Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 55  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 244-249

Sexual violence against women: Understanding cross-cultural intersections


1 Department of Psychiatry, Mahatma Gandhi Mission Medical College and Hospital, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
2 Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, De Crespigny Park, London, United Kingdom

Correspondence Address:
Gurvinder Kalra
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Mahatma Gandhi Mission Medical College and Hospital, Sector 18, Kamothe, Navi Mumbai 410 209, Maharashtra
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0019-5545.117139

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Interpersonal violence whether it is sexual or nonsexual, remains a major problem in large parts of the world. Sexual violence against children and women brings with it long-term sequelae, both psychiatrically and socially. Apart from sexual gratification itself, sexual violence against women is often a result of unequal power equations both real and perceived between men and women and is also strongly influenced by cultural factors and values. Within sociocentric and ego-centric cultures, the roles and representations of genders, and attitudes toward sexual violence differ. Cultures which are described as feminist, provide equal power to both men and women. Sexual violence is likely to occur more commonly in cultures that foster beliefs of perceived male superiority and social and cultural inferiority of women. Although culture is an important factor to understand sexual violence in its entirety, we need to look at, as well as beyond cultural structures, their strengths and weaknesses.



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