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The predictors of attitudes toward physical wife abuse: ambivalent sexism, system justification and religious orientation

Ercan, Nilüfer
The purpose of this thesis was to investigate the relationship between ambivalent sexism, gender related system justification and religious orientation with attitudes toward physical wife abuse (APWA). APWA are investigated in three facets, namely justifiability (JPWA), perceived functionality (PFPWA) and consequences (ACPWA). As measurement tools, Attitudes toward Physical Wife Abuse Scale, Content Domains for Justification of Physical Wife Abuse Scale, Ambivalent Sexism Inventory (ASI), Ambivalence toward Men Inventory (AMI), Revised Muslim Religious Orientation Scale (MROS-R), Gender Related System Justification Scale (GSJ) and demographic information form were used. Although a total of 385 student and non-student participants responded the questionnaire, only 303 (119 males, 184 females) participants who stated their religion to be Islam were included in the study for accurate assessment of Muslim religious orientation. The age range of the participants was between 17 and 72 (M=27.30; SD= 8.68). Since women and men significantly differed with respect to their APWA, separate hierarchical multiple regression analyses were conducted in order to further observe the differences between them. Although there were slight differences in unique contributions of the variables for the three subscales of APWAS and for men and women, a general pattern was drawn in which results revealed that intrinsic religious orientation and quest religious orientation were not related to any of the three dimensions of APWA whereas fundamentalist religious orientation was found to be a significant predictor of APWA. Among the dimensions of ASI and AMI, Hostile Sexism (HS) and Benevolence toward Men (BM) predicted more favorable attitudes toward the three dimensions of physical wife abuse, whereas hostility toward men (HM) and benevolent sexism (BS) predicted less favorable attitudes. GSJ was not found to have a unique contribution in predicting any of the three dimensions of APWA. The major contributions of the present study are; 1) Investigation of religious orientation as an individual difference affecting APWA first in a Muslim culture, 2) Investigating GSJ first in Turkey and first with relation to APWA and 3) Providing a detailed measurement tool for specific assessment of attitudes toward physical wife abuse in three dimensions and 4) Providing a re-constructed Muslim Religious Orientation Scale which was extended and improved in content, reliability and validity after revision.