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Press release

Gender roles, stereotypes and attitudes to sexual violence

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In Italy the most common stereotype concerning traditional gender roles were “for a man, more than for a  woman, is very important to be successful at work” (32.5%), “men are less suitable for doing housework” (31.5%), “it’s up to man to provide for family’s financial needs” (27.9%). The statement “it’s up to the man to take the most important decisions concerning the family” attracted lower levels of agreement (8.8%).

Among people aged 18-74, 58.8% had one or more of these beliefs. There were not big differences between opinions of men and women and the agreement increased with the age (65.7% of people aged 60-74 compared with 45.3% of people aged 18-29) and among people with lower education.

Gender roles stereotypes were more frequent in Southern Italy (67.8%), especially in Campania (71.6%) and Sicily, and less spread in Northeast Italy (52.6%), with the lowest agreement in Friuli-Venezia Giulia (49.2%).

As far as attitudes to intimate partner violence were concerned, 7.4% of people found always or under certain circumstances acceptable that “a young man slap her girlfriend because she flirted with another man”; 6.2% believed that in a relationship a slap might occasionally occur. Moreover, 17.7% considered always or under certain circumstances acceptable that a man usually controlled his partner’s mobile phone and/or activities on social media.

Stereotypes about gender roles and the social image of sexual violence in Italy
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Reference period: Year 2018

Date of Issue: 12 December 2019

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