Dowry and its link to violence against women in India: Feminist psychological perspectives

Mudita Rastogi*, Paul Therly

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations

Abstract

Dowry is exchanged in a majority of Indian weddings. Although its practice became illegal in 1961, dowry flourishes among all social classes. Families of the bride and groom negotiate transfer of assets to the groom and his family in exchange for marrying the bride, often within the context of an arranged marriage. Dissatisfaction with the amount of dowry may result in abuse of the bride. In extreme cases "dowry deaths" or the murder of the bride by her husband and his family take place. This article conducts a feminist psychological analysis of the dowry phenomenon, its link to domestic violence against women, and the role of the perpetrators. Existing and new explanations of the dowry system and its ramifications are explored. Psychologically based interventions and the implications of dowryrelated violence in the larger context of Asian Indians living in North America and the United Kingdom are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)66-77
Number of pages12
JournalTrauma, Violence, and Abuse
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2006
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Asians Indian
  • Dowry
  • India
  • Psychological perspectives
  • Violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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