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Culture and Gender-Based Violence: A Conceptual Synthesis
Gender-based violence (GBV; i.e., harmful acts directed at an individual based on their gender) is experienced at alarming rates by women around the world, including sexual harassment in organizations as well as sexual violence. Cultural influences on GBV have been recognized in various disciplines, yet these disparate bodies of work have not heretofore been synthesized into a coherent framework that integrates knowledge. In this paper, we synthesize multidisciplinary literatures on how societal cultural ideologies and institutions serve to contribute to and perpetuate GBV. We unpack how cultures that reinforce hegemonic masculinity and non-egalitarian values perpetuate GBV. We also document how cultural institutions – e.g., legislation, religion, public health – reinforce these messages and legitimate GBV as a way to uphold societal ideals. Our presentation will conclude with an audience engagement opportunity to discuss how scholars and practitioners can use this synthesized knowledge to achieve the UN’s gender equality sustainable development goal.