One way to end violence against women? Married dads.The Washington Post op-ed is by W. Bradford Wilcox, a sociologist who played a notable role in the conception of the infamous Mark Regnerus study claiming that gay parents messed up their kids, and Robin Fretwell Wilson, who signed a letter to Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer arguing that critics of the bill allowing businesses to discriminate out of religious belief had it all wrong. In the final paragraph of their piece, Wilcox and Wilson get around to acknowledging that married men occasionally abuse their wives and children, too. But mostly they're interested in telling women to GET MARRIED RIGHT NOW or face the consequences:
The data show that #yesallwomen would be safer with fewer boyfriends around their kids.
Women are also safer in married homes ... [M]arried women are the least likely to be victimized by an intimate partner. They are also less likely to be the victims of violent crime in general. Overall, another U.S. Department of Justice study found that never-married women are nearly four times more likely to be victims of violent crime, compared to married women. The bottom line is that married women are less likely to be raped, assaulted, or robbed than their unmarried peers.Two paragraphs later, they acknowledge that "women in healthy, safe relationships are more likely to select into marriage, and women in unhealthy, unsafe relationships often lack the power to demand marriage or the desire to marry." A minor detail, and one that makes you wonder how the statistics might shift if women had to marry and stay married to men who beat them and their children. (Answer: they probably also wouldn't be allowed to report the beatings, so crimes toward married women would stay relatively low.)
Other minor details in the 1994 Justice Department study linked include that women aged 20 to 24—below the average age of marriage—experienced the highest rates of violent crime, women with lower incomes were more likely to be victims of violent crime, and women with less education were more likely to be victims of certain crimes. Gosh, do you think any of that might be related? Could it possibly be that vulnerable women are vulnerable?
Perhaps most significantly, though, Wilcox and Wilson completely fail to mention the category of women suffering the lowest rate of violent crime: widows. So get married now, ladies, and don't you dare get divorced. But once your husband dies, you'll really be safe. (Hint, hint.)