The effect of media on domestic violence norms: Evidence from India

Kuhuk Bhushan, Prakarsh Singh


Greater access to media may influence norms about domestic violence. It may lead to greater acceptance of violence due to an increase in the incidence of violence or to lower acceptance due to a change in gender norms. Applying a difference-in-differences methodology to the National Family Health Survey, India (1998-99 and 2005-06), we find evidence that regularly accessing television and radio leads to a small but statistically significant reduction in the probability of women accepting domestic violence. The effect of regularly accessing both media is equivalent to the effect of three additional years of education on reducing acceptability of domestic violence. This suggests that increasing access to both media may lead to greater empowerment of women in India.

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