• Sat, Dec 1 2012

Women With Careers ‘Threaten Men’s Authority & Power,’ Are Twice As Likely To Experience Domestic Violence

Domestic violence victims in the United States lose 8 million paid work days every year, and apparently, those who hold jobs have a bigger chance of being abused in the first place.

According to new research, domestic violence is more than twice as likely to occur in homes in which both partners have jobs. 30% of women in heterosexual relationships with only the male held a job said they had experienced victimization, while  60% of women in home where both parties were employed reported to the study that they have been abused.

Dr. Cortney Franklin of Sam Houston State University of Texas, stated:

“When both male and females were employed, the odds of victimisation were more than two times higher than when the male was the only breadwinner in the partnership, lending support to the idea female employment may challenge male authority and power in a relationship.”

On the other hand, if the woman is in a non-employed role:

“When women are home-bound through their role as domestic workers, they lack connections to co-workers and the social capital that is produced through those connections, in addition to wages, job prestige, resources, and thus, power. In turn, they must rely solely on their male partner for financial sustenance and can benefit from the distinction that his employment brings the couple.”

So by diverting from the traditional role of staying at home, female partners may threaten the male’s “authority and power”? But if she needs her partner’s support, it’s easier for him to not abuse her? This study is incredibly troubling: it shows just how pervasive the fear of women in power is to some people, and the ways in which they’ll rationalize violence because of this.

There will undoubtedly be some groups who try to twist this into a “women shouldn’t be working, then” issue, but it’s not. The workforce has changed. Women are employed. This is something everyone, even those who believe in “tradition,” will have to deal with–and the only acceptable way to do that is in a nonviolent manner.

Photo: Shutterstock

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  • Lastango

    What’s disturbing is the researcher’s conclusion that the data somehow “lends support to the idea female employment may challenge male authority and power in a relationship.” That’s an astounding leap, and has the feel of an ideological finding aimed at shaking loose another round of funding.

    Something else is troubling about what the researchers are doing here. They report asking about “some form of physical or psychological victimization” but don’t say what they included in the psychological part. Instead, they just list dramatic, frightening physical forms: “having something thrown at them, being pushed, grabbed, or shoved, slapped, hit, kicked, or bitten, or threatened with a gun or knife”. That’s red meat for the media.

    I’m reminded of when a group of researchers evaluated the social environment for women on college campuses by asking about a big basket of potential incidents which included hearing an offensive joke — during the entire four years on campus. Anyone who said they had got included in the victim count. Needless to say, the researchers were able to report astronomical data suggesting women on campus were living in a warzone of abuse and oppression.

    We don’t know what went on in this study, but that’s the problem. It hasn’t been published yet, so the authors are able to grab the headlines while no one is able to discover how they actually did their work.

  • http://twitter.com/Erica_D_House Erica House

    Um – how about the possibility that women who are working are more likely doing so because of an economic need to (since the women who are not working probably have husbands making enough so that they don’t have to) and it’s the economic difficulties (poverty being a HUGE risk factor for domestic violence) that’s causing the increase in instances of abuse. NOT just the face that the male’s ego is being challenged.
    /FaultyPsychology

    • Donna

      And also the researcher’s conclusion that its about male ego is ridiculous because what if the man makes way more money than the woman? How is his power being challenged then? I also have doubts about abuse being reported in 60% of dual income households. This is the first time I’ve heard such a high number. This seems to be a classic example of a “researcher” trying to provide “data” to prove something they personally believe. Instead of being scientific, they are distorting data and using their personal bias to explain the study. By the way, how many men have a breadwinner wife and are in no way violent towards her? What a way to mislabel those men.