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  • FamilyFacts.org: Over 60 Percent of Unwed Births Occur to 20-Somethings

    The scandal and heartache of teen pregnancy has been exploited by producers of popular prime-time TV, who have made stories of 16-year-olds stumbling through accelerated adolescence into marketable drama. Likewise, news media have scrutinized the teen birth phenomenon for some time.

    The truly shocking and underreported story, however, is that of unmarried 20-something parents. While 21 percent of children born outside of marriage are to teen mothers, more than 60 percent of unwed births occur to women in their 20s. It is not the young girls studying for the SAT or fretting over their prom prospects that make up the majority of women bearing the 40 percent of children born outside marriage. It is women in their 20s and 30s, demonstrating the impact of increasing cohabitation and the collapse of marriage, who are putting cradles before wedding bands.

    While the teen pregnancy rate is important and should be addressed, the increase in unwed childbearing among young women in their 20s may signal serious social and economic problems for future generations. With unmarried, female households composing more than half of all families in poverty and the child poverty rate in single-parent households six times greater than in married families, the increase in unwed births threatens the economic and social well-being of women and children. Besides the higher average income and greater accumulation of assets among married families, children raised by married parents often have higher educational achievement, better health, and fewer behavioral problems than their peers living in single-parent households.

    The economic consequences of an increase in unwed childbearing extends well beyond the individual women and children left unprotected by the benefits of marriage. Of the roughly $400 billion in welfare spending on low-income families in 2010 alone, nearly three-quarters went to single-parent households. With annual welfare spending increasing 44 percent since the 1996 welfare reform, American taxpayers can no longer afford to ignore the consequences of the collapse of marriage and increase in unwed childbearing. Policymakers can work now, however, to remove disincentives to marriage in low-income communities and to promote healthy marriage.

    To learn more about the role of the family and religious practice in maintaining limited government and civil society in America, visit FamilyFacts.org.

    Posted in Culture [slideshow_deploy]

    3 Responses to FamilyFacts.org: Over 60 Percent of Unwed Births Occur to 20-Somethings

    1. George Colgrove, VA says:

      In a period we have no federal dollars and since any law on Marriage is a non-issue with the federal level, what solutions are you looking for within Heritage and where are those solutions implemented (fed level or state level?) I am just wondering. How are we going to police marriage and keep people in those marriage at all costs?

    2. terris lee says:

      Every child has a father. Your statistics seem to indicate that we have a population of irresponsible males who are indulging themselves sexually and then walking away. What are their ages? Are they older than the women? Are they single or perhaps married to someone else ? Do they have multiple children and are they having children with more than one partner.

      It may be time to shine more light on male sexuality and the problem it is causing for our society. If men are required to pay the actual full cost of raising the children they bring into the world, there would be no welfare expenses.

      Perhaps you should start to address the problem at its source:

      Men without self-control who indulge themselves sexually, do not use birth control measures, and then refuse to meet their obligations to women and children, and to our society.

    3. Karl says:

      And…..just who are these men who lack self-control getting pregnant…..women, who are doing the same things that you accuse men of!

      Perhaps, if the Catholic understanding of sexuality were objectively understood we might see some changes? Not the way the Church practices it, mind you (which is a disaster) but WHAT it teaches.

      When libido exceeds reason there is a problem. I would suggest that feminism, in its LUST to make the sexes equivalent, which can never be, has exacerbated things tremendously in my lifetime. It is foolish to believe that, were it possible, women would not become pregnant with any number of men's children. They sleep around just as men do. Open your eyes!

      The argument now becomes cyclic, but never returning to extinguish itself, and infinite.

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