India rape cases may be making headlines, but they're only the tip of the iceberg, according to an "unprecedented and ground-breaking" UN study. The anonymous survey of 10,000 men and 3,000 women in Bangladesh, China, Cambodia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and Sri Lanka—home to more than half the global population—found 25% of men had raped their partner, while 10% raped another woman at least once, the Guardian reports. (CNN has a breakdown of figures per country.) Some 75% said they felt entitled to do so, while more than half cited entertainment value; 70% said they went unpunished.
"This is really the first time we've had data on rape perpetration on this scale, not just in the region but in the world, and I think it probably suggests rape is more widespread than we had thought," said one author, who points to paid sex, physical and sexual abuse as a child, and having many sexual partners, as factors that increase the likelihood a man will rape. And since more than half committed rape as a teenager, it "highlights the need to start working with younger boys and girls to stop the violence," she said. Options include changing social norms, cutting down on childhood violence, and prosecuting rapists. "The fact that there is such variation" by country, she says, "highlights that it isn't inevitable and that there are things we can do to prevent it." (Read more Asia-Pacific stories.)