A recent survey conducted in Germany has revealed alarming statistics regarding attitudes towards violence against women among young men. According to the study commissioned by children’s charity Plan International Germany and published in the regional newspaper Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, approximately one-third of young men aged 18-35 find it acceptable to use violence against women. These findings have sparked outrage among gender equality campaigners.
The survey involved 1,000 men and 1,000 women from across Germany who were asked to share their views on masculinity. Conducted online, the study shed light on concerning perspectives held by a significant portion of the male respondents. Shockingly, 34% of men in this age group admitted to having been violent towards their female partners in the past, claiming it was a means to “instil respect” in them. Additionally, 33% expressed the belief that occasional physical altercations during arguments with their partners were acceptable if their “hand slipped.”
The survey also examined attitudes towards victim-blaming and double standards. It found that 50% of men expressed reluctance to enter into a relationship with a woman who had multiple sexual partners, while 20% of the women interviewed agreed with this viewpoint.
Moreover, significant disparities were observed in relationship expectations between men and women. A majority of men (52%) preferred a traditional “breadwinner-housewife model,” wherein they earned most of the household income, and childcare and household tasks were primarily the woman’s responsibility. Conversely, over two-thirds of women disagreed with this model, desiring equal partnerships and shared decision-making.
Another disconcerting finding of the survey was that 48% of respondents expressed discomfort or aversion towards public displays of homosexuality, describing themselves as “disturbed” by such acts.
The Federal Organization for Equality, a German group advocating for gender equality, took to Twitter to express their shock over the survey’s results, emphasizing the urgent need for change. Karsten Kassner from Federal Forum Men, a group advocating for gender equality, also called for action, highlighting the problematic nature of one-third of surveyed men trivializing physical violence against women.
These distressing attitudes towards violence against women are further compounded by existing data. According to Germany’s Federal Criminal Police (BKA), 115,000 women in Germany were victims of partner violence in 2021. Furthermore, Germany experiences one of the highest rates of femicide in Europe, a problem that was exacerbated during the coronavirus pandemic, as indicated by BKA data.