In findings that appear counterintuitive, a new study claims that domestic abuse occurs more often in dual-employment relationships.
The study, conducted by the Crime Victims Institute of Sam Houston State University (Texas), was based on telephone interviews with 303 women who said they were in a serious romantic relationship. Based on that data, “more than 60 percent of women in heterosexual working couples reported victimization, while only 30 percent of women reported victimization in cases when only the male partner was employed,” a Sam Houston press release indicates.
The authors of the study, which is entitled “Differences in Education/Employment Status and Intimate Partner Victimization,” further assert that “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.”
Common sense would indicate that the stay-at-home spouse or partner who is a “home-bound domestic worker” pursuant to the terminology used in the study and dependent on the other intimate partner for income would be more likely to be at risk for domestic violence abuse. But the study authors claim just the opposite: that women in the workplace have access to social and economic capital that can actually alienate the male who is also employed outside the home.
Forbes columnist Meghan Casserly offers this assessment of that premise:
“In other words, when women work, in pursuing wages, prestige and power or developing relationships outside the home, they undermine their partners, resulting in violence. I’m not prepared to accept the characterization of men as so base that they resort to violence when undermined or even emasculated by their partners, but according to this research, there does appear to be a link.”
Do you think this theory that violence is more likely when a couple both work holds any water? Do you believe men feel threatened to the point of physical violence when their spouse or girlfriend brings home her own paycheck?
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