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  • National Marriage Week: What the Collapse of Marriage Means for Children

    The decline of marriage in recent years not only signals trouble for the men and women missing out on the stability of the institution; it can also threaten the future success of children born outside the economic protection of marriage. The 41 percent of children born in the U.S. to never-married mothers are at a higher risk of experiencing poverty at some point in their lifetimes than are those born to married parents.

    With a high rate of unwed childbearing among young women and a lack of education among never-married mothers, a child born outside of marriage has a greater chance of sharing in his or her mother’s economic plight. Single, unwed mothers are often young and ill-equipped to maintain an adequate income to support a family. Just under 40 percent of unwed childbearing occurs to women in their early 20s, and those with less than a high school diploma are eight times more likely to give birth outside of marriage than are college-educated women.

    Households headed by single females have two-fifths the median income of married families. Even among married families with only one income, the single mother’s average salary is still lower. This relative lack of income means a child born to an unwed mother is six times more likely to experience poverty than the same child born to married parents. In fact, over half of children raised by a single mother currently live in poverty. Most startling, while poverty rates are higher among unmarried women regardless of race, almost half of African-Americans live in a single-parent household.

    Children born outside of marriage often struggle with a host of hindrances to social mobility including emotional and behavioral problems, poor academic performance, and an increased risk of criminal activity.

    Thankfully, there are ways that individuals, community leaders, and policymakers can help alleviate childhood poverty. By encouraging marriage in low-income communities, teaching adolescents and young adults the economic and social benefits of marriage, and reducing policy disincentives to marriage, more children can avoid the pain of poverty.

    To learn more about National Marriage Week and find a community event near you, visit nationalmarriageweekusa.org.

    Posted in Culture [slideshow_deploy]

    7 Responses to National Marriage Week: What the Collapse of Marriage Means for Children

    1. Lisa, St. Louis says:

      What happened to the institution of marriage? Is it just too hard to be with one person, has the media negatively influenced society? Gays are dying to get married, hetero's aren't? Along with everything else the U.S. has to deal with, marriage between a man and a woman must be made a priority again. To cheat children out of what they deserve when they're brought into this world is wrong. If more people paid attention to the pro-marriage statistics, maybe things would turn around. Keep it up, Heritage.

    2. B Strand says:

      The church focused on ME. The problem isn't with women, as you focus on. Men are almost expected to sleep around (in my case, he had a thing for young teens), beat their wives, waste money on toys, drink, The church knew what my x-was doing, but treated him with kid gloves. The pressure was all on me to be a good wife and mother. I had to divorce him to take care of my kids, which the church didn't approve of. Get the log out of your own eye before you tell us 'boys will be boys'. My Dad put his family first. I know few men who do that anymore, and you don't take them to task. You keep putting all the guilt on women who already make less money, work harder, ……

    3. Ross writes from Flo says:

      I was taught at a young age to respect women, not to abuse them, nor take advantage of. By the same token, young women were taught that they determine the level of social respect they recieved through their actions and their willingness as to what they would put up with. Unwed mothers were not unknown when I was growing up in the 1950's. In fact it was a rarer event for the middle class and lower class than the upper-middle class. One reason was the shame and the other was there were no federal program for single parents. Either the family helped or the child was given up for adoption. I read somewhere, that before the government welfare program, unwed mother for whites was about 5%, for blacks, 3%. There were community standard; normally determined by church influence. All parties were accountable to the community at some level .

      But that all changed in the 1960's. LBJ's "Great Society" and "War on proverty" experiment was constructed as the vehicle of change. The KKK could not have come up with a better plan to destroy the black family(and all poor families) as good as what these Liberal's did in these "programs for the poor" according to Dr. Walter Williams. The results, children raising children, unaccountable to nobody nor society.

      Of course, all of this was an avoidable travesty. These programs were also instrumental along with education labor unions in destroying our state and local educational programs.

      Most common-sense thinkers in that day and time(1950's and 1960's) predicted the outcome we see today. All of this could have been avoided if our elected federal officials and our elected representatives had adhered to the Constitution of the United States and not adulterated the Commerce Clause.

    4. George says:

      Gays have NO right to marriage from the dawn of time it has always been a Man and a Woman.

    5. Al from Fl says:

      When I was in highschool, the attitude injected into me was that, if I were to impregnate a woman, I would be saddled with bringing up that child. Today both men and women have no such committment to anything other than themselves and their career or lifestyle. The core of a prosperous and sound society is the family, the traditional family (Man & Woman, Father & Mother). That, throughout history has always been a prerequisite for society. Many of the political arguements regarding marriage these days shows a complete ignorance of the principles and concept of marriage.

    6. MrShorty, Cave Creek says:

      What an indictment on the moral decline in our society. To force a young woman to make a choice between abortion and birth for a night of sexual enjoyment is a real travesty. Unfortunately, our progressive politicians have made the decision more economic than moral. She can either abort at the taxpayers' expense or give birth and have the taxpayers pay her $1,500 a month to support a new child. In either case, she will have no financial out-of-pocket expense and have to make the decision of whether to continue her current life style and abort the child or move into a new process of making money from the government and bringing more children into the world to increase her monthly revenue. Only after the children have reached the age of attending public schools will she begin to demand more services from the government to compensate for her children's lack of a balanced upbringing and need of more financial help to compensate for her husbandless children. The beat goes on and on and the number of children raised out of a marriage relationship just grows because we always respond to the needs of the "poor".

    7. Pingback: What the Collapse of Marriage Means for Children - NOM Blog

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