Picture This : Women who watch more TV justify wife-beating less

1 April 2021

Is there a relationship between television viewership and women’s justification for wife-beating? NFHS-4 (2015-16) data reveals that women in districts with higher exposure to TV justified wife-beating less.

Taking district-wise exposure to TV (percentage of people who watch TV almost every day) on the x-axis and district-wise percentage of women who justify wife-beating on the y-axis, we find that women in districts with a higher percentage of population that watches TV regularly, showed a lower justification for wife-beating.

The depicted relationship between exposure to TV and justification for wife-beating need not be causal, however, it does offer food for thought.

This is not the first time that a relationship has been explored between the exposure to media and women’s status in India. For deeper insights, read this 2009 paper from the Quarterly Journal of Economics, The Power of TV: Cable Television and Women’s Status in India, by Robert Jensen and Emily Oster.

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