Nearly one-quarter of men surveyed in six Asia-Pacific countries admit to committing rape, often against their own partners, according to a UN report published yesterday that exposes widespread violence against women.
Based on anonymous interviews with more than 10,000 men between 18 and 49 years old in Bangladesh, China, Cambodia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Papua New Guinea, the study is the first of its scale in the region.
The prevalence of rape varied widely between locations and the samples are not representative of whole countries, the UN said.
Using a definition of non-consensual, penetrative sex, the study said 11 percent of respondents reported having raped a woman who was not their partner. This rose to nearly 24 percent when their partner was included in the question.
Of those men who said they had committed rape, just less than half — 45 percent — said they had raped more than one woman.
Alarmingly, of those who admitted rape, half were teenagers and 12 percent were younger than 15, while the majority of men surveyed said they had not faced any legal consequences for their actions.
The highest prevalence — more than 62 percent — of rape was found in Bougainville, Papua New Guinea, where a decade of war ravaged the island until 1998 and community justice is often favored over legal process.
When asked why they had committed rape, nearly three-quarters of respondents gave reasons of sexual entitlement like: “I wanted her,” 59 percent did it for entertainment and 38 percent said they had done it as punishment.