Women Are Safer Being Married!

Tom Donelson
June 22, 2014 Posted by Tom Donelson tomdonelson@aol.com

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.

Young Family Having Fun In Park

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!

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7 Responses to Women Are Safer Being Married!

  1. MeredithAncret on June 22, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    None of the stats you mentioned have ANYTHING to do with redefining marriage. Stop twisting around the results of studies to create false conclusions.

    • Tom Donelson on June 22, 2014 at 10:09 pm

      Actually it does. My point is that women being safer in marriage and when you encourage a society where marriage is either discourage or not happening; women and children are more at risk. Children and women are better off financially and in other ways in a two parent households. That is a fact. Note I use two parents and I don’t define what those two parents are. But then the data on the effect of two same sex couple is not as definitive as a mother or father. If we are going to redefine marriage or simply no encourage marriage; we may end up with many social problems.

      • MeredithAncret on June 25, 2014 at 11:45 am

        First of all, you are working from a study that is 20 years old. 2 decades. Sorry if that doesn’t impress me with it’s relevance to today.
        Secondly, you are making your suppositions that “traditional marriage” (which is what discussing “redefining marriage” is usually in reference too) is better than alternatives because of safety issues. This leads naturally to the conclusion that ANY situation other than “traditional marriage” is unsafe. However an unmarried women with a string of boyfriends may indeed be putting herself and her children in an unsafe environment, I won’t argue that.
        A woman married (or in an long term relationship) to another woman is not subject to that same risk, neither are her children. Of course if you can find a slightly less dusty study that covers these issues with same sex couples I’ll be happy to read that as well and adjust my conclusions. However, the issues of stability, in the emotional, physical, and fiscal aspects is there in that relationship between two women who are together for the long haul, just as much as it is for a man and woman who are together in marriage.

        Your conclusion about how we shouldn’t “redefine marriage” for the safety of women and children is based on the twisted idea that a study from 1994 can justify the idea that women are better off married to men. If you had just left your conclusion at “women are better off in a marriage” I could have agreed with you. Emotional and financially, women (especially with children) are substantially better off with a second income and someone to rely on. However throwing that “redefining marriage” comment moved it from a reasonable conclusion to something that has no basis in reality…even reality as put forward by a 20 year old study.

        • Tom Donelson on June 25, 2014 at 12:42 pm

          On the issues of single women economic plight vs married women on poverty, there are decades worth of data which I documented in past articles. Just review the census data over the past four decades and you will see a definite connection between children and women living in poverty and marriage. Even the Pew Study touted by feminist a year ago in which 40 percent of women are main breadwinner supported this thesis,when you actually read the study, you find that 2 out of 3 women who were bread winner were single females and their income was 1/2 of married families and 1/4 of families in which the woman was the main bread winner in a married context.

          You have misunderstood my point on two parents vs single parent and traditional marriage and traditional familes. As you stated, that two parent households are better for children and if you actually read what I have written, I don’t dispute that. What I have stated is that we know that two parents with mother and father are definitely better than single which you agree with. I have been quite careful in not condemning same-sex marriages and its effect on children other than to say, the data is being collected, which is true. I have never used this to argue against same sex marriage but to observe that if we are going to proceed with a social experiment, then we should have much data as possible. I have read a good portion of the data in support of same-sex as well as against; the data is not as solid as married traditional couple but it would indicate a trend that same sex couples would be better economically than single parents but we don’t have decades or I should say century of data on this compared to traditional family.

          My point on redefining marriage is that there could be a price to be paid if we change what marriage is and we should know those costs ahead of time. So this is not an argument for or against same-sex marriage but an argument for caution, which if we change a important structure of society after a couple of thousands of years is merited.

          In March of 2012 Social Science Review, Loren Mark reviewed 60 studies on the effect on same-sex and gave both strength and weakness of the studies. Mark Regnerus discussed the possible negative side to this in Social Science and others social scientist such as Paul Amato, Eggebeen and others had their response to Regnerus also in Social Science.

          As for the income debate, the data were with traditional family and children both financially and other ways benefited with traditional family if the mother stayed home or worked. The Pew Studies results would agree with this analysis if you examine the data carefully.

          The only difference between you and me it would appear is I am more cautious on radically changing family structure and if you also read past pieces you will know that I believe this to be an issue to be decided through the legistative process as oppose through the court. We both agree that two parents household are better for children than single but where we disagree is that my review of the data has yet to show with the SAME CERTAINTY that same-sex parenting is no difference than traditional family. And if cherry pick studies one can find studies support one side or the other as far as same sex is concern but as I will repeat, the CERTAINTY has yet to proven. Thank you for Meredith for your response and I will give you the last word if you chose.

          • MeredithAncret on June 25, 2014 at 1:14 pm

            I do agree that it should be a legislative state issue rather than a court one, we can agree there.
            In fact, frankly, I see no reason for government to have a hand in marriage at all, but that’s a different discussion.

            I find it hilarious that you claim your arguments are not for/against gay marriage however. You consistently make commentary that leads your articles conclusions down the path of “traditional vs. gay marriage” rather than simple commentary on facts and figures. If this was not about gay marriage, then why in the world would commentary on gay marriage be necessary in a discussion of whether single mothers or married mothers are more well off? It would not, specifically since you do not even bring up the issue of cost/benefit for a two parent household when the mother is the breadwinner in that previous article.

            And as I said before, this article would not have been one I disagreed with at all…except that you made it an opportunity to discuss something the study had NO basis for. As I said, it’s a 20 year old study, so using it to make a point about the effect “redefining marriage” (something fairly recent in the LGBT community) would have on women’s safety is preposterous.

          • MeredithAncret on June 25, 2014 at 1:16 pm

            Especially since the content of the study (and the facts you quote in the previous study) make no real causal break down between same sex partners and opposite sex partners. There’s an economic and social benefit to two people/parents in a relationship. Those studies, as far as I can tell, make no suppositions on the gender make up of those relationships.

  2. MeredithAncret on June 25, 2014 at 11:52 am

    Also, Tom, you forget that I can read all your old articles. In quite a few articles you are skewing facts and figures in an attempt to claim that “traditional marriage” and “traditional families” are better, but the facts and figures only prove that two parent households (with no emphasis given for whether that family is “traditional” or not) are better for children and relationships.
    “Two parent household” can refer to at least three different versions of a household, male/male, male/female, and female/female. All are two parent. Your discussions of women being less likely to live in poverty if married, also do not break those numbers down to whether male/female is preferable or if it’s simply having a 2nd income (regardless of gender) that makes the difference.

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