Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Percentage of single mothers who have never married 11 times higher than in 1960

The Heritage Foundation reports.

Excerpt:

Forty-four percent of single mothers have never been married. This is 11 times the percent of never-married single mothers in 1960.

The Pew Research Center reports:

In 1960, of all single mothers, more than eight-in-ten (82%) were divorced, separated or widowed. An additional 14% were married, but their spouses were not living in the household. Only 4% of all single mothers had never been married.

The percent of unwed births also grew dramatically over the same period. Today, over 40 percent of all children are born to single women, compared with less than 10 percent in 1960.

Children raised in single-parent homes are much more likely to live in poverty or struggle with other problems that take a toll on their ability to thrive.

Of course, other trends such as a high divorce rate—although the divorce rate has declined since its peak in the 1980s—have implications for children’s and society’s well-being.

Today, less than half (46 percent) of American children who reach age 17 have been raised by their continuously married, biological parents. This is taking a toll. Children do best when raised by their married mother and father. They are at lower risk of engaging in substance abuse, delinquent behavior, and early sexual activity, and they are less likely to drop out of high school or suffer abuse.

Michael Tanner of the Cato Institute explains how welfare provides an incentive to women to have babies without getting married.

Cato Institute economist Dr. Michael Tanner explains:

At the same time, the evidence of a link between the availability of welfare and out-of-wedlock births is overwhelming. There have been 13 major studies of the relationship between the availability of welfare benefits and out-of-wedlock birth. Of these, 11 found a statistically significant correlation. Among the best of these studies is the work done by June O’Neill for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Holding constant a wide range of variables, including income, education, and urban vs. suburban setting, the study found that a 50 percent increase in the value of AFDC and foodstamp payments led to a 43 percent increase in the number of out-of-wedlock births.(7) Likewise, research by Shelley Lundberg and Robert Plotnick of the University of Washington showed that an increase in welfare benefits of $200 per month per family increased the rate of out-of-wedlock births among teenagers by 150 percent.(8)

The same results can be seen from welfare systems in other countries. For example, a recent study of the impact of Canada’s social-welfare system on family structure concluded that “providing additional benefits to single parents encourages births of children to unwed women.”(9)

Of course women do not get pregnant just to get welfare benefits. It is also true that a wide array of other social factors has contributed to the growth in out-of-wedlock births. But, by removing the economic consequences of a out-of-wedlock birth, welfare has removed a major incentive to avoid such pregnancies. A teenager looking around at her friends and neighbors is liable to see several who have given birth out of wedlock. When she sees that they have suffered few visible immediate consequences (the very real consequences of such behavior are often not immediately apparent), she is less inclined to modify her own behavior to prevent pregnancy.

Proof of this can be found in a study by Professor Ellen Freeman of the University of Pennsylvania, who surveyed black, never-pregnant females age 17 or younger. Only 40% of those surveyed said that they thought becoming pregnant in the next year “would make their situation worse.”(10) Likewise, a study by Professor Laurie Schwab Zabin for the Journal of Research on Adolescence found that: “in a sample of inner-city black teens presenting for pregnancy tests, we reported that more than 31 percent of those who elected to carry their pregnancy to term told us, before their pregnancy was diagnosed, that they believed a baby would present a problem…”(11) In other words, 69 percent either did not believe having a baby out-of-wedlock would present a problem or were unsure.

Until teenage girls, particularly those living in relative poverty, can be made to see real consequences from pregnancy, it will be impossible to gain control over the problem of out-of- wedlock births. By disguising those consequences, welfare makes it easier for these girls to make the decisions that will lead to unwed motherhood.

Current welfare policies seem to be designed with an appallingly lack of concern for their impact on out-of-wedlock births. Indeed, Medicaid programs in 11 states actually provide infertility treatments to single women on welfare.(12)

I should also point out that, once the child is born, welfare also appears to discourage the mother from marrying in the future. Research by Robert Hutchins of Cornell University shows that a 10 percent increase in AFDC benefits leads to an eight percent decrease in the marriage rate of single mothers.(13)

What is this story about welfare and single mothers doing in the 6 PM “Christian apologetics” time slot?

Well, it turns out that without a father in the home, children are far more likely to lose their faith.

Here is some statistical evidence that should have Christians everywhere concerned.

Excerpt:

In 1994 the Swiss carried out an extra survey that the researchers for our masters in Europe (I write from England) were happy to record. The question was asked to determine whether a person’s religion carried through to the next generation, and if so, why, or if not, why not. The result is dynamite. There is one critical factor. It is overwhelming, and it is this: It is the religious practice of the father of the family that, above all, determines the future attendance at or absence from church of the children.

