• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Morning Bell: Get the Facts at FamilyFacts.org

    Last week, when the National Center for Health Statistics released the latest results from the National Survey of Family Growth, The Washington Post reported that one finding “may surprise those bewailing a permissive and eros-soaked popular culture: More than one-quarter of people interviewed in their late teens and early 20s had never had sex.” Many conservatives do rightly criticize our current “eros-soaked popular culture.” But those conservatives who follow The Heritage Foundation also know that abstinence has been on the rise for some time now and that stable family relationships have a strong positive impact on teen sexual behavior.

    Too often today parents believe they are powerless to influence their children’s choices. But research shows that is just not true: Parent behavior strongly influences teen sexual behavior. Moreover, youth who remain abstinent do better academically and are more likely to attend and graduate from college than sexually active teens. Policymakers often talk about “family values” but rarely are they able to marshal the evidence that exists showing how important stable family relationships are to American civil society.

    That is why The Heritage Foundation is launching a redesigned FamilyFacts.org filled with hundreds of charts, issue briefs, and reports demonstrating the effects that parental involvement and religious observance have on teen development, family stability, and academic achievement. Since our founding in 1973, The Heritage Foundation has sought “to build an America where freedom, opportunity, prosperity, and civil society flourish.” The research at FamilyFacts.org documents how enduring family relationships, anchored by healthy marriages, are the foundation for everything else we try to accomplish.

    Couples who are married have a higher average household income, more assets, and better health than many of their single or cohabitating counterparts. Conversely, families that are headed by unmarried females make up more than half of all families living in poverty. And paychecks are not the only reason two parents are better. Research shows that “improvements in child well-being that are associated with marriage persist even after adjusting for differences in family income.” With four of every 10 U.S. children now born outside of marriage and welfare spending skyrocketing—especially on single-parent households—policymakers and taxpayers can no longer afford to overlook the effects of family and marriage on civil society.

    By understanding the wealth of research on the social and economic benefits of healthy marriage and stable family structure, policymakers can make informed decisions about the best ways to decrease federal spending, reduce the national deficit, and promote a flourishing society.

    Co-authored by Sarah Torre.

    Quick Hits:

    • The Democratic state Senators who fled Wisconsin to avoid a debate on government union collective bargaining now say they plan to come back soon.
    • Thanks to government union collective bargaining powers, New York State is paying 10 times more for state employees’ pensions than it did just a decade ago.
    • House Democratic Caucus chairman Mike Turner of Nashville called Governor Bill Haslam’s (R) plan to weaken government union collective bargaining powers “terrorism against our teachers.”
    • White House Chief of Staff William Daley told Meet the Press yesterday that President Obama is considering tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to lower gas prices.
    • The Obama Administration granted 126 new Obamacare waivers Friday, bringing the total number of Indulgences granted over 1,000.
    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    20 Responses to Morning Bell: Get the Facts at FamilyFacts.org

    1. Ken Jarvis - Las Veg says:

      3-7-11 FROM – Ken Jarvis – LVKen7@Gmail.com

      WHO keeps telling YOU – It is HOPELESS?

      Murdochs Empire – WSJ and FOX does, and the HF.


      THINGS WILL GET BETTER. Things will improve, This is only Temporary.

      Ben C. Ann Arbor, MI on March 4th, 2011 at 3:06pm said:

      Just a little FYI Ken Jarvis.

      Self employed people

      pay the entire 15% SS tax labled “Self Employment Tax.” on their income.

      Employed people pay 7.5% and their employers the other 7.5%.

      *** Nice Try, Ben,

      but YOU left out that they only pay

      on the First $100,000 they earn.

      From then on it is a FREE RIDE.



      Rush Limbaugh pays – $15,300

      even tho he earns $50 MILLION per year


      Why doesn't the HF explain WHY the RICH get a FREE RIDE.

      Nice try tho.


    2. George Snavely says:

      Does Heritage know any thing about the proposed Medicare payments as projected over the next several years or know where I can get this information.

      No scare tactics like the emails, please.


    3. RUTH SC says:

      God did not give us children to raise in single parent homes. The bible expressly states that man and woman should marry and have children, with the father as the head of the household. There are some circumstances where only one parent is raising the child. Then the church is there to help to guide the children. IN A PERFECT WORLD! It is a proven fact kids do better in the proper environment, with a father and a mother, so why do so many girls want to have babies out of wedlock and brand their children? I pray the newer generations will learn from the mistakes of the past generations and start to live the way God intended, The world would be a better place for the generations to come.

