio-demographic analysis of male involvement in physical intimate partner violence in Mexico
This study analyses, from a socio-demographic perspective, the role of different factors associated with intimate partner violence (IPV), the pathways through which these factors operate, and the specific circumstances in which violence occurs. The study puts emphasis on understanding IPV from the male point of view. To be able to understand the conditions in which conflict does or does not result in violence, both violent and non-violent men are investigated. For the analysis, a multidimensional framework is used which is based on the Ecological Model. The study uses an integrated analysis of quantitative and qualitative data. First, a survey for the population covered by the Mexican Social Security Institute is used to examine the association between IPV and relevant socio-demographic and contextual characteristics. Next, data from a quantitative sample factory-based survey is analysed to explore more specific quantitative information related to IPV. Finally, qualitative data gathered mainly through in-depth interviews are used to understand in-depth the contextual factors influencing IPV. There were found different pathways through which men could become or not become aggressors against their partners. These pathways are made up of different components and factors that operate at different levels of analysis and are interconnected among each other. Nevertheless, all of these components and factors have their roots in two cultural issues: the predominant culture of violence and the gender system ruling in the society. The first of these issues is mainly reflected in the acceptance of violence that is learned by individuals mainly during childhood through violent experiences within their natal family. The second issue, gender, dominates all the spheres that affect the use or not of physical violence by men against their female partners. However, it is within the relationship dynamics where gender plays an essential role in the use of IPV. The main policy implication is that there is a need for appropriate and specific prevention programmes that primarily target young men. These programmes should encourage and offer support. to men to reinterpret the social rules that are associated with violent behaviour.