Researchers have found that women who make more money than their male partners are likelier to experience domestic violence.
According to surveys conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics that spanned over the course of a decade, women who earn more money than their male partners are 35% likelier to experience domestic violence.
Misogyny on the rise as women make more money
The studies also found that as soon as women become the family breadwinner by earning more than half a couple's income they become 20% likelier to be subjected to emotional abuse.
The results also showed that regardless of age, income or country of birth, women were significantly likelier to be victims of domestic violence in instances in which their annual income was greater that their male parterns. Researchers Robert Breunig and institute fellow Yinjunjie Zhang from the Australian National University, explain that:
As women’s share of household income increases, but remains below one-half, there is no change in the experience of physical and emotional abuse. Only when the gender norm is violated do we see an increase in the incidence of physical violence and emotional abuse.
The gender norm story is a strong one that seems to operate consistently across a wide range of demographic characteristics.
A cultural shift is needed
In fact, these findings suggest that this form of misogyny exhibited by men is deeply rooted in cultural ideals that are responsible for the gender pay gap and the violence against women observed on a global scale. The researchers believe that:
Simply increasing women’s economic power may not be effective in reducing violence against women and government may need to try and influence cultural change.
Thinking about how to design child care policy, parental leave policy and family payments policy to allow gender norms to evolve alongside greater gender equality in work and income seems like a clear policy direction.