    4. Mark, Wisconsin says:

      Outstanding job Heritage. There is only one thing I love more than my God and my America , My Family.

    5. Skip ONeill says:

      You forgot to mention that today's TV networks are glorifying single parenthood with a multitude of reality shows. Just look at MTV and their pregnant at 16 show. Is there no shame anymore?

    6. Laraine Thompson says:

      As much as I would wish that these statitistics reflect a respectful move toward a less sexually permissive society, I fear that they may be a better reflection of the growing fascination with video/computer/virtual realities by young men, and some young women as well, everywhere. Dating has become an outdated practice, replaced by weekends spent, by young men of all ages, in video competitions–hours upon hours competing for the most avatars killed in battle. Young women have very little if any involvement in such competitions/games. Add to this the growing fascination with pornography, readily available at the switch of a toggle and you have a recipe for interpersonal relationship disaster. Complete a study of choices of entertainment, compare and contrast and I believe that a different dynamic will result–perhaps a far more damning statistic will emerge. Less sexual activity? Absolutely? Why bother when all of your satisfaction can be met at the ends of your fingertips?

    7. Joe Butler, Syracuse says:

      Your quick hit on NYS pension cost increasing 10 times over the decade is misleading. In the late 90's the NYS Employees Retirement System and the NYS Teachers Retirement System were both actuarily overfunded in terms of assets to liabilities. The State lowere the annual contributions rates to a negligible amount. Unfortunately, the stock market had a major decline which has forced the annual contributions to increase dramatically.

      If you don't report all of the facts, your credibility is questionable.

    8. Dean Gilchrist, Ocal says:

      I don't get it. I thought the Heritage Foundation believed the Government should keep out of this stuff. What is the author trying to say? Does she think the Federal Government should do a better job of social engineering by manipulating the tax code or welfare payments. Just one example of the "best ways" would be helpful.

    9. Russ Brown says:

      Much criticism is aimed at schools for not doing their job of educating American children. As one who has taught and served as an administrator for 41 years I have found that the number one problem is with children who come from unstructured homes. Children who are a problem in school are a problem in the community as well as in the home. They are disruptive. They do not stay on task. They do not complete assignments in home work. Students who do well come from homes where parents set expectations of their children while they are in school. I taught in both public and private schools. Private schools can establish a better learning environment because they will only enroll students who meet their admission requirements. The teachers are not better than public school teachers. If anything, they are less qualified. Politicians have no idea what the problem is with public school. Your article about the failure of some to establish homes with two parents leads to problems for schools. Children of single parents are the biggest problem for schools.

    10. Leon Lundquist, Dura says:

      Thanks Conn and Sarah, I remember when the "Generation Gap" was invented, and believe me it was exploited to the hilt. I think that was Junk Social Science to actually teach the kids they can't agree with their parents. Look at Glenn Beck's sources, Progressives did it on purpose to make American kids more amenable to Socialism. For a few years it was all about the Generation Gap. You see, we had a totally Captive Media back in the Seventies. No Fox News, and no Internet. As a writer I do so appreciate Heritage Foundation for Resources like FamilyFacts.org, OverCriminalized and The Foundary.

      For a hundred years Progressives have beat down the notion that America was a Christian Nation. Ask me, they've disemboweled the Constitution and transplanted its heart! Never Ending War is guaranteed by the truth that we are Sovereign independant Spirits at Liberty under God. (I actually got some raz from a Chinese blogger, like I'm stupid?) That practical truth is exactly what made America work. When Justice Elena Kagan said she wouldn't use the Declaration of Independance in her Rulings? Out went American Citizen Sovereignty! It is an important Characteristic of Spirits, we never give up! That's why I say Never Ending War is guaranteed! Our new Communist, Obamanabus Totalitarian Government can define Citizen Sovereignty as "Hate Speech" but that doesn't change the truth.

      Americans will fight this forever, but that's because God and Spirit are Real Things! I would bet Christian Families are responsible for those upright and moral American Children and Teens. Thanks again for disproving the Progressive Junk Science!