If both father and mother attend regularly, 33 percent of their children will end up as regular churchgoers, and 41 percent will end up attending irregularly. Only a quarter of their children will end up not practicing at all. If the father is irregular and mother regular, only 3 percent of the children will subsequently become regulars themselves, while a further 59 percent will become irregulars. Thirty-eight percent will be lost.

If the father is non-practicing and mother regular, only 2 percent of children will become regular worshippers, and 37 percent will attend irregularly. Over 60 percent of their children will be lost completely to the church.

Let us look at the figures the other way round. What happens if the father is regular but the mother irregular or non-practicing? Extraordinarily, the percentage of children becoming regular goesupfrom 33 percent to 38 percent with the irregular mother and to 44 percent with the non-practicing, as if loyalty to father’s commitment grows in proportion to mother’s laxity, indifference, or hostility.

[...]In short, if a father does not go to church, no matter how faithful his wife’s devotions, only one child in 50 will become a regular worshipper. If a father does go regularly, regardless of the practice of the mother, between two-thirds and three-quarters of their children will become churchgoers (regular and irregular). If a father goes but irregularly to church, regardless of his wife’s devotion, between a half and two-thirds of their offspring will find themselves coming to church regularly or occasionally.

A non-practicing mother with a regular father will see a minimum of two-thirds of her children ending up at church. In contrast, a non-practicing father with a regular mother will see two-thirds of his children never darken the church door. If his wife is similarly negligent that figure rises to 80 percent!

The results are shocking, but they should not be surprising. They are about as politically incorrect as it is possible to be; but they simply confirm what psychologists, criminologists, educationalists, and traditional Christians know. You cannot buck the biology of the created order. Father’s influence, from the determination of a child’s sex by the implantation of his seed to the funerary rites surrounding his passing, is out of all proportion to his allotted, and severely diminished role, in Western liberal society.

Here’s an interesting post about a new book by Mary Eberstadt which makes the same point with even more data.

Excerpt:

The French Revolution gave the West the first self-consciously secular government at the end of the 1700s, and one of its first revolutionary acts was to liberalize its marriage laws. But what people may not realize, was that France was the first country in Europe to experience a decline in fertility rates within marriage, and an increase in cohabitation and illegitimacy, decades before the French Revolution. In the early 1700s, over a half century before the Revolution, illegitimacy was only at 1%, but by the storming of the Bastille, which ushered in the Revolution, France’s illegitimacy rate had climbed to 20% overall, with a 30% rate in the boiling pot of Paris. The French Revolution’s successful attack on Christianity, and the consequent secularization of France, was, in part, the result of the prior erosion of the family.

We see the same pattern in the UK, argues Eberstadt. “In Britain…the decline in births started a century later [than in France] at the very height of Victorian England,…Bit by bit…the same family trends already established in France—fewer births, more divorces, more out-of-wedlock births—also began reshaping the world of Britain. By our own time, over half of all children in Britain are born to unmarried people, and the fertility rate stands at 1.91 children per woman.” Not surprisingly, Britain’s churches are, like those of France, largely empty.

In the Scandinavian countries, like Sweden, where marriage rates are lowest, and divorce, cohabitation, and single-family households, and out-of-wedlock births are the highest, we find the greatest degree of secularization.

The obvious lesson we must draw, says Eberstadt, is “Vibrant families and vibrant religion go hand in hand.”

I get annoyed when I hear people talk about how they are socially conservative, but not fiscally conservative. If you are socially conservative, and you believe in faith, marriage and family, then you need to think about what policies do to encourage people to either get married or not get married. Single mother welfare is nothing more than paying people to have children before they are married. Not only is it bad for them to be dependent on government, but that money has to come from somewhere else – probably from some hard-working man who is now taxed so much that his wife has to go to work to make ends meet, weakening the family and potentially exposing the child to more unfiltered influence from secular schools and secular culture. Think about fiscal policy, because it matters.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

New study: college women binge drinking more often than college men

Here’s an article about a recent Harvard study in U.S. News and World Report.

Excerpt:

Female college students exceed government-suggested limits on weekly alcohol consumption more often than male students do, according to a new report by researchers at Harvard University.

Men and women are starting on something of an uneven playing field. In 1990, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, a division of the National Institutes of Health, suggested that men drink a maximum of four drinks daily and 14 drinks weekly. The guidelines for women suggest that they max out at three drinks a day and seven drinks a week.

