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Religion and Intimate Partner Violence in Chile: Macro- and Micro-Level Influences

  • Lehrer, Evelyn L.

    ()

    (University of Illinois at Chicago)

  • Lehrer, Vivian L.

    ()

    (Urban Justice Center)

  • Krauss, Ramona

    (University of Illinois at Chicago)

The Catholic Church has had a strong influence on the Chilean legal and social landscape in ways that have adversely affected victims of intimate partner violence; e.g., it succeeded until just five years ago in blocking efforts to legalize divorce. At the same time, quantitative studies based on survey data from the United States and other countries show a generally favorable influence of religion on health and many other domains of life, including intimate partner violence. The present study explores the puzzle posed by these seemingly opposing macro- and micro- level forces. Results based on data from the 2005 Survey of Student Well-Being, a questionnaire on gender based violence administered to students at a large public university in Chile, show that moderate or low levels of religiosity are associated with reduced vulnerability to violence, but high levels are not. This non-linearity sheds light on the puzzle, because at the macro level the religious views shaping Chile's legal and social environment have been extreme.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4067.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Social Science Research, 2009, 38(3), 635-643
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4067
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  1. Gover, Angela R., 2004. "Risky lifestyles and dating violence: A theoretical test of violent victimization," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 171-180.
  2. Linda J. Waite & Evelyn L. Lehrer, 2003. "The Benefits from Marriage and Religion in the United States: A Comparative Analysis," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 29(2), pages 255-275.
  3. Lehrer, Evelyn L., 2005. "Religious Affiliation and Participation as Determinants of Women's Educational Attainment and Wages," IZA Discussion Papers 1725, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Richard B. Freeman, 1986. "Who Escapes? The Relation of Churchgoing and Other Background Factors to the Socioeconomic Performance of Black Male Youths from Inner-City Tracts," NBER Chapters, in: The Black Youth Employment Crisis, pages 353-376 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Jonathan Gruber, 2005. "Religious Market Structure, Religious Participation, and Outcomes: Is Religion Good for You?," NBER Working Papers 11377, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Evelyn Lehrer, 2006. "Religion and high-school graduation: a comparative analysis of patterns for white and black young women," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 277-293, 09.
  7. Lehrer, Jocelyn A. & Lehrer, Vivian L. & Lehrer, Evelyn L. & Zhao, Zhenxiang, 2007. "Physical Dating Violence Among College Students in Chile," IZA Discussion Papers 2753, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Gruber Jonathan H, 2005. "Religious Market Structure, Religious Participation, and Outcomes: Is Religion Good for You?," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-32, September.
  9. Rachel M. McCleary & Robert J. Barro, 2006. "Religion and Economy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 49-72, Spring.
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