Existing norms – male dominance, infidelity, violence as a legitimate
form of discipline – increase sex workers’ risk of contracting HIV while
in intimate relationships.
This qualitative inquiry with the intimate partners of female sex
workers aims to:
- provide evidence of the impact of norms around masculinity, gender and
violence on the dynamics of intimate partner violence (IPV) among
female sex workers
- understand from the perspective of intimate partners how cultural
norms concerning manhood are constructed and reproduced
- determine the causes and effects of IPV in female sex workers'
The findings contribute to the growing body of empirical knowledge on
IPV in the context of sex work. The learning informs the on-going
interventions that KHPT is implementing with local community-based
organisations in northern Karnataka.
The report recommends that interventions targeting IPV attempt to:
- change prevailing patriarchal attitudes by redefining concepts of
- create collectives/fora to discuss relationship challenges
- promote awareness of why and how violence against women should be
- involve leaders and role models in speaking out against IPV
- increase awareness and disapproval of domestic violence
- build networks that help people recognise and challenge the structural
disparities that result in violence
There is a briefing on this research
This research is supported by the Department for International Development’s STRIVE Programme which is led by London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)
Huynh, A.; Doddamane, M.; Chevrier, C.; Nair, S.; Bhattacharjee, P.; Lorway, R.; Khan, S. Understanding the masculinities, gender norms and intimate partner violence affecting the female sex workers of northern Karnataka: A qualitative inquiry with intimate partners. Karnataka Health Promotion Trust, Bangalore, India (2014) 55 pp.