The Impact of Social Networks on Gender Norms

Ervin Dervisevic, American University
Thespina Yamanis, American University

Inequitable gender norms have been identified as one of the factors that negatively influence HIV-related behavior and intimate partner violence. There is a need to better understand the factors that contribute to inequitable gender norms and target them for interventions. One understudied factor is the influence of social networks on gender norms. This paper attempts to examine two major channels of social networks influence on gender norms of young men and women in Tanzania. We use social network data collected from 659 members of 10 "camps", stable closed social networks for young people in Dar es Salaam that are akin to a club or gang. Social network influence is examined using a network autoregressive model that takes into account interdependencies among network members. The results of the estimations provide evidence of the impact of network structure on personal norms.

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Presented in Session 144: Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health: Causes and Consequences