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

Michelle Lowe (Department of Psychology, Faculty of Wellbeing and Social Sciences, University of Bolton, Bolton, UK)
Roxanne Khan (School of Psychology, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK)
Vanlal Thanzami (Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Monash University, Bandar Sunway, Malaysia)
Mahsa Barzy (School of Psychology, University of Kent, Canterbury, UK)
Rozina Karmaliani (School of Nursing and Midwifery, Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan)

Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research

ISSN: 1759-6599

Article publication date: 19 April 2018

Issue publication date: 1 November 2018




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.


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.


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.


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.



Lowe, M., Khan, R., Thanzami, V., Barzy, M. and Karmaliani, R. (2018), "Attitudes toward intimate partner “honor”-based violence in India, Iran, Malaysia and Pakistan", Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, Vol. 10 No. 4, pp. 283-292.



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