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Women’s Rapes in India: Ecological Analysis Essay

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Updated: Jun 10th, 2020


Scientists have many theories concerning how the personality is formed, how the character and separate lines of mentality develop. There are various reasons: internal factors, such as gene predisposition and different types of nervous system; the influence of external factors of the living environment, which affects formation not only society’s culture but also a personality in this culture with all his traits and characteristics. Ecological theory of Urie Bronfenbrenner is one of such theories, which consider external factors of the person’s habitat as defining in his personality. I will consider how the theory examines the reasons for violence against women in India, namely why Indian men, living in such a traditional society, started to resort to such impartial form of behaviour. Therefore, the target population of the paper is the men who are engaged in the violence against women and the eco-factors that lead to the increased violence against women in India.

Problem Review

India often appears in criminal chronicles as the country that is unsafe for women. It is connected with rising frequency of violence cases, and often the group rapes of women. How such a traditional way of life the country excels can cause an improbable quantity of instances of abuse and why men keep committing such crimes? Statistically, rape is the 4th on prevalence in India. In 2012, 24 923 cases of rape across all India were officially recorded, but that the most terrible is that the victim was familiar with the tyrant in 98% of instances (Raju & Lahiri-Dutt, 2012). However, it is worth calling one more terrible figure. As the statistics claim, only one of 10 women in India reports to the police about an event. Possibly, women aren’t afraid to go to police only if they know the tyrant and can prove his guilt, in other cases they feel helpless and defenceless; they are afraid to draw a shame upon themselves and the family as their honour will be soiled, and the foreign criminal will be hardly caught. Often parents don’t allow girls to call the police in order to hide the incident from the public. It is much more important for them to keep the honour of a family and to marry the daughter than to take care of a psychological state of the girl.

Generally, the number of rapes continually grows in India and will hardly start being reduced in the nearest future. Officially it is considered that such situation is connected with corruption in the police and among officials, and also an undeveloped public stand of the population; as a result, the publicity and the local authorities simply shut their eyes to crimes. However, there are deeper social and psychological reasons promoting the prosperity of violence in India.

Ecological Analysis of the Problem of Women’s Rapes in India

Ecology of human expansion or the concept of ecological systems is the concept of socialization and improvement of the children that was introduced by Urie Bronfenbrenner. It has to give an explanation to the problem of the article’s interesting. According to Bronfenbrenner, the ecological environment of the child’s development consists of four systems enclosed one in another, which usually is represented in the form of concentric rings (Bronfenbrenner, 2009). There are:

  • microsystems – the child’s family;
  • mesosystems – a kindergarten, school, etc.;
  • exosystems – the adult social organizations;
  • macrosystems – cultural customs and values of the country.

The model seems simple and axiomatic; Bronfenbrenner (2005) emphasizes that both straight lines are flexible with the feedback between these four systems.

The analysis is started from the Microsystems – Indian family. In India, in comparison with the European countries, traditions and customs are still very rigid and should be observed not only by local population but foreigners as well. Furthermore, family life in India is strictly regulated by the traditions created hundreds of years ago. Due to the division of the Indian society into social castes, some of its prerequisites are still obeyed today (Kumbhare, 2009). For example, the head of the family always chooses the daughter’s fiancé. Marriages were allowed only between representatives of identical castes, and often the husband had to be above the wife according to the social status. Divorces, as well as repeated marriages, were forbidden in India. Traditionally, men bear the primary responsibility for the financial security of a family. In the cities woman always worked; however, recently women started working in villages too contributing to the income of a family. Women in India have always been bearing responsibility for maintenance of the home and care of children and aged relatives, even though they can work. Since the most ancient times up to now the woman in India has been treated as an inferior people (Mehta, 1987). Indians believe that if one were born a woman, in antecedents a person had committed many sins, so he should work for the karma in the present life.

The girl’s birth is not a joyful event for the majority of the Indian families. Having given birth to a boy, the woman finds honour and respect from relatives. After all, the boy will take care of the aged parents, and the girl will be sent to the other family. Moreover, it demands expenses that can considerably undermine the family budget. The Indian man can even beat the wife for the birth of a daughter. Women are compelled to pass under the pressure of relatives through series of abortions until they are sure that the son will be born. Due to this, the number of the female population was reduced for the last decades; so now there is a lack of brides in the country, thus forcing the fiancés to search for the wife in other regions or in neighbouring countries. Girls in India are tried to be married as soon as possible. Now the average age of the bride is 18-20 years though children’s marriages also were widespread in ancient Indian traditions when girls were married at the age of 5-6 years (Mehta, 1987). Most of the women still don’t choose husbands for themselves, and marriages appear to be an agreement between families of the fiancé and the bride. A marriage portion has great importance, which the bride’s family has to give to the fiancé’s.

