The Effects of Absolute Status, Relative Status, and Patriarchal Culture on the Victimization of Women: An International Comparative Study

Primary Author: Sohee Kim

Faculty Sponsor: Melanie-Angela Neuilly


Primary College/Unit: Arts and Sciences

Category: Physical and Social Sciences

Campus: Pullman




A rising number of concerns about violence against women has resulted in various explanatory theoretical frameworks being emerged and developed. For example, several feminist theories have shed light on the role of women’s socioeconomic status and gender stratification relative to men in order to predict violence against women. Meanwhile, another branch of feminist theory argues that female victimization stems from the cultural disadvantage women incur in the patriarchal structure. Evidence has far been inconclusive, however. To fill this gap, we investigate the following questions: Which indicators are more predictive of women’s victimization? Will patriarchal culture play a role in explaining violence against women? To answer these questions, this study uses a multilevel mixed-effects model with logit link functions with a dataset comprising 36,286 respondents from 54 nations. Results show that women with higher absolute and relative status are victimized at higher rates at the individual-level, only supporting the backlash hypothesis. Among country-level variables, absolute status and relative status of women indicate significant effects, but the Marxist feminist argument is also supported. Furthermore, there is a significant positive association between patriarchal culture and women’s victimization. These results indicate we should deliver the message saying that improving gender equality is not the signal of threats to men’s rights in society, rather it is given rights for women.