Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Why Dads Matter

One of the chief concerns of many Americans, including those who are socially liberal, is domestic violence and abuse. The irony of this concern is that the high rates of domestic turmoil we've witnessed over the last several decades may largely be the result of successful attempts by liberals to weaken the traditional family structure.

W. Bradford Wilcox at The Federalist has a column in which he in effect makes the politically incorrect claim that the safest place in our society for women and children is in a home in which the biological father is present. He writes:
[V]iolence against women (not to mention their intimates and children) is markedly rarer in families headed by married parents regardless of how well-off or well-educated mom is. We can speculate about the precise mechanisms—is it the commitment, the stability, the mutual support, the kinship ties, or the sexual fidelity marriage fosters more than its alternatives?—that accounts for this empirical link. But what should be clear to analysts willing to follow the data wherever it leads is this: a healthy marriage seems to matter more than money when it comes to minimizing the scourge of domestic violence in American families.
Wilcox develops his argument by citing a study that includes this graph:

The disparity depicted in this chart is rather startling. Wilcox adds:
[H]omes headed by never-married, separated, or divorced mothers are about five times more likely to expose children to domestic violence, compared to homes headed by married, biological parents. What’s more: family structure outweighs education, income, and race in predicting the odds that children witness domestic violence in the home.
Women and children are in much greater jeopardy when the male in the household is not married to the woman than when the male is the woman's husband and the father of her children. The left has been telling us since the sixties that the traditional family is an oppressive, patriarchal social structure that women and children are often better off without and that other arrangements are at least as conducive to their flourishing as is the traditional structure. Well, we've largely abandoned the traditional structure, the data are in, and the results are not anything the left is likely to boast about.