The effects of husband's alcohol consumption on married women in three low-income areas of Greater Mumbai

AIDS Behav. 2010 Aug;14 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):S126-35. doi: 10.1007/s10461-010-9735-7.


Gender-based violence rooted in norms, socialization practices, structural factors, and policies that underlie men's abusive practices against married women in India is exacerbated by alcohol. The intersection of domestic violence, childhood exposure to alcohol and frustration, which contribute to drinking and its consequences including forced sex is explored through analysis of data obtained from 486 married men living with their wives in a low-income area of Greater Mumbai. SEM shows pathways linking work-related stress, greater exposure to alcohol as a child, being a heavy drinker, and having more sexual partners (a proxy for HIV risk). In-depth ethnographic interviews with 44 married women in the study communities reveal the consequences of alcohol on women's lives showing how married women associate alcohol use and violence with different patterns of drinking. The study suggests ways alcohol use leads from physical and verbal abuse to emotional and sexual violence in marriage. Implications for gendered multi-level interventions addressing violence and HIV risk are explored.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking* / ethnology
  • Cultural Characteristics
  • Domestic Violence / ethnology
  • Female
  • HIV Infections
  • Humans
  • India / ethnology
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Marriage
  • Poverty Areas*
  • Risk-Taking
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Spouse Abuse* / ethnology
  • Spouses* / psychology
  • Urban Population
  • Women's Health*
  • Young Adult