“Recommended drinking limits are lower for women than for men because research to date has found that women experience alcohol-related problems at lower levels of alcohol consumption than men,” says Bettina Hoeppner, a Harvard Medical School professor and coauthor of the study, published in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research Friday.

[...]“With women’s greater tendency to exceed weekly guidelines than men, there may be long-term implications for women in particular,” the study suggests. “Women are at a greater risk than men of engaging in drinking habits during college that are more likely to result in long-term harm.”

Hoeppner says that the weekly limits are designed to prevent future health problems due to excessive drinking, such as liver disease and breast cancer. Of students who had had at least one drink during the first year, 60 percent of men and 64 percent of women reported exceeding the weekly guidelines at least once.

Earlier this year, the Centers for Disease Control warned about the increasing number of women and girls who binge drink and said that it’s an “under-recognized problem.”

“It is alarming to see that binge drinking is so common among women and girls, and that women and girls are drinking so much when they do,” Robert Brewer, head of the CDC’s alcohol program, said in a statement.

The College Fix wrote about this article, and noted that the response from feminist blogs like Jezebel were dismissive.

Excerpt:

Reaction to the piece has emerged via a write up on the feminism website Jezebel that defended the girls’ decision to join, saying sororities “suck,” and that ”equal opportunity for women to succeed means equal opportunities to act like liver-shredding idiots.”

Jezebel writer Erin Gloria Ryan goes on to claim these girls are content with their decisions:

“When college women are free to do what they want, some of them are going to want to behave like college jackasses. They’re going to drink, swear, hook up sloppily and indiscriminately, barf in the streets, and generally act like boorish male characters in straight-to-DVD sex comedies. Oh, and one more thing: despite what an entire subgenre of concernmongering Little Girls Lost trend pieces on the phenomenon might have you think, they’re perfectly happy.”

Everything is going according to plan here, if you ask the feminists. In fact, this was their goal: equality.

What do you think is causing women to binge drink more than men? Is it some external force or is it something inside them that is driving it? When I talk to college-aged women about this, they usually don’t have a good answer for why they are doing it except because their friends are, and they feel obligated to participate.

In a previous post, I wrote about a study from the Institute of American Values that found that one of the reasons why women binge drink so much is to make them feel less responsible for hooking up with anonymous men at parties. After all, they reason, if they choose to drink themselves into a stupor then they aren’t responsible for what happens next. They can have stories to tell people about the superhot guys they hooked up with, but without feeling guilty about anything.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Rasmussen poll finds that men are more pro-life than women

Life News reports on a new poll that confirms the results from the previous Gallup poll, which showed that men are more likely to be pro-life than women.

Take a look:

A new Rasmussen poll out today shows the support for the pro-abortion side is at its lowest level in three years, while support for the pro-life position is at its highest.

Rasmussen asked: “Generally speaking, on the issue of abortion, do you consider yourself pro-choice or pro-life?”

The Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 46% of Likely U.S. Voters now consider themselves pro-choice, the lowest finding in three years of regular surveying. Forty-three percent (43%) say they are pro-life, matching the highest finding to date. Eleven percent (11%) are undecided.

And now the part that is very interesting:

Fifty percent (50%) of women consider themselves pro-choice, compared to 42% of men. Forty-six percent (46%) of men and 41% of women are pro-life.

Men are also more likely than women to say it is too easy to get an abortion in the United States and that there should be a waiting period. Women are more likely to think it’s too hard to get an abortion. Men are also more likely to feel abortion is morally wrong most of the time.

So, men are pro-life by a margin of 46-42. This is similar to the Gallup poll released in May 2013, that showed that men were pro-life by a margin of 50-42. I think that the first instinct of a man is to protect and provide for the unborn child. Men tend to want to take responsibility for their own decisions. And they are OK with giving up happiness and pleasure in order to sacrifice for the child. Men are more moved to protect things that are weak and vulnerable, even if it means that they will be less free to pursue their own pleasures. That’s how men really are, although that’s often not what women believe about men, and it’s not what is portrayed in the media about men.

In contrast, women are more likely to be pro-abortion, by a huge margin of 50-41. This is similar to the results from the Gallup poll of May 2013, which showed that women were more likely to be pro-abortion by a margin of 47-46.  The split is even large when you notice that women are overwhelmingly more likely to vote for the unrestricted abortion policies of the Democrat party. Exit polls from the last two federal elections have shown that unmarried women in particular vote for Democrats 67% of the time. That number is even higher when you look at young, unmarried women.

Not just unborn children, but born children

Previously, I also documented how polls show that men are far more pro-marriage than women.

