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Single parenthood should not be popularized over the nuclear family

By CJ Bryant | Opinions Editor
On December 6, 2018

Photo courtesy of CJ Bryant

Successful single parents should take pride in their strong resolves and healthy kids, but single parenthood should not be popularized over the nuclear family.

Census.gov said, “During the 1960-2016 period, the percentage of children living with only their mother nearly tripled from 8 to 23 percent and the percentage of children living with only their father increased from 1 to 4 percent.”

The times are changing, and many social constructs are being reshaped by loud underrepresented and misrepresented demographics in America. Among those are single mothers.

It is great that single motherhood and teen pregnancy do not carry as much stigma as they once did, but does that mean they are better off now?

Many factors in America in recent decades have contributed to the facilitation of unplanned and planned pregnancies that lead to single parent households: the waves of feminism, the LGBT community, inadequate sex education in schools, and social programs. Constituents of government programs claim to help single mothers, when in fact they incentivize single parenthood.

Democrats are well intentioned when it comes to helping single parent households, but their solutions are misfires.

Social programs create more glass ceilings for different groups than any bigoted group or glazier could. As a single mom climbs economically, the supplementary funds granted to her by the government are pulled from beneath her feet. The quickest way for a single mom to lose her benefits is to no longer be single. This dynamic is the reason why the independent working woman and the single mother are two titles that are heavy to carry together.

With the divorce rate at 50 percent in America, single people are not incentivized to marry single parents. Men fall on the sword in the courts when it comes to separation and divorce. This legal environment means that both men and women put themselves at great risk to start blended families.

“Teen Mom” first aired in 2009, shedding light on the life and struggles of teen parents. Parents from the show have had rocky lives and audiences got to see all the ups and downs.

“Teen Mom” although not a pretty picture of teen pregnancy and single parenthood, still is not a strong enough message to young people of the consequences of single parenthood.  

The “father factor” is present in almost every societal ill from poverty, to crime, to poor education according to Fatherhood.org. According to the 2017 US Census Bureau, a fatherless household is four times more likely to be in poverty. The kids are seven times more likely to become teen parents, are four times more likely to be in poverty, and more likely to commit a crime and go to prison.

Don Lemon controversially said on CNN in 2013 that “more than 72 percent of children in the African-American community are born out of wedlock.”

Politifact.com proved Lemon to be modest as the correct figure was 73 percent. The 2011 Census Bureau also recorded that 67 percent of African-American children lived in a single parent home. Single parent homes were defined as homes with one biological parent and included homes with non-married cohabiting adults. Children with married step-parents were not included.

In an America where women can do anything a man can do, we must remember that two heads are still better than one when it comes to bringing up youth.

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