Study: Child abuse, neglect linked to gender inequality

Research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified an association between child abuse and neglect and gender inequality.

The study, published July 27 in the Journal of Family Violence, was an analysis of data from 57 countries worldwide of incidences of severe physical discipline of children in the form of hitting, slapping or repeated beatings, or child neglect.

The study did not include countries in the European Union or countries with large populations like Brazil, India, China, Japan, Indonesia, Russia or the United States. Approximately 44 percent of the countries included in the study had a high or very high level of human development, but one-third were considered to have low human development.

Researchers analyzed surveys conducted by the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, or UNICEF, and demographic and health surveys by the United States Agency for International Development, or USAID, from 2011 to 2015.

The study showed that the rate of physical abuse of children varied between 1 and 43 percent and the rate of child neglect was between 0.8 and 49 percent.

Researchers utilized the Social and Institutional Gender Index, or SIGI, and the Gender Gap Index, or GGI, to assess the impact of gender inequality and the rate of child abuse or neglect.

Rates of discrimination against women were found to substantially impact the levels of abuse and neglect in children.


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