Objective: To assess relations of men’s reported violence against wives to their sexual risk behaviors and sexual heath.
Design, Setting and Participants: Cross-sectional analyses of a survey of a nationally-representative household-based sample of married men in Bangladesh (N=3096).
Main outcome measure(s): Physical and sexual violence against wives during the previous 12 months were assessed and examined for relations to men's extramarital sexual behaviors and STI symptoms or diagnosis for this same period, as well as to men's disclosure of such infection to wives and condom use while infected.
Results: More than 1 in 3 (36.84%) married Bangladeshi men reported physically and/or sexually abusing their wives in the past year. Men perpetrating such violence were more likely to report both premarital and extramarital sex partners (ORadjs 1.80-3.45; 95% CIs 1.20, 8.23); those reporting physical violence were more likely to report STI symptoms or diagnosis in the past year (ORadjs 1.68-2.52; 95% CIs 1.24, 3.73). Men perpetrating physical violence and contracting an STI were somewhat more likely than infected men not reporting such abuse to fail to disclose infection status to wives (ORadj 1.58; 95% CI 0.93, 2.70).
Conclusions: Violence against wives is common among Bangladeshi men. Men who perpetrate such abuse represent increased risk regarding their wives' sexual health in that they are more likely to both participate in extramarital sexual behavior and contract an STI as compared to non-abusive husbands. Given the growing epidemic of HIV infection among monogamous South Asian women based on intercourse with infected non-monogamous husbands, research and intervention regarding men's violence in marriage and implications of such behavior for women's sexual health should be prioritized.
- domestic violence
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