Does family structure matter? I have answered this question before and certainly from an economic point there is no doubt that two parent households produce better economic security for the children and even the woman. In the Washington Post, a piece showed yet another reason for encouraging two parent households; women are safer in marriage from physical abuse than in either co-habiting relations or going from one boy friend to another. There is actually less domestic violence in a marriage than in other types of male-female relationships.
Bradford Wilcox and Robin Wilson observed, “The bottom line is this: Married women are notably safer than their unmarried peers. Girls raised in a home with their married father are markedly less likely to be abused or assaulted than children living without their own father.”
Fourth National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect showed that children are more likely to be abused when they live in homes separated from their biological father and this includes when their mother is cohabiting with unmarried boyfriends. Abuse of children within households living with unmarried partners are more than twelve fold than within two married biological parents.
A study in the Medical journal Pediatrics showed that children living in households with unrelated adults were nearly 50 times more likely to die as result of inflicted injures than children with two biological parents. With the emphasis on violence committed on women and children; the one solution not often looked at is reviewing the importance of family. Just as children in two parent households are less likely to live in poverty, children living in two parent households are safer from physical violence.
As we engage in a massive experiment in redefining marriage, it might be beneficial to look at what the science actually says. And the science is clear: Children are better off in two parent households!