Excerpt:

A new national poll points towards a gender gap over same-sex marriage.

According to new numbers released Monday morning from Gallup, 50% of Americans say same-sex marriages should be legal. But break it down by gender, and 56% of women say same-sex couples should be legally allowed to marry, but only 42% of men feel the same way.

So what do we learn from this? We learn that despite massive systemic challenges in the education system and the workplace, that men have nevertheless not given up on the needs of unborn and born children.

I notice that there is a trend among Christian women to try to blame men for abortion and gay marriage, and to try to say that the reason that women have abortions is because of men. But this is false, of course. The reason why women have abortions is because they deliberately prefer men who are bad boys. They are attracted to these men, and these men want premarital sex. They give them the sex in order to be liked by these bad men. They choose the bad men. The good men who are chaste and marriage minded are passed over. You can read about it in the article I blogged about earlier in the week about the hook-up culture, and see a study on the hook-up culture from the Institute of American Values too. And remember that the hook-up culture is praised by feminist leaders. They are the ones who wanted it.

Most women are attracted to bad men. Many cannot resist the attraction and choose the bad men. They are attracted to men who do not try to lead them or judge them on moral or spiritual issues. They go too far with them physically and bond to them and then cannot see their flaws. They eventually have sex with them to try to make them commit. Bad men don’t commit when they are given sex, though. Then the women vote for abortion to get out of it – because they feel that they are victims. Then they blame all men for their own bad choices and claim that the consequences of their actions could not be predicted. They make themselves out to be victims. But the real victims are the children and the good men who are passed over.

None of this would be happening if women thought through what they really wanted – lifelong married love – and then 1) prepared themselves to be wives and mothers and 2) chose chaste men who were prepared to be fathers and husbands. They choose the wrong men. They pass over good men because we are “too strict”. They deprive children of life or fathers. They blame men. It’s that simple. The problem is that we are too scared to tell women that they are wrong about how they choose men.

A recent survey sent to me by Nancy P. even found that men are more interested in marriage and commitment than women. When will we realize where the problem really lies? Blaming men isn’t the answer. We need to teach women to disregard the tingles and the peer pressure and pick the right man for the jobs of husband and father, based on the requirements of the male roles. And that means that we need to roll back feminism, and defeat the idea that man have no roles. Marriage-capable men only turn away from male roles when they see that women are not interested in marriage-minded men.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

UK: Half a million new STI infections in 2012

From the left-leaning UK Independent.

Excerpt:

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are soaring among young people, with chlamydia the most virulent, health officials have warned.

Nearly half a million people were diagnosed with STIs last year, with those aged under-25 experiencing the highest rates of infection, according to new figures released today.

Health experts have warned that the rise in STIs shows too many young people are still putting themselves at risk by failing to practice safe-sex.

Last year there were 448,422 diagnoses, which was a rise of five per cent from 2011, said Public Health England (PHE).

Almost half of all infections were chlamydia, amounting to 46 per cent of total STI diagnoses.

The number of new gonorrhoea diagnoses increased by 21 per cent, which is a particular cause for concern among health officials as the global threat of antibiotic resistance grows.

People aged under-25 accounted for 64 per cent of all chlamydia and 54 per cent of genital warts diagnoses in 2012.

The UK has some of the most aggressive and early sex education of any Western country. But all of this effort to educate young people hasn’t reduced the amount of sexual activity at all. When young people learn about the mechanics of sex, and are taught that recreational sex is normal and healthy, then they have more of it. Young people aren’t able to assess risks like adults can. They think that nothing will happen to them. No amount of sex education can cure youthful recklessness.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Study explains why college women abandon courtship for hook-ups

This study is from the Institute for American Values. It was done by Elizabeth Marquardt.

The PDF of study is here.

If you download the 88 page PDF, the first few pages are an executive summary.

I’d been exposed to this research before when I read Dr. Miriam Grossmann’s book “Unprotected”. (Boundless review here) I just got Dr. Miriam Grossmann’s new book “You’re Teaching My Child What?” and I also got Elizabeth Marquardt’s new book “Between Two Worlds: The Inner Lives of Children of Divorce”. I don’t think either of them is conservative, but I like their research anyway.

There are a couple of things that really struck me about this IAV study on hooking-up.

First, this one from p. 15:

A notable feature of hook ups is that they almost always occur when both participants are drinking or drunk.

