That’s because marriage makes women safer. A married woman is far less likely to be assaulted by her husband than an unmarried woman by her lover. Marriage also protects children: a girl who lives in a home with her married father is 17 times less likely to be abused. We all know that married men can still be violent to their families, but they are far less likely to be violent against women than are live-in boyfriends.
Why is this? It’s true that women who have found men who are already better partners are more likely to marry them, but it’s also true that marriage settles men down. Being married makes a man care more about his family’s expectations and future because he sees his family as enduring. It also makes him more faithful and committed to his partner. Marriage makes men directly protective of their wives, and living in a home with their daughters gives them the opportunity to be directly protective of them as well. Marriage also creates indirect protection for wives and daughters, because married women and their children tend to live in safer neighborhoods.
So what’s the answer for women who worry about male violence? It’s not to fear all men. It’s to reject the lifestyle of frequent “hookups,” which is so much promoted on college campuses today, while the women pursue a career and avoid marriage.
Listen to the radio commentary here: