The association between uneven sex ratios and violence: Evidence from 6 Asian countries

PLoS One. 2018 Jun 1;13(6):e0197516. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0197516. eCollection 2018.


It has been hypothesized that uneven sex ratios in the population could lead to increased violence. The objective of this analysis is to explore the relationship between uneven sex ratios in the population and violence. This analysis uses data collected from men in six Asian countries about their experiences and perpetration of violence. We combine this with region- and age specific sex ratios calculated from Census data to explore the relationship between sex ratios and violence using multilevel models. We find that men from region-age brackets with higher ratios of men to women are significantly more likely to report ever having raped a woman, having perpetrated intimate partner violence, or having used a weapon. We find no evidence for an association between sex ratios and reports of ever having raped a man.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Asia
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intimate Partner Violence / psychology
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Ratio*
  • Sexual Behavior / physiology*
  • Sexual Behavior / psychology
  • Violence*

Grant support

KR was supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health and Society Scholars Program. The funder had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.