Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Domestic Violence And Two-Income Homes

Researchers at Sam Houston State University report that a survey of women shows that domestic violence is substantially more common in two-income homes than in homes where the woman is home and the man works:
Intimate partner violence is two times more likely to occur in two income households, compared to those where only one partner works, according to a new study.

Conducted by Sam Houston State University researchers Cortney A. Franklin, Ph.D., and doctoral student Tasha A. Menaker and supported by the Crime Victims’ Institute, the study looked at the impact of education levels and employment among heterosexual partners as it relates to domestic violence.

While the researchers found that differences in education levels appeared to have little influence, when both partners were working, intimate partner violence increased.

“When both male and females were employed, the odds of victimization were more than two times higher than when the male was the only breadwinner in the partnership, lending support to the idea that female employment may challenge male authority and power in a relationship,” said the researchers.
Here's another possibility, that it appears the researchers did not consider: maybe it is not because the men in traditional homes don't feel threatened.  Maybe it is that those traditional homes have couples with traditional values, while the two-income families are modern and progressive, and have abandoned weird, old-fashioned, stupid stuff like Ephesians 5:28-30:
 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.  After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church—for we are members of his body.
Note that they found that education levels had "little influence" and it appears that they looked at income levels as well.  If the traditional homes were less violent because of higher income levels, or better education levels, you can be sure that would have been mentioned.


  1. "On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life
    (Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife)
    Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,
    And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "The Wages of Sin is Death.""

  2. Wow! I came over from Instapundit and I am glad I did. Thank you so much for this post!

    As a housewife of 24 years I can surely say that I know traditional values have made the difference. I am the helpmeet of my husband and through my efforts in the home, he is able to provide for us through work. We complete eachother in our efforts.


  3. Want to bet that in addition to income and education they examined political slant, too? Maybe that's why they didn't want to say it was because of traditional values.

  4. Oh, and maybe it is that the woman challenges the man's role in the household in a direct and explicit manner, and it has nothing to do with the man's implicit "sexist attitude". Before my uncle died, when my aunt was working outside the home and my uncle was on disability, I overheard her once saying to my mom that "she makes the money now, she gets to say what's what."
    Drastically different view, I would say, from times past when it was "fair" to give the stay-at-home partner an equal say in spending because her job was as important even without an actual dollar income.

  5. This is all about the Two-Income Trap (reviewed here in Mother Jones - warning: multiple pop-ups)that Elizabeth Warren warned us about, right?

    It's rather obvious that one would expect more female-instigated* instances of relationship violence when the female is unhappy that she has to work.

    A 'social study' is the elaborate demonstration of the obvious by methods that are obscure.
    --William Bennett, former US Secretary of Education

    *As Japan discovered after Dec. 7, 1941, an episode of violence is not so much about who was hurt most when it ended but who started it. Men in a bar generally understand that raising tempers and bullying a bigger, stronger person is a bad idea. Why don't females in houses "get it"?

  6. Wow, talk about victim blaming.

  7. When you say, "victim blaming" I presume that you are talking about "Why don't females in houses 'get it'?" My daughter worked in a domestic violence treatment program for a couple of years. Doubtless there are victims go looking for trouble, but there are an awful lot of people, mostly men, who have grown up believing that they have a right to beat up their wives.

  8. Yes, I'm talking about the comments, not your OP. It is clear that many of the commenters don't understand abuse dynamics. I would like to know more about the study. I find it very likely that there is a reporting bias. Women without their own source of income are probably less likely to recognize, and thus report, abuse. This might explain why the other factors have less impact on the numbers without resorting to "well she must have provoked him more" mythology.


  9. If this study was based on domestic violence reported to police or domestic violence agencies, I could buy this argument about reporting bias. A woman without an independent income might be reluctant to call the police out of fear of ending up homeless.

    But it appears that this was the result of a random survey. If a woman needs an independent income to recognize abuse enough to report it when asked, I am skeptical that it is abuse. "Does your husband hit you?" has a pretty simple answer, whether or not you are afraid to call the police.

  10. I'd like to know what the samples size was.