Single Mothers: The Unintended Consequences

I was unaware that single mothers raising their children could cause a major problem for society.  Then I read a book by Levitt and Dubner, entitled Freakonomics, and more recently a second by Ann Coulter, Guilty.  Both books detail the hidden damage of single mothers on our society. Teen crime

The issue:  Single mothers have often been touted as heroines and, I suspect, some are.  Let’s be clear though. Women that have never been married are at odds with the historical pattern for healthy, stable homes and this deviance is catching up with us here in the USA. While data is scarce, we are learning that the majority of children of a single parent are running away with crime statistics.  1) The strongest predictor of whether a person will end up in prison was that he was raised by a single parent, and 2) 70% of inmates in state detention centers serving long-time sentences were raised by single (never married) moms.

Significance:  Aside from ethical and moral considerations, the additional costs to society are in areas like welfare payments, health care, and incarceration.  Less obvious would be the lost potential of children who are born without the guiding hand of a father.

Past:  The Trend was toward wayward children of single moms before Roe v. Wade, 22 Jan 73.  Then it changed:  for a while.  The most likely person to have an abortion was a girl/woman, unmarried, in her teens, poor, or a combination.   In the 1990s, just when children born after Roe v. Wade reached their teens, the crime rate dropped.  Legalized abortion had led to less crime.

Teen violencePresent:  It’s back again.  A never-married parent is becoming more common in single-parent homes. Between 1970 and 2007, the proportion of children living with a never-married parent increased from 7 percent to 42 percent. A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Care Statistics shows that 2007 was a record-setting year when it comes to American births. Not only did we beat out the apex of the baby boom in terms of sheer birthrate, but also we hit a record with births to unwed mothers at a whopping 40 percent. Furthermore, teen pregnancies increased for the second year in a row after a long period of decline throughout the ’90s and early part of this decade.

Current:  Children from single-parent families account for 63 percent of all youth suicides, 70 percent of al teenage pregnancies, 71 percent of adolescent chemical/substance abuse, 80 percent of all prison inmates, and 90 percent of all homeless and runaway children. (Source: Index of Leading Cultural Indicators) An opposing point of view:  probably a reference to Ann Coulter:

“There is one social commentator, all too visible in the media, who is so vile that I make a point of not ever watching her or mentioning her name. I’ve been getting some e-mails about her in the past week. Apparently, she’s been bashing single mothers. Her latest claim, according to the “Living Single” readers who have gotten in touch with me, is that single mothers, together with liberals, are responsible for all of the nation’s ills. I haven’t heard her version and I’m not going to look it up. I’m totally open to other points of view but I don’t want to encourage hateful expressions of them. So regardless of what she actually did say, I thought that readers might like to see my take on single mothers. Here is what I wrote for the Huffington Post on Mother’s Day in 2007.”

This is a female blogger who feels that the single parent is the object of scorn.  And she refuses to check out what is being said.  Understand:  Single moms are not the object here – it is the damage done, for whatever reason, by the teenagers of single moms. So what?  An extensive review of marriage research released in September by the Brookings Institution and Princeton found that children fare best when raised by their married, biological parents. Still, more couples are cohabiting, which tends to be less stable for children.

Thesis.  What I think / feel?  What is the social trend? I come from a generation and a faith believing that the only form of marriage is between one man and one woman.  Further, this is the only arrangement where a child should be brought into the world.  Teenagers having sex, with the girl becoming pregnant, in almost every case will yield one or more of the results described above.  I have helped to raise seven children and am thankful to God that none had to experience any of this trauma.

One observation is, “What we have called our ‘teen pregnancy’ crisis is not really about teenagers. Nor is it really about pregnancy. It is about the decline of marriage.”  I agree with this blogger.  And the trend is international.  I lived in Germany for seven years during the recent past and for reasons unexplained to me, cohabitating couples having a child (almost always, only one), was the norm. I am told that television and the movies reflect our social mores but I am often unsure which is influencing which.

