Casting the first stone on single-parenthood: It turns out that Dan Quayle was right

We used to live in a society that cast the first stone of judgment upon those women that had pre-marital sex and had a baby out of wedlock.  People said awful things to these women that, often times, were victims of circumstance.  Mainstream messaging began to make people feel guilty for these judgments against those women that may have momentarily slipped up.  This move to make people feel guilty was so successful, and eventually so progressive, that the society “evolved” to a point where out-of-wedlock births were not only deemed acceptable but the preferred method of conception for independent women that wanted a baby but didn’t necessarily want or need a man.  The final progression led to out-of wedlock births being an ingredient of the feminist definition of female independence.  It led to a compassionate, high-minded, and non-judgmental tract that stated that women were just as capable as men of raising a child.

Are women just as capable as a man of raising a child independently?  Short answer: Who cares?  If we are going to compare parental capabilities of single-men versus single-women on a line by line basis, we could say that women are just as capable of raising a child independently in some categories, more capable in others, and less capable in still others.  At the end of this tedious and unproductive argument we’re left with the answer that it doesn’t matter, for a single person, be they male or female, cannot provide a child the optimum experience of a well-rounded maturation.

The unintended casualty of this feminist line of thinking is the child.  As the out-of-wedlock births/single-parent homes began to rise to its present figure of 40% in America, some said that it was the greatest crisis facing our country.  They have also stated that the figure in the black community, that is as high as 72% in some studies, may be reaching a theoretical tipping point.  What happens when we reach this disastrous tipping point, no one knows, but some have suggested that it is a societal cliff of sorts.  What we do know is that the child has not been the primary concern in the mainstream messaging or the government programs that have propagated this derth of active fathering, and that it has all led to all sorts of chaos in some communities.

How do we avoid this societal cliff, or a tipping point?  Abortion.  To listen to the authors of Freakonomics economist Steven Levitt and journalist Stephen Dubner, there is a direct correlation between the legalization of abortion in the 70’s, via Roe V Wade and lowered crime rates in the 90’s. In other words, as America awaits the tangible results of the fall of this looming tower, created through mainstream messaging and government programs, the Freakonomics authors say that if you kill them, they won’t come.

The Freakonomics’ theory: “Unwanted children are more likely to become troubled adolescents, prone to crime and drug use, than are wanted children. When abortion was legalized in the 1970s, a whole generation of unwanted births were averted, leading to a drop in crime nearly two decades later when this phantom generation would have come of age.”

“Mr. Levitt’s Freakonomics research was so well-received that in 2003 the American Economic Association named him the nation’s best economist under 40, and one of the most prestigious distinctions in the field. This abortion research was published in 2001 in the Quarterly Journal of Economics, an academic journal, and he was the subject of a page-one Wall Street Journal story in the same year.”

Since the publication of Freakonomics, however, the findings of Levitt’s research have come into question.  Mr. Steve Sailer has compiled his own research, and that of others, to assert that Mr. Levitt’s findings are at least controversial, if not exaggerated in some areas, and refutable in others. {1}  On this page, you’ll also read that while Levitt finds some portions of the refutations personally embarrassing, “the story we put forth in the paper is not materially changed by the coding error (that one particular refutation pointed out).”

A friend of mine said women, by and large, teach a child how to get in touch with their feelings, and men teach that child how to control them once they’re in tune with them.  A woman teaches a boy it’s okay to cry, in other words, but society tells him it is not.  When a man is not around to teach a boy how to control his feelings and emotions in a manner society deems acceptable, a hole in their soul is created.  What moves in to fill that vacuity?  Confusion.  How does a male child normally react to such confusion?  Anger.  When that happens, and there is no male figure around to teach that child how to control this anger, the result is violence and criminality.  How do we corral such a downward spiral?  Abortion?!

The spiritual vacuity created by this movement also affects the adult males involved.  Males, like females, have a biological need to procreate.  While it may not match the maternal instinct, it still exists in males.  So, when men enter into a society that allows them to fulfill this need while not only allowing them subsequent freedom, but encouraging it, most men are not going to turn that down…especially if they don’t have to pay a price for it.  They may get out of jail in this proverbial sense, but they end up with a spiritually emptiness that leads to their own confusing, angry, and violent and criminal downward spiral.

The goal of the removal of the man from the home was initiated to chip away at the societal definition of the patriarchal family that had defined the American culture for generations.  It was, largely, a feminist operation put forth to compel others to recognize the equality, if not the superiority, of the woman.  The feminists successfully changed the cultural argument to a red herring argument that asserted that any argument made to support the idea of two gender parental rearing was an insult to women.  Most of them weren’t, of course, most of the arguments were made with the child in mind.

As Isabel Sawhill points out in a piece for the Washington Post titled: “After 20 years, it turns out Dan Quayle was right about Murphy Brown and unmarried moms.”  She states that studies have shown that parents who decide to cohabitate, rather than marry, often break up before their fifth anniversary.  This leaves the single-mother less stable financially and less likely to find a future father for her child, as most men are unlikely to marry a woman who already has a child. Second, a wealth of research strongly suggests that marriage is good for children. Those who live with their biological parents do better in school and are less likely to get pregnant or arrested. They have lower rates of suicide, achieve higher levels of education and earn more as adults. Meanwhile, children who spend time in single-parent families are more likely to misbehave, get sick, drop out of high school and be unemployed. Third, marriage brings economic benefits. It usually means two breadwinners, or one breadwinner and a full-time, stay-at-home parent with no significant child-care expenses.{2}

The question we must ask ourselves, now that we no longer cast the first stone of judgment upon those unwed mothers that may have been victims of circumstance, is are we laying the groundwork for a better culture on the other side?  We may feel better about ourselves by displaying short-term compassion, but are we advancing as a people by refusing to judge those women who make the “lifestyle” choice of having no father involved in the life of their child?  Those historic and traditional judgments that were made on these women have been judged to be archaic and small-minded by our evolved culture of modernity, but why were these judgments being made in the first place?  Were they cast unfairly upon women compared to men?  Perhaps, but women have long been the keeper of the societal grail in this sense.  Were the grandmothers of our communities casting judgment upon young women that had a child out of wedlock doing so, because they envied her ability to have sex, were they mean-spirited, puritanical people that needed a bad person to build up their self-esteem, or is it an innate, and learned, behavior that older women have used to shame the younger women of their community for the preservation and betterment of their community?  It’s an argument that can be broken down into anecdotal evidence that suggests that some women are more than capable of raising a child alone, but reading through all of the evidence, that Sawhill and numerous others have provided on this topic, suggests that we should all be reconsidering out innate rebellions to our mothers and grandmothers and stop listening to those politically correct leaders that tell us what we want to hear.




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