In patriarchal settings like Bangladesh, men’s use of coercive control to sustain male dominance may increase their life satisfaction if such behavior is widely accepted and internalized. Yet, the influence of men’s perpetration of intimate partner violence (IPV) on their life satisfaction is unknown. We assess the associations of controlling behavior and IPV perpetration with life satisfaction using data from the Bangladesh component of the UN Multi-country Study on Men and Violence. This survey was conducted from January to June, 2011 in a multistage, random sample of men from urban Dhaka and rural Matlab sub-district of Chandpur district. Analyses included ever-partnered men (N = 1,572). In unadjusted structural equation models, men who reported controlling behavior had higher average life satisfaction; whereas, those reporting psychological IPV perpetration had lower life satisfaction. Adjusting for covariates, men’s controlling behavior remained positively associated with their life satisfaction, while psychological and physical IPV perpetration were negatively associated with life satisfaction. In Bangladesh, men’s controlling behavior may be so central to normative masculinity that it is internalized, and its instrumental success enhances men’s life satisfaction. Yet, the adverse influence of IPV perpetration on life satisfaction supports social-psychological theories of self-determination, whereby behaviors that are normative but not internalized undermine men’s psychological needs, contributing to lower life satisfaction. In settings like Bangladesh, integrated theories of masculinity under patriarchy and self-determination may be needed to understand men’s coercive control, IPV perpetration, and well-being.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 4, 2016
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