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Get Married or Get Pummeled: Actual Claim in Washington Post

The Washington Post actually published this headline: “One way to avoid violence against women? Stop taking lovers and get married.” It did not stand. Read More

It was a really fundamental

It was a really fundamental mistake of correlation = causation. They actually said, "Marriage also seems to cause men to behave better," and completely missed the fact that good men, the kind that don't, you know, beat women and children, tend to be the kind that self-select into marriage in the first place.

You can't take an abuser and shape him into some kind of good guy by squeezing a ring on his finger. You gotta start with a good guy, and then he's going to be good whether you're married to him or not.

odd coming from the washington post of all places...

After reading the article and reading your critique, I did not find the Washington Post article real convincing. I found it odd more than anything. For starters, domestic violence happens in marriages and relationships all the time. I have a Bachelors Degree in Forensic Investigation and once of my undergraduate degrees is in Domestic Violence Intervention. The Washington Post, of all people, wants us to believe that if you get married, domestic violence disappears. That’s not true. My sister was a victim of domestic violence. She got divorced because of it. If you stay single and you don’t live with your partner or whoever, then you might be physically safe in this sense I would think.

Bradford Wilcox

Bradford Wilcox is the mouthpiece for the Marriage Project, an ultra-conservative group out of the University of Virginia that promotes marriage and family. Judging from the comments I wonder how many subscribers the Washington Post stands to lose by publishing this garbage. In Democratic elections, single women have been shown to control the vote. Is this a demographic worth angering by a left-leaning publication?

Getting back to what Mr. Wilcox has to say, married woman aren't the least likely women to be attacked. Studies have shown that single women who are not in a relationship are the safest of all women, followed by married women. When we see pie charts and graphs showing how safe married women are, the category of single women not in a relationship is omitted.

The most dangerous type of relationship to have is a married woman who is attempting to separate from her husband. That is the situation where a woman is most likely to be assaulted, shot, stabbed or asphyxiated. Marriage would make women safe only if they made no effort to leave their husband, a woman would have to put up with a bad marriage to maintain her safety risk.

We know married people earn more money, they are more educated, the come from more stable homes themselves. Daughters of married parents are more likely to live in better safer neighborhoods than daughters of unmarried parents simply because more educated monied people are more likely to get married.

Like the commenter above says. Marriage is a piece of paper, it doesn't make anyone a better person. Between George Will and Bradford Wilcox this week, some editor over there probably needs to be fired.

No, wait, the WP is right.

Marriage really is a conspiracy by the matriarchy to emasculate men.

Studies showed the drop in testosterone levels, especially after a kid or two is plopped out. You can see the type of crawler at any suburban mall on the weekend.

Where the WP is wrong is in thinking this is a Good Thing.

If it's a conspiracy of the

If it's a conspiracy of the patriarchy then why is it that patriarchal religious ideology is used to push the lie that men should dominate their wives in marriage and that women should be subservient? Why are little girls forced to marry old men in some cultures at the risk of being murdered by men in 'honor' killings if they refuse? Why are women forced to self immolate in some countries when their husbands die because they're considered worthless without their husbands, why are lesbians 'correctively' rape and forced into marriage by men who fear women who they can't control and who don't center them and pander to them and their sick ideology? All evidence reveals a patriarchal conspiracy, but don't let the truth get in the way of a good sob story.

If it's a conspiracy of the

If it's a conspiracy of the matriarchy ...

When you get to be 50

you have known many women in violent situations, and perhaps been in one. You learn that it makes no difference, your married friends, your promiscuous friends, your cohabiting friends, they're all at equal risk. Sometimes it take the longevity of a committed relationship for the violence to gestate and come out; a man can seem wonderful all through the honeymoon, and then when things get tough, BAM. No one in that situation ever sees it coming, even if people on the outside were not surprised by it.
Anonymous is right, that the most dangerous place is to be in an abusive marriage and planning to leave. That is why so many women stay, because they're safer with the "routine" violence than the murderous violence they know they'd face if they got caught while trying to get out. Many women stay in abusive situations because they fear for their animals if they leave. Many animal shelters offer protective custody for pets while women are in shelters, until they can care for the animals on their own. This service is not widely known, so I tell about it whenever I can.


As a University of Illinois alum, I apologize for Robin Fretwell Wilson, a law professor and Director of the Program in Family Law and Policy at the University of Illinois. The first lesson in the introductory statistics class I took was about the danger of thinking that just because two things occur together doesn't mean one caused the other. But perhaps Wilson didn't attend an introductory statistics course.

great discussion

There are so many insightful comments here already that I added an update to the original post, encouraging readers to take a look. Thanks, everyone.

