Background: Intimate partner violence directed at women by men continues to be a global concern. However, little is known about the factors associated with perpetrating intimate partner violence among heterosexual men.
Purpose: History of childhood sexual abuse and other sociodemographic variables were examined as potential factors associated with severe intimate partner violence perpetration toward women in a sample of heterosexual men in South Africa.
Methods: Longitudinal logistic generalized estimating equations examined associations of childhood sexual abuse and sociodemographic variables at baseline with intimate partner violence perpetration at subsequent time points.
Results: Among participants with a steady female partner, 21.81 % (190/ 871) reported perpetrating intimate partner violence in the past year at baseline. Having a history of childhood sexual abuse (p < .001), binge drinking (p = .002), being employed (p = .050), and more difficulty controlling sexual impulses in order to use a condom (p = .006) at baseline were associated with self-reported intimate partner violence perpetration in the past year at subsequent time points.
Conclusions: With high levels of recent severe physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence perpetration in South Africa, comprehensive interventions are urgently needed. To more fully address gender-based violence, it is important to address associated factors, including exposure to childhood sexual abuse that could impact behavior later in life and that have long-lasting and deleterious effects on men and their female partners.
Keywords: Africa; Men; Partner abuse; Risk factors; Sexual abuse.