    11. A. Terranova, Ormond says:

      If you believe in the sanctity of marriage and that the family is THE greatest stabilizing factor in our society, and you are COMMITTED to living your belief, then with the help of God, you and our great country will survive the onslaught of those (i.e. George Soros, et.al) who are committed to destroying both. Read "The Shadow Party" by David Horowitz and Richard Poe; it's an eye-opener.

    12. Ben C. Ann Arbor, MI says:

      Ken Jarvis – THAT is exactly my point. I suggest you take a Business 101 Class at your local community college to understand that the unintended consequences of your proposal will cause great harm to the economy. It is small business that is the engine of our economy – not the "weatlhy." But then, our new School Administrator in our veryliberal Ann Arbor is scheduled to make $240K per year so does that makes her "wealthy?" I guess everyone has their own definition of wealth.

      Lastly, remember that SS was a voluntary program when first introduced. Look at the monster it has become.

    13. bigfootbob, Californ says:

      An earlier commenter, with a spread-the-wealth mentality, bloviated about the injustice of wealthy people getting a "free ride" on Social Security, because their "contribution" tops out at $15,300.

      Hold on a minute. If a rich person buys an annuity or some other retirement insurance from a private company, should he/she have to pay more than a non-rich person? If so, by whose call?

      Should a rich person have to pay more for gasoline? Bread?

      Fords? If so, by whose call?

      Social Security is supposed to be a form of retirement insurance. The payout is supposed to be a function of the amount paid in over his/her lifetime, not a function of his/her income.

      That is not a "free ride."

    14. Sally, Charleston, S says:

      I get so sad when I see people bash this current generation. As someone who works for one of the most successful abstinent education programs in the nation, I can tell you for the most part – kids are still just kids – most of them are pretty normal. We have taught over 250, 000 students the message of abstinence education – and they embrace it. They want to know how to be successful in life. It's adults who have the problem – not kids. Stop bashing them and start helping them! I challenge every adult to get out there and do something – actually lead – instead of retreating and complaining.

      The lack of support for abstinence education from conservatives when it IS working is sad. The new CDC data shows that (70% of kids 15-17 have NEVER had sex) as well the studies emerging showing many abstinence programs, including our own, have been shown to be successful (check out abstinenceworks.org). Abstinence education has almost been zeroed out and replaced by "comprehensive" education by Planned Parenthood and their allies – right at the very moment when kids are listening to the message of risk AVOIDANCE over risk reduction!

      Have a little faith in the next generation! Things can get better if we, as the adults, step up and guide them!

    15. Wayne, Louisiana says:

      We should try to remember that there is very seldom a single parent family. There are in many cases ex-wives, ex-husbands, girl friends, boy friends or ex-others that should contribute to the family.

    16. Renny Maryland says:

      Thank you Heritage for the up-comming Family Facts. The need for some positive information surrounding our lives, family, teens etc., is much needed!

      It's sad to see what our society has become because of the leaders we have. Our fault for allowing it to happen. We still have a chance to turn it around with the help of what you are doing and get on our knees and look to our Creator for His help.Thank you again Heritage. Renny

    17. Jeanne Stotler,Woodb says:

      I come from a single parent family because my father died when I was an infant. The difference is that my mother was resposible and had me in a girls boarding school and I came home on week=ends, at school the Nuns taught us that we should be modest and this was inforced at home, I turned out well, I got married and had children and instilled values into thir little heads, my husband died and I went alone to finish the job of raising my kids, my girls are married with families, two of my sons have children and they believe as thir father and I did that a Mom and a DAD were a family, Please don't paint widows and widowers with the same brush as th ones who have kids all by different men and then collect PA, my mother and I did not.

    18. HawkWatcher says:

      It's unfortunate that the ignorant bloviations of a certain Nevadan must appear along with the genuine, thoughtful, and on-topic comments from others. Is this a result of the SCOTUS speech decision the other day? Heh…

      Dean, I don't think HF is condoning top-down government social engineering. The idea is for you and I to use the data here to educate our lawmakers and countrymen as to what works, in order to foster the production of useful legislation that is beneficial to all Americans.

    19. Dr. Henry Sinopoli says:

      The greater distance between a spiritual foundation and a society, the greater opportunity ignorance.

    20. Pingback: EMI Test Database » Morning Bell: Get the Facts at FamilyFacts.org

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.