Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Abused women less likely to be in stable relationships

21.01.2005


Those abused as adults often say no to marriage, cohabitation



Poor women who are physically or sexually abused at some point in their lives are less likely to maintain stable intimate relationships, according to a new study of more than 2,500 women by sociologists from The Johns Hopkins University and Penn State University.
The women involved in the study said they want fair treatment and companionship from their partners, just like everybody does, the researchers said. Many of those who had been abused as adults told ethnographers that they had decided to forego marriage and cohabiting relationships, at least temporarily. Those who were sexually abused in childhood were not as likely to avoid relationships altogether; rather, they tended to engage in a series of short-term, transient relationships, many of them abusive.

While there is no evidence that abuse rates have increased, the number of women postponing intimate relationships may be growing, said Andrew Cherlin, the Griswold Professor of Public Policy at Johns Hopkins and lead author of the report, "The Influence of Physical and Sexual Abuse on Marriage and Cohabitation," to be published in the Jan. 21 issue of American Sociological Review. "What’s changed over the past few decades is the social context of abuse," Cherlin said. "Women don’t have to stay with abusive men anymore because they have alternatives to marriage."



The researchers, working in Boston, Chicago and San Antonio as part of the long-term research project called "Welfare, Children and Families: A Three-City Study," surveyed a random sample of 2,402 Hispanic, African American, and white women. Ethnographic research teams studied another 256 women in depth for several years, observing day-to-day activities and conducting repeated interviews. All of the women studied were the primary caregivers of at least one child.

Fifty-two percent of women in the random-sample survey reported being physically or sexually abused at some point during their lives. Twenty-four percent said they were sexually abused during childhood or adolescence. Forty-two percent of women who had never been abused were married at the time of the survey, compared to 22 percent of women who had ever been abused. Of the 256 women studied in depth, one-sixth -- many of whom had been physically abused as adults -- said they were taking a timeout from intimate relationships with men.

"Women’s decision to take a timeout from such relationships is an important one for policymakers to understand," said co-author Linda Burton, director of the ethnographic component and Penn State professor of human development and sociology. "These women are not saying they will never enter intimate relationships again, but, rather, they need recovery and reflection time from abuse they experienced as adults to avoid entering a subsequent abusive relationship."

Cherlin and Burton suggest that reducing levels of sexual abuse and physical violence in families could increase the number of healthy, stable, long-term unions. They argue that current marriage promotion policy debates at the federal and state levels, which tend to blame declining cultural values or unemployment for lower marriage rates among the poor, should also focus on the consequences of abuse.

Other authors are: Tera Hurt, University of Georgia; and Diane Purvin, Wellesley College.

Funding support came from National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, Administration on Developmental Disabilities, Administration for Children and Families, Social Security Administration, National Institute of Mental Health, The Boston Foundation, The Annie E. Casey Foundation, The Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, The Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, Hogg Foundation for Mental Health, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The Joyce Foundation, The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, W. K. Kellogg Foundation, Kronkosky Charitable Foundation, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and Woods Fund of Chicago.

Amy Cowles | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.jhu.edu

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Amazingly flexible: Learning to read in your thirties profoundly transforms the brain
26.05.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Kognitions- und Neurowissenschaften

nachricht Fixating on faces
26.01.2017 | California Institute of Technology

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Nagoya physicists resolve long-standing mystery of structure-less transition

21.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

Chronic stress induces fatal organ dysfunctions via a new neural circuit

21.08.2017 | Health and Medicine

Scientists from the MSU studied new liquid-crystalline photochrom

21.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>