Politics, too, seems to be entering the fray.  The Obama administration is not only in favor of abortion but is installing officers in high HHS government posts that are in favor of abortion on demand.  On the positive side, easy abortions may again reduce teenage crime statistics, but what is it doing to the potential children who could might find a cure for AIDS, or assist humanity by achieving distinction in science, arts, and/or sports? Your call!!

Dr. Bud ColegroveDr.Bud Colegrove has a Ph.D. in Economics and has been teaching with the University of Maryland and other institutions since 1992. From 1974-1992 he worked as an Electrical Engineer with the US Navy and industry. Dr.Bud has recently begun writing for Faith and Facts as well as Whip the Liberals.

EDIT ***********

I am adding a postcript to this post to clarify the postition of Faith and Facts, Dr.Bud, and myself (Bruce).

The purpose of this post is to point out a social problem and encourage the discussion of possible solutions. We do not blame women and certainly do not absolve men for the problems pointed out in this article. The fact is that the nuclear family has changed and husbands are absent too often. The results are usually bad. We think that should change. So, rather than tell us, “Women are not to blame,” or “Men are pigs,” I suggest you provide meaningful actions we can take in our communities, churches, and politics to reverse this ill-effect.

Also, the single mothers we are talking about are not the victims of divorce. Please re-read the article carefully. The high crime stats are related to single mothers that have never been married. Women that have forsaken the traditional model of family with increasingly negative results.

We realize this is a sensitive issue and are not trying to bash women or misstate the problem. We are, however, hoping to foster discussion that helps move our society in a better direction.

Girl Selling Virginity Online

Natalie Dylan is selling her virginity via online auction.

The Moonlite Bunny Ranch in Nevada, the brothel that is arranging and hosting the deal, is especially gung-ho about Dylan. “Natalie is a virgin and would like to sell this priceless and rare commodity in a very exclusive and private setting,” says Bunny Ranch owner Dennis Hof.

While any reasonable person should question the commodity’s rarity, more than 10,000 bidders have stepped forward to bid for Dylan’s … ah … purity.  If the Bunny Ranch’s owner is to be believed, someone has offered $3.7 million.

What does the feminist community have to say about this outrageous exploitation of this young girl? Not much so far.  Searching Google yields only the faintest and infrequent article suggesting that a feminist is uncomfortable with this sexploitation. I, for one, am nearly speechless.

My friend Sarah is a reliable monitor of Feminism from a Christian perspective. She writes,

The lack of moral outrage by feminism doesn’t surprise me as contemporary feminism has discarded the good it once represented in order to promote a completely unfettered lifestyle. Women are free to be exploited themselves, and this is somehow empowering. In fact, I’d go so far as to suggest that by creating a culture where women’s bodies, eggs, and chastity are up for sale, ‘created’ is a pleasant (euphemism) for human trafficking. There is no need for restraint in a world where individuals willingly put a price tag on what is priceless.

What about the FBI? What about the police? Can the FTC do anything? No. No. and No.

Legal experts seem agreed that this is a First Amendment issue. Since prostitution is legal in Nevada, the services may be advertised in areas where it would be illegal so long as the service is performed in a state where it is legal. (I feel a little dirty just writing that sentence.)

One does not have to a prude or a stereotypical Puritan to take offense at this advertisement. Let us call this what it is; Sex for Sale. Whether to pay for college or perform some perverted socialogical experiment, tolerating such behaviour can only harm future generations of young women.

Not All Women Are Stupid Or Liberal

I am always pleased to discover new blogs that apply Christian faith to issues in our culture. You will want to take a look at Flashpoint. It is the blog of Women of Faith in Culture. This article, by Executive Director Sarah Flashing is wonderful.

fetus sucking thumbYesterday, the Feminist Majority put out a statement against Colorado’s Amendment 48. Apparently, Amendment 48 would recognize the personhood of embyos. This is what the Feminist Majority had to say about that:

“We want to make sure that women have more rights than an egg!”

