Nearly a quarter of men in six Asian countries who were interviewed for a United Nations study have confessed to committing rape at least once.
The study published Tuesday in the Lancet Global Health
journal interviewed more than 10,000 men at locations in Bangladesh, China, Cambodia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Papua New Guinea.
About 10 percent of those interviewed said they have had non-consensual sex with a woman who was not their partner. But the percentage jumped to 24 percent when their partners were included in the question.
Percentage of men admitting rape
Nearly half of the confessed perpetrators admitted to raping multiple women. Most said they had faced no legal consequences as a result of their actions.
The study's authors warned that the survey does not necessarily reflect the statistical occurrence of rape in the surveyed countries, since it was limited to just nine locations. Instead, they said it should help encourage efforts to prevent rape and other violence against women.
The survey found that factors associated with violence against women vary widely. Childhood abuse, alcohol misuse, poverty, and regional conflict were included as some of the factors.
The word "rape" was not used in the interviews, which guaranteed anonymity for the respondents. Instead, the men were asked if they had ever forced a woman to have sex against her will.
About three-quarters of those who confessed to rape said they did it to fulfill sexual urges. Nearly 60 percent said they raped a woman for entertainment, while almost 40 percent said they did this to punish the woman.