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Single Mothers Becoming the Norm

Posted by Steve Markowitz on February 20, 2012

Last week, the New York Times published a troubling story about parenting.  Currently, more than half the children born in the United States to women under 30 years of age occur outside of marriage.  This trend is increasing in various demographic areas, with minorities having significantly higher single mother birth rates.  An exception to this trend is women who graduate college who overwhelmingly are married before giving birth.

To this Blog, the issue is not one of morality, but of economics and child well-being.  According to the same Times article, research has determined that children born outside of marriage are more likely to do poorly in school, suffer emotional issues, and be raised in poverty.  The article quotes Susan L. Brown of Bowling Green State University who found that children born to married couples “experience better education, social, cognitive and behavioral outcomes.”

The conclusion that children of married couples on average do better than those born to single mothers requires little more than common sense.  Childrearing is a complex and expensive task requiring nearly 20 years or more of commitment.  It is logical that adults unwilling to commit to each other will be less likely to commit the complexities of children rearing.  Both type commitments require significant compromises in adult living.

Progressives often point to the importance of the role of government in resolving individual and societal needs.  The trillions spent since the Great Society of the 1960s has not stopped the downward spiral of the needy who were supposedly the beneficiaries of these programs.  These failings show at the least the government’s inability to help those in need.  Further study would likely show that the programs have exasperated the unproductive behavior, actually hurting those individuals supposedly served.

A society’s most valuable assets are its children that will be its future.  History will not be kind to the Baby Boomers, the generation that put its own personal needs above that of its children.


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