Most women who are assaulted

Most women who are assaulted or raped are victims of their relatives or intimate partners. A woman is more safe single and on her own or in a lesbian relationship. Of course there can be violence in any relationship, but a woman is most likely to be seriously injured or killed by a man she knows and trusts than anyone else. You have to wonder what this man's agenda is. A typical conservative who wants to go back to the 1950's when men were men and women were chattel it seems.

Actually, statistics show

Actually, statistics show there is a stronger amount of domestic violence in female same-sex relationships.

Guess the sun don't shine out of women's backsides quite as much as we thought, eh?

Women in general are less

Women in general are less likely to seriously injure or kill their partners. If I had a daughter I would rather she be with a woman than a man. There's more equality in same sex relationships.

One man

My ex-husband has struggled with temper issues all his life. His father used to go of on tantrums when he lost control of a situation and he used that to terrorize the people around him into appeasing him. I was raised by a gentle and wise father and this just did not fly with me. Once my ex and his dad got into a fight in my house where they threw things. I grabbed the cat and went out the back door, and his mom followed me and said I shouldn't be so dramatic, this is what men do and we just wait it out. I said, "If you believe that, you're part of the problem!" When I was on my way out for good, we had an argument about his temper, and I shouted, "In your family, a man controls the people around him. In my family, a man controls HIMSELF." Many men have poor role models who teach them that they have to (and actually can) control every situation. My ex is a good man who has tried to overcome his upbringing. I realized that for my health and happiness, he had to do that somewhere other than my house, but we are still friends and I see him making slow and steady progress.

Okay, Bradford Wilcox, let's play

Is marriage really safer for women? Let's take a look. I found some numbers and enlisted the help of my trusted calculator. I found this publication which looked at violent crime from 1992-1993.

Naturally I would have liked more recent numbers, but I couldn't find any. I did find a study that said that intimate partner violence directed at women hasn't decreased by much though other types of crime has, so these old numbers will really be in your favor, Bradford.

The study says that in 1993 there were a total of 3,517,300 reported violent crime victimizations of women and 3,952,500 reported violent crime victimizations of men in the United States. 1,008,000 of those victimizations of women were allegedly performed by intimate partners, or 28.7%. For men, the number was far lower, 143,430 victimizations by an intimate partner. For women, 28.7% of all violent crime victimizations were allegedly caused by intimate partners, for men the percentage was far lower, 3.6%.

Who knows, Bradford, marriage may make a woman safer or it may not. However, if women want to reduce their chances of being victimized by violent crime by a whopping 28.7% the easiest course of action is not have an intimate partner.

Let's play some more Bradford

I feel like I'm Captain Obvious here. Let's talk homicides and visit the year 2007. I found this DOJ report on Intimate Partner Homicides in the United States:

That report tells us that there were 2340 deaths caused by intimate partner violence or 14% of all deaths: 1640 female deaths and 700 male deaths.

I looked up the number of homicides for 2007 using a table from this site:

In 2007 there were 14,831 homicide victims: 3,177 females and 11,618 males.

If we know that there were 1,640 female deaths attributed to intimate partner deaths and 3,177 female victims, we can assume that around 51.6% of female homicides are caused by intimate partner violence*. For men , that percentage would be 6.0%.

If a woman wants to decrease her risk of becoming a homicide victim by 48.4% she should avoid having an intimate partner. Still think marriage makes one safe, Bradford?

*There is some slight variations regarding "intimate partner deaths" which may include those deaths classified as manslaughter, not homicide, but it's negligible. Those daths would not be in the homicide numbers. I ran some numbers based on the statistics listed and I might be one percentage point off.


Marriage has destroyed tens upon tens of millions of lives. DO NOT DO IT! IT SUCKS! DO NOT GET MARRIED! DO NOT GET MARRIED! WARNING, WILL ROBINSON! WARNING!

“MGTOW – Men Going Their Own Way – is a statement of self-ownership, where the modern man preserves and protects his own sovereignty above all else. It is the manifestation of one word: “No”. Ejecting silly preconceptions and cultural definitions of what a “man” is. Looking to no one else for social cues. Refusing to bow, serve and kneel for the opportunity to be treated like a disposable utility. And, living according to his own best interests in a world which would rather he didn’t.”

Oh gawd, the histrionics of

Oh gawd, the histrionics of it all.


