Reginald Thompson: Research shows that remaining unmarried greatly increases the chances that a woman will be raped, while living with a husband greatly decreases her chances of being raped.
According to the FBI Crime Victimization Survey, the average unmarried female over the age of 12 had a 0.37% chance of being raped or sexually assaulted in 2006.
In contrast, the average married female over the age of 12 had only a 0.04% chance of being raped or sexually assaulted that year.
That’s a staggering risk factor for single women of being 9.3 times more likely to be raped!
Now you might think this is due to single women tending to be younger, and younger women being more likely to be raped. But that idea is refuted by the fact that divorced women, on average older than single women, are even more likely to be raped than single women are.
Divorced or seperated women had a 0.43% chance of being raped or sexually assaulted in 2006, which means they had a 10.8 times greater chance of being raped than the married women did, and a 16% greater chance than the Single women.
Intriguingly, single women are also 3.7 times more likely to be subjected to violent crime than married women are, while being 5.5 times more likely to be subjected to completed violence.
Also, they are 4.9 times more likely to be robbed, 3.1 times more likely to be subjected to aggravated assault, and 3.5 times more likely to be subjected to simple assault.
So single women are at an elevated risk for all kinds of violent crime, but none so much as rape and sexual assault. This is doubtless due to the sexual nature of the relationship between a husband and wife, and the fact that by marrying a man, a woman provides herself with a physically stronger companion who has a profound evolutionary interest in protecting her sexuality.
But does it follow from these findings that if women spent more of their lives married, the overall rape rate would decline?
Or would rapists just compensate by raping the remaining single women at a higher rate?
To find out I got the rape rate for 18 years from 1960 to 2007, and checked it against the median age at first marriage for women in those years. What I found was a very strong +.602 correlation between the rape rate and median age at first marriage for women, with a statistically significant P Value of .008.
This means that 36% of the explosive increase in rape from 1960 to 2007 is explained simply by the catastrophic trend of more and more American women delaying marriage until later in life.
In sharp contrast, variation in median age at first marriage explains only a paltry 3.3% of the variation in the overall crime rate. This shows that there’s something very special about the relationship between age at first marriage and rape, and that the correlation between them isn’t just a question of median age at first marriage corresponding with some other factor that has an influence on crime.
Given this data, it is clear that anyone who actually has the best interests of women at heart will encourage them to get married as early in life as is reasonably possible.
Reginald Thompson is the Pen Name of an Advisor to an International Software Company. He lives on the American East Coast and is proprietor/manager of a recently created Blog called Statsaholic.