A new survey by the children’s rights organization Plan International Germany shows that one-third of young men in Germany think it is acceptable to use violence against their partners – figures that are enraging German feminists.
The survey, published in the newspaper Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, asked 1,000 men and an equal number of women between the ages of 18 and 35 about their thoughts on masculinity and violence. 34% of the men admitted to having been violent towards their partners in the past in order to “gain respect”. Almost as many – 33% – said it was acceptable for some violence to be used in arguments and fights with their partners.
The German group Federal Organization for Equality calls the responses “shocking” and says they can only be interpreted as meaning that one in three young men in Germany considers violence against women “acceptable”.
“This must change immediately”, they wrote on Twitter.
Karsten Kassner, of the feminist group Bundesforum Männer, also says the findings are deeply problematic and that a change in attitudes is needed very quickly.
According to the German Federal Police, 115,000 women were subjected to violence by their partners in 2021. Germany also has a very high rate of femicide by European standards.
Otherwise, 52% of men said they wanted to provide for the family. Women focused more on children and housework, but only a third of them were interested in this. It is also worth mentioning that 48% of respondents also said that they dislike or are “bothered” by displays of homosexuality in public spaces.
There is speculation on Reddit and social media as to whether Germany’s high proportion of young men from Muslim backgrounds influenced the unexpected results of the survey. Many argue that young men from non-Western backgrounds are far more likely to be homophobic and accept violence against their partners than secular ethnic German men.
Others suggest that the shocking figures may instead be due to the vague wording of the questions, a skewed sample of respondents, or too few people being asked.