Well, either their statement reflects a profound ignorance–because those of us who are pro-life do not equate eggs with embryos– or this is what they have been wanting to say all along.

With smoke and mirrors, they speak of the embryo in its pre-fertilized state so as to avoid the scientific truth we know about all embryos…that they are living human organisms. Eggs are not.

Why do they do they insist on ignoring this scientifically obvious difference? Because the Feminist Majority really does believe that grown women have more rights than smaller humans, and that this goes against the conscience of the majority of Americans. It is necessary to their agenda to obfuscate this issue because an egg with moral worth is not an egg, its an embryo.

Young women in their reproductive years are being psychologically primed to donate their eggs for research purposes, but these eggs never remain eggs, they become embryos. If they are persuaded to believe falsely that their eggs forever remain eggs, then they don’t have to consider that the eggs they give up actually become their embryonic offspring. What woman is not repulsed by the notion if giving up her offspring for research? For the Feminist Majority to speak of fertilized eggs as simply eggs is scientifically false and a deliberate attempt to confuse the same women they believe have more rights than these much smaller humans. How can they, the Feminist Majority, claim to respect the rights of women if they can’t respect our basic intelligence?

Flash Point: The Feminist Majority Prefers Women Kept Stupid.

NOW for Sarah Palin? – the evangelical outpost

Shelley Mandell, President of the L.A. Chapter of the National Organization for Women, heartily endorsed Sarah Palin at the October 4th rally in Carson, CA. (See the video) Elena, with the California NOW chapter, sent me an email reminding me that NOW has very clearly distanced itself from Ms. Mandell with a strongly worded statement in favor of Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

In fairness to Elena, she did help me find an article on the NOW website opposing the blatant sexism displayed toward Sarah Palin.

Thanks Elena.

NOW for Sarah Palin? – the evangelical outpost.

Stating The Obvious

Perhaps the most popluar daytime gabfest for women is The View.  The LA Times has just realized that they have been talking about politics. And sometimes they fight.

Well, DUH!

Here’s Your Sign.

How Observant Of The LA Times: “These days, even ‘The View’ is getting political” | Right Voices.

Look Who’s the Hypocrite NOW

I stumbled across a wonderfu blog that you may enjoy. This article on the National Organization of Women and their endorsement of Barack Obama and virulent criticism of Sarah Palin captures my feelings on the subject.

NOW has evolved into a group that is devoted to liberal causes that affect women rather than all causes that affect women. The “National Organization of Women” should be composed of ALL women regardless of their particular view on a particular issue. Instead, they focus on only a few issues and take a liberal view. Conservatives are clearly not welcome.

NOW says that although Sarah Palin is a woman she does not support women’s rights.  I have a hard time believing that Sarah Palin is not for pay equality and is not against violence towards women.  So in reality, NOW is only concerned about a candidate being pro-abortion.  I say pro-abortion as opposed to pro-choice because if they were really pro-choice then they wouldn’t have a problem with a woman choosing to be pro-life, choosing not to condone sex outside of marriage, and choosing options other than abortion.  These are their big issues with Sarah Palin.  Here we have a successful, articulate, intelligent mother of five as a vice-presidential candidate but NOW won’t get behind her because she is against letting them kill unborn women (and men).

Look who’s the hypocrite NOW « Rett Hatcher & Company.

Hot Air has a great video

Michelle Malkin opposes this irrational goofiness.

So-called “comedian” Sandra Bernhard learns a lesson.

*** EDIT ***

California NOW has contacted us to say that no NOW chapter or affiliate supports McCain/Palin. No surprise there. They go on to say that, “California NOW has also been at the forefront of calling out sexism against Palin, as you can see from the site.” However, the article referred to does not mention any support for Palin.

I have asked for a clarification.