Single moms, poor babies

More than half of births to women under 30 are out of wedlock, reports the New York Times, trumpeting the “new normal” in middle America. Including older mothers, 59 percent of babies are born to a married couple.

One group still largely resists the trend: college graduates, who overwhelmingly marry before having children. That is turning family structure into a new class divide, with the economic and social rewards of marriage increasingly reserved for people with the most education.

Marriage is becoming a “luxury good,” says a sociologist.

More Single Moms. So What, responds Katie Rophie in Slate, accusing the Times of condescending to “independent-minded, apparently hard-working women (who) are making decisions and forging families, after thinking clearly about their situation.”

Actually, the story portrays hard-working women who didn’t think clearly about how to avoid their situation.

Family breakdown has high costs for children, writes Heather Mac Donald. It is not merely “refresh[ing] our ideas of family.”

Roiphe concludes that there are no (annoyingly retrograde) studies on “what it will be like for . . . children to live in” the coming world without marriage. Actually, we know already. It’s called the ghetto.


Some 73 percent of black children, 53 percent of Latinos and 29 percent of whites are born out of wedlock. While    92 percent of college-educated women are married when they give birth, that drops to 62 percent of women with “some college” and 43 percent of women with a high school diploma or less, according to Child Trends.

Many unwed parents live together, but two-thirds will split up by the time their child turns 10, researchers estimate. And never-married fathers are much less likely to support their children — financially or emotionally — than divorced dads.

About Joanne


  1. “Roiphe concludes that there are no (annoyingly retrograde) studies on “what it will be like for . . . children to live in” the coming world without marriage. Actually, we know already. It’s called the ghetto.”

    Yes, there are many studies that confirm that very point.

    I am often amazed when so-called educated people make generalizations based on their personal experiences. It often seems that liberals are unable to disconnect their emotions from any subject matter.

  2. Richard Aubrey says:

    Some years ago, a Detroit paper had a lengthy article on single moms going crazy trying to keep their quite young daughters from getting pregnant while the girls were either trying to get pregnant or trying to get out from mom’s view in order to screw somebody. Funniest, in a sad fashion, was mid-teen who was seeing a drug dealer and, given their life expectancy, thought he deserved a pity thingy.
    What does it take to get through…? Among other things, not be living in a household which was born, so to speak, by doing the same thing.

  3. And this surprises anyone? So, it’s now the fault of the people who make smart decisions (the college graduates who waited until they were married to have kids) that the people who make bad decisions (single, unmarried, uneducated, impoverished mothers and fathers) don’t get to live the quality of life that the ones who make smart decisions do? And how do they propose the people who make smart decisions get ‘punished’ for such a henious act?

  4. Richard Aubrey says:

    In several ways. First, their relative success is going to be considered “racist” since it includes future time orientation–see Seattle Schools–and suchlike. Second, their assets will be taxed away from them. Third, their children will be taught that their parents’ values are false, wrong, repressed and racist.
    I see I used the future tense there. My bad.

  5. Echoing Gus Hall. We’ve spent 50 years creating a dependent class and our reaction to a financial downturn is to create a larger dependent class.

  6. There are successful single moms who often promote their lifestyle and condemn those who point out that two-parent families are better for children. There are also successful alcoholics and druggies who promote their lifestyles and condemn those who would seek to limit their personal choices. Yet, for every artist who credits drugs for their creativity and success, there’s plenty of strung-out and homeless individuals simply looking for the next way to score.