Within my lifetime, single parenthood has been transformed from shame to saintliness. In our society, perversely, we celebrate the unwed mother as a heroic figure, like a fireman or a police officer. During the last presidential election, much was made of Obama’s mother, who was a single parent. Movie stars and pop singers flaunt their daddy-less babies like fishing trophies.
None of this is lost on my students. In today’s urban high school, there is no shame or social ostracism when girls become pregnant. Other girls in school want to pat their stomachs. Their friends throw baby showers at which meager little gifts are given. After delivery, the girls return to school with baby pictures on their cell phones or slipped into their binders, which they eagerly share with me. Often they sit together in my classes, sharing insights into parenting, discussing the taste of Pedialite or the exhaustion that goes with the job. On my way home at night, I often see my students in the projects that surround our school, pushing their strollers or hanging out on their stoops instead of doing their homework.
Connecticut is among the most generous of the states to out-of-wedlock mothers. Teenage girls like Nicole qualify for a vast array of welfare benefits from the state and federal governments: medical coverage when they become pregnant (called “Healthy Start”); later, medical insurance for the family (“Husky”); child care (“Care 4 Kids”); Section 8 housing subsidies; the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program; cash assistance. If you need to get to an appointment, state-sponsored dial-a-ride is available. If that appointment is college-related, no sweat: education grants for single mothers are available, too. Nicole didn’t have to worry about finishing the school year; the state sent a $35-an-hour tutor directly to her home halfway into her final trimester and for six weeks after the baby arrived.
In theory, this provision of services is humane and defensible, an essential safety net for the most vulnerable—children who have children. What it amounts to in practice is a monolithic public endorsement of single motherhood—one that has turned our urban high schools into puppy mills. The safety net has become a hammock.
The article contains a case study, so you really get the feel for what’s behind the statistics.
Remember that fatherlessness is not good for children – so we should not be encouraging fatherlessness.
- What happens when the government pays people to have babies out-of-wedlock?
- New study finds that pre-marital sex reduces quality of relationships
- New survey finds women more sexually active than men in high school
- Does being a virgin before marriage affect marital stability?
- Research to help you understand the “hook-up” culture on campus
- Why do feminist academics think that feminism has empowered women?
- Who is really responsible for the abolition of marriage? Men or feminists?
- Who is to blame for the hook-up culture?
- How the feminist welfare state causes generations of fatherlessness
- Obama’s new proposals penalize married couples and stay-at-home parents
- How feminism’s war against men ends up hurting women
- Less than half of 7 to 21 year old women think marriage precedes child-bearing
- How socialism undermines the traditional family in Sweden
- How feminism is opposed to chivalry, marriage and fathers
- What causes women to become single mothers, and how are children affected?
- Which family configuration is best for raising children?
- Why did 77% of young unmarried women vote for Obama in 2009?
- New study shows that children of working mothers live unhealthier lives
- Canadian study suggests how parents can influence children’s sexual choices
- New Scientist article shows why fathers are necessary for children’s well-being