Usually, it includes money, jewellery, household appliances, and cars. The more prestigious education the fiancé has, the bigger marriage portion has to be paid. As a consequence, the house endures being the most unsafe habitation for Indian women. Lots of latest rape cases recount to single women going late in the evening from their job or amusements, or adolescents who leave the household unaccompanied. This statistics results in a woman’s choice to endure her education or to get a job, more willingly than get married; it is also a choice to menace a far greater occurrence of ferocity.

A woman in India can’t achieve success in a career having no kinship, especially in the political and public sphere (United Nations, 2006). The state power in India always was in hands of men. Even the most prominent females in India, Indira Gandhi and Maneka Gandhi appear to be an endorsement of this statement. In the patriarchal community of India, Indira Gandhi would never succeed in becoming the Prime Minister of the country without her relation to the Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Maneka Gandhi would fail in retrieving the post of the Minister of Ecology without her relation to Indira Gandhi. And even now, when Pratibha Patil became the first woman president of India, many considered that her power is an only formality as all state decisions were made by the government and the Prime Minister.

In India they say: all men born in India are devoted sons idolizing their mothers and misogynists at the same time. It is considered that the Husband is Woman’s terrestrial God. A woman is namely closed in the inner world around the husband, his life; other men simply cease to exist for her. The primary mission of the Indian woman is motherhood. It is considered that the woman is the centre of active forces of nature, unlike a passive machismo. She is full of creative energy, is capable of creating and destroying. In a family, the woman plays the part assigned to her by religion. Being a wife, she is obliged to follow the traditions and purity of a caste; being a mother, she finds force and influence in her sons; being a mother-in-law, she possesses the indisputable power over the daughter-in-law and can cause her any humiliations and trials until the daughter-in-law doesn’t give birth to the son. After the death of the husband, the life changes cardinally for many Indian women; in many states there are strong traditions that forbid a woman to wear colourful clothes and jewellery after the death of the husband, she has to shave the head and to limit food, eat no sweets and others.

Social learning theory implies that people obtain societal performance while witnessing others’ performance and the magnitudes of that performance, establishing concepts about what performance is suitable, trying this performance, and enduring them if the outcomes are favourable for them. This concept does not observe violence as unavoidable, but somewhat views it as a societal performance that is obtained and formed by its penalties, enduring if it is strengthened. From this viewpoint, violence against women in India undergoes in human civilizations for the reason that it is demonstrated both in separate households and in the civilization in general and has affirmative outcomes: it lets tautness out, makes the offender feel superior, frequently attains its conclusions by cutting out quarrels, and is infrequently related to the severe penalty for the offender.

According to the report of the Program for the development of the UN published in 2010, there is a lack of 43 million women in India. On the census of 2011, there are only 940 Indian women for 1000 Indian men (Raju & Lahiri-Dutt, 2012). Theoretically, it could help the women to take more advantageous place. However, the situation only activates the violence. The excess number of men can compel many of them to postpone marriage whereas the poorest probably aren’t able to marry at all. This can create conditions for the expansion of trafficking of women and violence against them. In regions where a shortage of women is felt especially sharply, men buy wives from other states. Besides, deficiency of women can result in a growing of the number of abuses. According to the Indian authorities, the number of such crimes increased in 900% for the last 40 years. Selective abortions become the reason of present shortage of women and girls that naturally affects increasing of the number of violence against women in India. On the other hand, there are strong patriarchal traditions that are the reason for the fact that the woman has no special rights and significant value in eyes of not only the men but also her parents until she doesn’t give birth to the boy. Moreover, the influential position of the man both in a family and in society makes the woman unprotected before any form of violation over her. It is hypothesized that men who have trouble with attaining spouses are more probable to remedy to sexual oppression or violence.

Discussion and Conclusions

There are assorted fields that require consideration in order to increase awareness of the occurrence of rape and approaches towards controlling them. These fields involve the comprehension of the impact of socioeconomic-demographic factors in contraction of the incidents. It appears to be that only educational rank for women and men in civic community signifies outstanding enticing impact on the number of rape incidents. This provides the researchers with the ideas for further study. The rape incidents should be approached with a different view from integrative angle besides eco factors, law and enforcement. The mixture of evidence, study, and concepts including various aspects, and a reassuring combination of appliances should administer a perceptive and flawless access to find the resolution to the existing social issue. Moreover, civil adjustment with the global wisdom thoughts of great individuals like Mahatma Gandhi and Elie Wiesel is aiming towards removing misfortunes, including rape, from the current humankind.


Brofenbrenner, Y. (2005). Making human beings human: Bioecological perspectives on human development. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications.

Bronfenbrenner, Y. (2009).The ecology of human development: experiments by nature and design. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.

Kumbhare, A. R. (2009). Women of India: Their status since the Vedic times. Bloomington, Indiana: iUniverse.

Mehta, R. (1987). Socio-legal status of women in India. New Delhi, India: Mittal Publications.

Raju, S. & Lahiri-Dutt, K. (2012). Doing gender, doing geography: Emerging research in India. London, United Kingdom: Routledge.

United Nations. (2006). Ending violence against women: From words to action. Herndon, Virginia: United Nations Publications.

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