This article examines how women’s autonomy in marriage choices influences the intergenerational transmission of domestic violence in mainland China.
An original survey was administered to married women in Beijing and Chengdu (N = 1646). Seemingly unrelated regression models accounting for the association between violence perpetration and victimization were conducted.
Chinese women’s experiences of domestic violence in current marriages were associated with their exposure to interparental violence during childhood. Compared to women with no autonomy in deciding about their marriages, women with autonomy were less likely to show intergenerational transmission of domestic violence.
Women’s rising autonomy disrupts the intergenerational transmission of domestic violence. The findings highlight the importance of designing relevant policies to further protect and improve women’s autonomy in marriage decisions to avoid domestic violence.