Restoring Honor by Slapping or Disowning the Daughter

Ashwini Ashokkumar, William B. Swann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The psychological processes underlying honor violence against kin are poorly understood. We assumed that honor violence against daughters who violate a gendered norm is designed to uphold family honor and nurture positive links to the community. Four studies with Indian men supported this formulation. As expected, endorsement of honor violence (i.e., slapping or disowning the daughter) increased insofar as perceived community awareness of the violation increased. Moreover, endorsement of honor violence was especially common among those whose identities were closely aligned (“fused”) with their community. Finally, a desire to restore threatened family honor, rather than a motivation to prevent future dishonor, motivates honor violence against daughters; conversely, a desire to prevent future dishonor motivates constructive activities such as advising. Ironically, a benign, culturally universal desire to maintain positive ties to the community can encourage community members to endorse violence toward transgressive kin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)823-836
Number of pages14
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2023


  • India
  • honor
  • honor-based violence
  • identity fusion
  • reputation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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