A report written for the US Senate, entitled Love, Marriage and the Baby Carriage, states that 40% of births in America today are born out-of-wedlock. This means that a significant percentage of kids are now being raised in single-parent families and in most instances it means they are without a father.
According to the report, at one point in American history, couples understood the responsibility of raising children. Stats showed that in the 1960s, 43% of couples married if the woman became pregnant.
Today, only 9% are willing to do this.
Some of this is due to the unwillingness of men to take responsibility for what has happened, and the other is women thinking it is fine to raise a child alone.
You add to this percentage the number of children also living in single-parent homes due to divorce or separation and we must ask ourselves what kind of effect is this having on society.
There have been a number of studies over the years that have looked at the impact that single-parent families (either through unwed pregnancy, divorce or separation) have on children and the results are concerning.
They have noticed the potential for increased criminal behavior:
- In 2001, a study conducted by England’s Youth Justice Board found that the chances of children (boys and girls) between the ages of 11 to 16 committing a criminal offense increased by 25% if they came from a single-parent family. [Youth Survey 2001: Research Study Conducted for the Youth Justice Board, Jan-March 2001, www.youth-justice-board.gov.uk]
- Other research came to a similar conclusion. According to a study by England’s Home office the chances of a boy becoming a “persistent” offender increases by 60% if he lived in a single parent family. The study attributed the problem to reduced parental supervision and in most instance no father in the home. [Youth Crime: Findings from the 1998/99 Youth Lifestyles Survey by C. Flood-Page, S. Campbell, V. Harrington and J. Miller: Home Office Research Development and Statistics Directorate, 2000]
In both these studies, they factored out such things as poverty that also contribute to criminal behavior. Once they did this, the researchers concluded that the increases were due to a lack of parental supervision. Raising a family is a two-person job.
My wife and I raised two children and to be honest I have no idea how a single parent could raise kids on their own and still be sane. Yet some have managed to do this successfully, but many have not.
A 2000 English study entitled Teenage Family Life, Life chances, lifestyles and health by Ely, West, Sweeting and Richards, showed other disturbing trends for single-parent families that had the potential to handicap children:
- INCREASED SCHOOL DROPOUT RATES: The chances of a teen dropping out of school by age 16 doubles if they came from a single-parent family. In this instance, the researchers blamed this on the poverty typically associated with single-parent families.
- INCREASED DRUG USAGE: The chances of boys aged 15 using drugs doubled from 10.8% to 22.4% if they came from a single-parent home. For girls the same age, there was a 25% increase (6.5% to 8.2%) and by age 18 the difference increased by 70% from 19.6% to 33.3%. The difference between the sexes may be due to the father is often the missing figure and that would have a larger impact on boys. Once all factors were considered, the study concluded that a teens chances of using drugs increased by 50% if they came from a single-parent homes.
What happens when these handicapped children start having their own kids?
I know it is popular today to mock old-fashioned values such as marriage, but God instituted the two-parent family as the blue print for a successful country. If you want to breakdown a society, one of the best ways of doing this is by destroying its foundation — the family unit.
More in this series:
- Studies reveal the negative impact of divorce on children
- Impact of divorce on teens
- The impact of divorce on adult children
- 40 percent of US pregnancies out-of-wedlock ‘shotgun’ marriages have plummeted: Report
- How we ended up with 40 percent of children born out-of-wedlock: Institute of Family Studies