Myth: Marrying puts a woman at greater risk of domestic violence than if she remains single.
Fact: Contrary to the proposition that for men "a marriage license is a hitting license," a large body of research shows that being unmarried - and especially living with a man outside of marriage - is associated with a considerably higher risk of domestic violence for women. One reason for this finding is that married women may significantly underreport domestic violence. Further, women are less likely to marry and more likely to divorce a man who is violent. Yet it is probably also the case that married men are less likely to commit domestic violence because they are more invested in their wives' well-being, and more integrated into the extended family and community. These social forces seem to help check men's violent behavior.