A couple of days ago, I posted this item on my own blog in response to a study attempting to link troop deployments to child abuse. In point of fact, it seems likely that the relevant issue in examining the likelihood of child abuse has less to do with the fact that one of the parents has been deployed, and more to do with the fact that such deployments mean that there are more single-parent homes. And abuse is more likely in these than in homes where the parents are married and living together.
Today, J. Bradford Wilcox has a brilliant defense of marriage at National Review Online. There, he notes:
Typically, two parents bring more social and economic resources to the parenting enterprise than does one parent. Two parents offer one another mutual support, encouragement, and relief when a child is difficult, disobedient, or depressed. For instance, a husband can step in and relieve a wife who has grown angry or exhausted with her children. This, by the way, is one reason married moms are more likely to have children who report good relationships with them; because of the financial, practical, and emotional support they receive from their husbands, married moms are more likely to be affectionate and authoritative– and less likely to be abusive– than are single mothers.
Of course, the same liberals who routinely extol the virtue sof single parenthood are quite willing to condemn the pathologies that may accompany it — but only when they can be misattributed to the exigencies of military service.