Attitudes Toward Intimate Partner Violence in Muslim Society in Israel: Tragedy or Comedy

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The purpose of the current study is to examine attitudes toward two types of violence—that perpetrated by men and that perpetrated by women—among a community of well-educated Muslims living in a Western country. Accordingly, two hypotheses were postulated, the first focusing on attitudes regarding men who perpetrate violence against women and the second focusing on attitudes toward women who perpetrate violence against men. The sample included 420 Muslim students who were studying in Arab institutions of higher education in northern Israel. The findings show that significant rates of both men and women think that “a woman hitting a man” might be seen as funny by their acquaintances. Meanwhile the vast majority of both men and women think that “a man hitting a woman” might be seen as sad by their acquaintances. However, the tendency to believe that such behavior would be viewed with sadness was stronger among women. The study helps to understand what the prevalent attitudes in society are, and has practical implications for raising public awareness around contexts of gender violence, as well as toward attitudes regarding violence among populations in transition from a traditional societal structure to a modern one.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-116
Number of pages12
JournalPartner Abuse
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright 2020 Springer Publishing Company, LLC.


  • Muslim
  • attitudes
  • gender
  • intimate partner violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Law


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