Society is screwed. 17T in debt - AND RAPIDLY GROWING. Money being printed like water. Oligarchy ruling the government. Trillions in unfunded liabilities. The government hopes you drop dead before you collect your SS and medicare. The "great recession" was caused by the removal of Glass-Steagall, which was put in place after the great depression to prevent Wall Street from doing what it did after Glass-Steagall was removed. Millions unemployed. The suicide rate at all time highs. The VA watching potentially hundreds die to collect bonuses. BONUSES OVER LIFE. BONUSES OVER THE DISPOSABLE MENz LIVES

The middle class is evaporating. Technology is replacing people at a hyper rate. Marriage at its lowest point in a century. Divorce rampaging families for 40+ years. Less than 1000 people in the US with more net worth than the lower 150 MILLION. FEMINISM DESTROYING GENDER RELATIONS. Jobs being shipped overseas. Cheap labor being imported. Most will likely die in poverty or work until they drop dead. America is ranked 27th among all nations in per capita real net worth. 27th! Kids leaving college in debt for the next 10 to 20 years of their lives.

Get married - have kids - and get destroyed psychologically, emotionally, financially, legally and spiritually.

Go to the feminist sites and read their words. There's a huge campaign to remove men from the family and IT IS FUNDED BY THE GOVERNMENT. MAJOR FEMINISTS INSTITUTIONS ARE FUNDED BY OUR OWN GOVERNMENT. Look at the false rape statistics and wage gap statistics. REALLY LOOK AT THEM. A women who later regrets having sex because she had a few drinks is counted as a rape.

All a women has to do is scratch their arm with an earring, quietly walk to the bathroom to call the police, AND YOU GO TO JAIL AND ARE CONVICTED OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE - YOUR LIFE DESTROYED. The naive white knights in our government are totally behind removing men's constitutional rights. If you aren't one of them - you're not considered a man. These men lead the country.

The Apostle Paul was dead on.

You have to be crazy as a man to get married and have kids. Tens upon tens of millions of men's lives have been destroyed in this manner. I say - let the women collect welfare and have the kids on their own. Tax the shit out of me. I want no part of marriage with the modern woman. Come up with another way to give young boys a better start in life. That, or change the laws so it's not so easy for women to destroy men through marriage and family. You cannot preach fatherhood and expect men to just "man up" to their own potential destruction. There has to be an incentive for men to marry and want a family. Those incentives are gone, gone, gone.

Good God - the damage I've seen in my lifetime because of the easy divorce wrought on men by feminism, emasculation and no-fault divorce. You'd have to be nuts to get married as a man now days. Who signs up for a deal in which their life could be destroyed at any point in time? ME! I DID IT! I'm an IDIOT! One day you're happily married, building a good life for your family, and ten/twenty years later you're living in a studio apartment, in your car or wind up homeless.

Marriage has become a death trap for men. Many, many thousands of divorced men commit suicide every year. In 2012, there were 2.4 million divorces, the majority of which were filed by women. California has a 75% divorce rate. Men pay the vast majority of alimony and child support AND the majority of taxes.

It sucks to be a man in this world. With VAWA, you're constantly on the hook for false rape, false domestic violence and false harassment charges. Marriage and family are no longer worth it for men.

I thank God every single day I did not bring a child into this world.

Man Going His Own Way for LIFE!

No Marriage

Women could save men a lot of pain and financial hardship by refusing marriage to men. Women should all marry other women.

As a lesbian, I

As a lesbian, I enthusiastically second this notion.

Another way we could all end

Another way we could all end the terrible impact of marriage on men is for men to stop enforcing marriage onto little girls and women under the threat of social and religious coercion, violence or death. There's a thought. I'd be all for that cause.

#Don'tMarryMen I was just


I was just thinking that, if women refused marriage to men en-masse, men's lives would be a whole lot better. Maybe, as MGTOW, we should push this new narrative. The fewer women that marry men, the better it is for men. If we can convince women of this too, then think of how many men's lives we might save. Just a thought...

How about if men stop

How about if men stop enforcing marriage onto little girls and women under the threat of violence and death, driven by patriarchal religious and cultural ideology? I'm sure most girls and women would be more than happy not to marry under those circumstances. Everybody wins! Now if we could just convince all those irrational, fundamentalist, mysoginist men ...

It doesn't make sense to say

It doesn't make sense to say that women who live alone aren't the safest when it comes to's only logical. Or maybe the study only reflects the irresponsible solo women who have a lot of drunk/stoned sex and therefore make us all look like victims. Or maybe the single women numbers are artificially pumped up.

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Bella DePaulo, Ph.D., is author of Singled Out: How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After. She is a visiting professor at UCSB.


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