Marriage Matters to Children

The Claremont Institute (http://www.claremont.org/) recently published two book reviews having to do with the significance of marriage to the well-being of children, and the cohesiveness of society in general.  The books reviewed are:  “Marriage and Caste in America:  Separate and Unequal Families in a Post-Marital Age,” by Kay S. Hymowitz, and “The Future of Marriage,” by David Blankenhorn.

These are two fascinating and informational books that you ought to read.  The reviewer, F. Carolyn Graglia, writes:  “Over the past four decades, American adults have seemed more concerned with enjoying their own existence than with the generation and welfare of children.” And in her book, Hymowitz writes:  “Children of single mothers are less successful on just about every measure than children growing up with their married parents regardless of their income, race, or educational levels:  they are more prone to drug and alcohol abuse, to crime, and to school failure; they are less likely to graduate from college; they are more likelyl to have children at a young age, and more likely to do so when they are unmarried. Soaring divorce rates and out-of-wedlock births (37% of U. S.  births are illegitimate) have made ours a nation of separate and unequal families.”

The propensity to divorce is apparently correlated with two-income families. Hymowitz notes that the “traditional families, with breadwinner husband and stay-at-home wife had the lowest rate of divorce.”  Women employed 80% of the time since the birth of their first child are twice as likely to be divorced as stay-at-home moms. 

Today, more than 40% of all first marriages end in divorce (the rates for second and third marriages are higher), and more than half of all U.S. children will spend “at least a significant part of their childhood living apart from their father.”

Shacking up, having babies out of wedlock as an entitlement for working women who don’t have the time or inclination to create a marriage, having babies out of wedlock because of irresponsible sexual behavior (and not considering adoption to a two-parent mom and dad)…all of these now-normalized behaviors reek of narcissism and indicate that we worry less about children and more about adults being unfettered by morality, good sense, or compassion to the needs of children.