Dear friends, dear interested parties,
A current study by Plan International on the topic of “the tension between masculinity” is our current topic of discussion. Young men between the ages of 18-35 were informed about their attitudes towards themselves and in their partnerships. There has been some criticism of the representativeness of the study, but even if one assumes a certain distortion of the results, these are still alarming.
For around a third of men it is acceptable if there is a quarrel in the relationship, that sometimes a “shakey hand slips”. Just as many men said they actually already have done this towards women “to instill respect”.
The study also reveals otherwise frightening proportions of patriarchal and hierarchical settings. This is how 52% of the young men perceive their role in work to earn enough money. For all of the housework, their partner is responsible. 49% would like tohave the final say in decisions and 39% expect their partner to make claims of their own to cover the men’s backs. 37% want to be with as many women as possible and have sex, but at the same time, half of men reject a relationship with a woman who has had many sexual partners. 47% of respondents say that provocative behaviour by women as request cannot be understood.
The numbers of the study are quite consistent with other surveys. According to the Federal Criminal Police Office(BKA), reported cases of intimate partner violence increased by 3.4 percent from 2016 to 2021, with almost 80% of the suspects being male. According to studies, every third woman has been a victim of violence in a partnership – which, by implication, means that actually every third man has already used violence.
SOLWODI also advises and accompanies several hundred women who suffer violence in close social circles every year. For many of these women, it is difficult to break out of violent relationships. Some feel ashamed and blame themselves, as “not a good wife”. Others come from patriarchal contexts and have never learned to live independently and responsibly. Especially for women with a migration or flight context, working with those affected by intimate partner violence requires a high level of sensitivity towards the origin traditions. The SOLWODI social workers must find the balance between efforts to integrate and a respectful approach to personal values and goals.
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