Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Duluth Model, Part 3: Divorce Statistics

Let’s examine the power wheel of the Duluth Model in light of the known fact that about two thirds of divorces are initiated by women, and women retain custody of the children in the vast majority of those divorces—as well as in the divorces initiated by husbands.

Does the wife who threatens divorce make a threat—to leave, specifically?  Does the wife who threatens divorce take money that is earned by the husband?  If indeed working women earn only 77 cents for each dollar earned by men, as feminists note, that is exactly the case in any 50/50 split of assets.  Add into that “child support”, and we are talking some serious money.  Would we assume that a certain portion of prospective divorcees hide or dispose of assets to keep them from a spouse?  You bet—I can name names.

Does the divorce-minded or control-minded woman seek to make all the big decisions, or act as the master of the castle?  Does she start to define roles?  Of course.  Will she use access to the children to manipulate her man?  Unless she files for joint custody, this must be the assumption.

Must we not assume that those who file divorce are likely to blame the other instead of themselves?  Again, I can name names.  Would we guess that some spouses of both sexes seek to isolate their spouses from friends with the threat of ending the relationship?  Is it not likely that a great portion of divorce filers belittle their spouses?  I certainly can name names.  Do they use intimidation tactics—say a restraining order or threat of legal action—to get what they want?  Absolutely—it’s proverbial among family lawyers, really.  And what are divorce papers, if not a form of legal intimidation?

The observant reader is going to notice that I have taken a quick walk around the Duluth Power and Control Wheel, and in doing so it would appear that the vast majority of women who file for divorce-about a third of women or so—would qualify under the Duluth Model as abusers.  Add to that women who have used family court for non-marital relationships (e.g. child support and all), as well as men, and we quickly arrive at the conclusion that the majority of adults are abusive.

So is this an anomaly, or is it what is common to man?   Given that a huge portion of women qualify as abusers under the Duluth Model, we can safely discard the patriarchy hypothesis, exactly as we should have when we found that 30-40% of domestic violence arrests were of women.  Yes, the conviction rates are lower, but maybe that has more to do with reluctance to convict women and the marks left, or not left, in altercations.
Maybe it's time to figure out a better model that actually works with the data we have.  To use pictures from my profession, we've only gotten to the "measure" portion of the Six Sigma DMAIC model, or the "I" of the IDOV model, or the second step of any 8D method, before finding that the operating hypothesis was hopelessly flawed.

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