Patriarchy and Defenseless Women: The Qualitative Study of Women's Mental Health in Khorramabad (Iran)

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 08:48
Oral Presentation
Seyed Alireza AFSHANI, Associate Professor, Department of Social Sciences, Yazd University, Iran
Masoud ZAMANIMOGHADAM, Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Social Sciences at Yazd University, Iran
In Iranian society, patriarchal culture provides grounds for domestic violence against women. In addition, domestic violence affects women's mental health. However, many women are exposed to violence in Khorramabad, because in this city there is a patriarchal culture. Khorramabad is a city in Southwest of Iran with a traditional and tribal culture. However, this article study the mental illnesses of women exposed to domestic violence in a cultural and social context. The data were collected from a sample that was chosen both purposive and theoretically, through open-ended questions and in-depth interviews with 15 housewives who referred to a psychologist at one of Khorramabad's health centers. They were analyzed by the application of grounded theory method. Then, the findings of the research were classified into 11 main categories in a paradigmatic model; causal conditions (husbands' problems, such as addiction, suspicion, and bad financial condition), contextual conditions (such as family unfaithfulness by the family of a woman), intervening conditions (such as the lack of power of a woman, the patriarchal mentality of the husband towards the woman, and the badness of the couples' relationship). Finally, the category of the final core was conceptualized as “Violence of patriarchal culture against defenseless women”. However, research shows that women are more vulnerable to violence through social and cultural structures. In fact, this research shows that society with patriarchal culture and lack of adequate social rights for women makes women vulnerable to domestic violence. In such a society, women suffer from many mental illnesses such as anxiety, stress, and depression.