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NCJ Number: 207573 Find in a Library
Title: Critiquing the Case for Marriage Promotion: How the Promarriage Movement Misrepresents Domestic Violence Research
Journal: Violence Against Women  Volume:10  Issue:11  Dated:November 2004  Pages:1226-1244
Author(s): Beth Skilken Catlett; Julie E. Artis
Editor(s): Claire M. Renzetti
Date Published: November 2004
Page Count: 19
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examines research and government policy promoting marriage and argues that marriage promotion advocates and initiatives fail to recognize the role and reality of domestic violence in many families’ lives.
Abstract: Research shows that marriage promotion advocates promote the largely faith-based ideology that all parents should marry, that once married even distressed couples should stay together for the sake of the children, and that committing to marriage and reducing divorce would improve family life and alleviate poverty for women and children. In addition, government policies promote marriage with funding for programs designed to promote the institution of marriage. Given the prevalence of domestic violence, there seems to be a substantial basis to question whether divorce rates present a social problem of sufficient dimension to warrant governmental intervention pursued by marriage promotion advocates. Marriage promotion advocates are viewed as glossing over the real social issues of class, poverty, and domestic violence in order to impose a highly traditional and patriarchal view of the proper family mode. This article describes the recent history of welfare reform and marriage promotion policies, reviews the arguments in favor of such policies, critiques marriage promotion through the eyes of social science research on domestic violence and how advocates ignore or misrepresent the research, and discusses the need to ground policy formation in the voices of those women whose lives these policies ultimately affect. References
Main Term(s): Domestic assault
Index Term(s): Abused women; Abusing spouses; Battered wives; Family support; Female victims; Policy analysis; Single parent families; Welfare services
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