Generally speaking, liberals love nothing more than a sweeping generalization. They relish the chance to take a few bad cases and project them on entire groups of people. It happens with gun owners. It happens with police officers. It even happens with married men. Feminists take tragic cases of spousal domestic violence and try to use these exceptions to disprove the rule that marriage is the safest place for women to be. Let’s break through these stereotypes and look at the facts.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services’ Journal of Family Issues, cohabiting couples are substantially more likely to experience domestic violence than their married peers, even when factors like history of family violence and socioeconomic status have been accounted for. This was attributed in the study to the fact that “Married couples typically have high levels of commitment and quality along with high constraints to ending their relationships.” Of course, most people would intuitively know this to be true. Married couples are obviously more committed in general. That sounds about like a scientific paper touting the discovery that water is wet. Yet, in today’s politically-charged atmosphere, it’s helpful to point to studies showcasing the value of marriage.
If you don’t trust the study in the Journal of Family Issues, consider a Report to Congress on Child Abuse and Neglect, published by HHS. The report found that children of unmarried parents are four times more likely to be abused than children of married biological parents. Of course, I’m not out to call unmarried parents child abusers. Unlike leftists, I don’t make sweeping generalizations. However, if you want to talk about the safest place for women and children, the traditional nuclear family is the gold standard.
The feminist Betty Friedan liked to say that marriage is akin to a “comfortable concentration camp.” Clearly, she did not get that impression from statistics.
All numbers indicate that marriage is designed to give peace, shelter, and safety to all who rely on it. Let’s stop idolizing these feminist icons with chips on their shoulders. If we want to create a society that offers real opportunities for women, the last thing we should do is shrug off the institution of marriage.