Totalitarian style partner control is seldom studied apart from intimate partner violence (IPV) independently as an outcome. This article uses a comparative study of Beijing and Seoul to begin to address this gap in the research. We collected three-stage probability proportional to size cluster samples of married/partnered women from Beijing (n = 301) and Seoul (n = 459), using refusal conversion to keep response rates high. We hypothesized (1) totalitarian style partner control will be positively associated with Confucian sex role norms at the (a) individual and (b) neighborhood levels, (2) totalitarian style partner control will be positively associated with IPV secrecy at the (a) individual and (b) neighborhood levels, and (3) totalitarian style partner control will be positively associated with the need for refusal conversion. Mixed effects (multilevel) regression models supported all three hypotheses at the individual level. Surprisingly, neighborhood socioeconomic status was positively associated with totalitarian style partner control. The combined data conceal important differences between Beijing and Seoul. The rate of totalitarian style partner control is more than 5 times higher in Seoul, and Confucian sex role norms, at both the individual and neighborhood levels, predict totalitarian style control there. Based on our findings, we infer that cultural emphases on face may play very different roles in the etiology of totalitarian partner control in the two cities.
- cultural contexts
- domestic violence