在南亚和中东的许多国家，妇女可能成为他们自己的家庭的目标，在所谓的“荣誉杀人”中死亡。通常，受害者的行为方式对其他文化的观察者来说似乎并不起作用;她寻求离婚，拒绝安排婚姻，或有外遇。在最恐怖的案件中，一名遭受强奸的妇女被她自己的亲属谋杀。然而，在高度重男轻女的文化中，这些行为 – 甚至是性侵犯的受害者 – 往往被视为女人整个家庭的荣誉和声誉的污点，她的家人可能决定伤害或杀害她。一个女人（或很少，一个男人）实际上不必破坏任何文化禁忌，以成为杀害受害者的荣誉。只是她表现得不恰当的建议可能足以影响她的命运，而她的亲戚在执行死刑前也不会给她机会进行辩护。事实上，当她们的家人知道她们完全是无辜的时候，她们已经被杀害了;只是谣言开始流传的事实足以让家人蒙羞，所以被告的女人不得不被杀害。艾莎吉尔博士为联合国撰稿，将杀害或荣誉暴力定义为“在父权制家庭结构，社区和/或社会框架内对女性实施的任何形式的暴力行为，其中暴力行为的主要理由是保护社会建构的“荣誉”是一种价值体系，规范或传统。“然而，在某些情况下，男性也可能成为荣誉杀害的受害者，特别是如果他们被怀疑是同性恋者，或者他们是拒绝嫁给他们的家人为他们挑选的新娘。荣誉杀人采取许多不同的形式，包括射击，勒死，溺水，酸性攻击，燃烧，石刑或将受害者活埋。加拿大司法部发表的一份报告援引了比尔泽特大学的谢里夫·卡纳纳博士的话，他指出，阿拉伯文化中的荣誉杀戮并不仅仅是甚至主要是关于控制女性的性行为本身。更确切地说，Kanaana博士说：“家庭，部落或部落的人在父系社会中寻求控制的是生殖权力。部落的妇女被认为是制造男人的工厂。荣誉杀戮不是控制性权力或行为的手段。背后的问题是生育能力或生殖能力问题。“有趣的是，荣誉谋杀通常由受害者的父亲，兄弟或叔叔进行 – 而不是由丈夫进行。虽然在父权制社会中，妻子被视为丈夫的财产，但任何所谓的不端行为都反映了他们的出生家庭而不是丈夫的家庭的耻辱。因此，被指控违反文化规范的已婚妇女通常会被她的血缘亲属杀害。
In many of the countries of South Asia and the Middle East, women can be targeted by their own families for death in what is known as “honor killings.” Often the victim has acted in a way that seems unremarkable to observers from other cultures; she has sought a divorce, refused to go through with an arranged marriage, or had an affair. In the most horrifying cases, a woman who suffers a rape then gets murdered by her own relatives. Yet, in highly patriarchal cultures, these actions – even being the victim of a sexual assault – are often seen as a blot on the honor and the reputation of the woman’s entire family, and her family may decide to maim or kill her. A woman (or rarely, a man) does not have to actually break any cultural taboos in order to become an honor killing victim. Just the suggestion that she has behaved inappropriately may be enough to seal her fate, and her relatives will not give her a chance to defend herself before carrying out the execution. In fact, women have been killed when their families knew they were completely innocent; just the fact that rumors had started going around was enough to dishonor the family, so the accused woman had to be killed. Writing for the United Nations, Dr. Aisha Gill defines an honor killing or honor violence as “any form of violence perpetrated against females within the framework of patriarchal family structures, communities, and/or societies, where the main justification for the perpetration of violence is the protection of a social construction of ‘honour’ as a value-system, norm, or tradition.” In some cases, however, men may also be victims of honor killing, particularly if they are suspected of being homosexual, or if they refuse to marry the bride selected for them by their family. Honor killings take many different forms, including shooting, strangling, drowning, acid attacks, burning, stoning, or burying the victim alive. A report published by Canada’s Department of Justice quotes Dr. Sharif Kanaana of Birzeit University, who notes that honor killing in Arab cultures is not solely or even primarily about controlling a woman’s sexuality, per se. Rather, Dr. Kanaana states, “What the men of the family, clan, or tribe seek control of in a patrilineal society is reproductive power. Women for the tribe were considered a factory for making men. The honor killing is not a means to control sexual power or behavior. What’s behind it is the issue of fertility, or reproductive power.” Interestingly, honor murders are usually carried out by the fathers, brothers, or uncles of the victims – not by husbands. Although in a patriarchal society, wives are seen as the property of their husbands, any alleged misbehavior reflects dishonor on their birth families rather than their husbands’ families. Thus, a married woman who is accused of transgressing cultural norms is usually killed by her blood relatives.