A Rutgers University student observed, “You always hear people say, oh my gosh, I was so drunk, I hooked up with so and so…” Perhaps not surprisingly, many noted that being drunk helped to loosen one’s inhibitions and make it easier to hook up. A number of students noted that being drunk could later serve as your excuse for the hook up. A Yale University student said, “Some people like hook up because they’re drunk or use being drunk as an excuse to hook up.” A New York University student observed, “[Alcohol is] just part of an excuse, so that you can say, oh, well, I was drinking.”

A Rutgers University student commented, “If you’re drinking a lot it’s easier to hook up with someone… [and] drugs, it’s kind of like a bonding thing… and then if you hook up with them and you don’t want to speak to them again, you can always blame it on the drinking or the drugs.”

Other women observed that being drunk gives a woman license to act sexually interested in public in ways that would not be tolerated if she were sober. For instance, a University of Michigan student said, “Girls are actually allowed to be a lot more sexual when they are drunk…”

A University of Chicago junior observed, “One of my best friends… sometimes that’s her goal when we go out. Like she wants to get drunk so I guess she doesn’t have to feel guilty about [hooking up].”

Some reported that drinking had led them to do things they later regretted. A University of Virginia student said, “My last random hook up was last October and it was bad. I was drunk and I just regretted it very much.”

And this one from p. 30 on the effects of hooking-up on their future commitments:

A few women did see an unambiguous connection between present relationships and future marriage.

[...]Many women either saw little or no connection between present and future relationships, or their understanding of this connection was curiously flat. A student at New York University said, “[The present and the future are] connected because I will still have the same values and principles that I have now, but I just won’t be single anymore.”A number of women said that the present and the future are connected because whatever heartache or confusion they experience now gives them lessons for the future.

A University of Michigan student said, “Early relationships prepare you for marriage because it’s like, oh, what type of person do I want to be with? Oh, I’ve had these bad experiences. Or, I’ve learned from this relationship that I should do this and I shouldn’t do this.”

A sophomore at Howard University said that “I am kind of learning from a lot of the mistakes that I have made.” At a further extreme, some women saw their future marriage as the reason to experiment widely in the present. A Rutgers University student said,“I think hooking up with different people and seeing what you like and don’t like is a good idea. Because eventually you’re going to have to… marry someone and I’d just like to know that I experienced everything.”

Although it is admirable to take risks and learn from one’s mistakes, these women would probably find it difficult to explain how having your heart broken a few or even many times in your early years — or trying to separate sex from feeling, as in hooking up — is good preparation for a trusting and happy marriage later on.

And on p. 42, we learn what women think marriage is and isn’t for:

For instance, in the on-campus interviews one student complained, “[With] marriage…you have to debate everything… Why do you need a piece of paper to bond a person to you? …But I know if I don’t get married I’ll probably feel like… [a] lonely old woman… If anything, I’d get married [because of] that.”

This student went on to say that she would be satisfied to live with a man, but added that, if the man was committed to her, he would offer to marry her, and that this was the kind of commitment that she wanted. A student at the University of Washington said,“I don’t want to get married right after I graduate from college. I just think that would stunt my growth in every way that there is. I would like to be in a very steady, committed relationship with a guy.”

And on p. 44, we learn that they like co-habitation, which increases the risk of divorce by about 50% (but they don’t know that):

In the national survey, 58 percent of the respondents agreed that “It is a good idea to live with someone before deciding to marry him.” This belief often coexists with a strong desire to marry, because it was embraced by 49 percent of the respondents who strongly agreed that marriage was a very important goal for them.

[...]Women we interviewed on campus reflected a similar range of attitudes about cohabitation. Some women thought that cohabitation was a good way to test whether one could spend a lifetime with a potential partner. In such cases, women often cited fears of divorce as the reason for trying cohabitation first. A senior at the University of Washington said, “I kind of don’t really see marriages work ever, so I want to make sure that everything’s all right before [we get married]. I don’t see how people can get married without living together because I know like I have a best friend and I live with her and we want to kill each other, like, every few months.”

Other women felt that, in an age of divorce, cohabitation was a preferable alternative to marriage. A student at New York University said, “You see so [many] people getting divorces… I just don’t see the necessity [of marriage].” She went on to say, “I think that I don’t have to be married to [the] person that I’m with…. You know like… Goldie Hawn [and Kurt Russell]? They’re not married.”

But let’s get back to the drinking and the hook-up sex…

Once a woman abandons femininity for feminism, then sex is all that she can use to get noticed by a man. Men are like hiring managers, and courting is like a job interview for the job of marriage and mothering. If a woman tries to get the job by having sex with the interviewer, he isn’t going to hire her since sex has nothing to do with the job. There are children involved, you know – he has to think of them when he makes the hiring decision. But women have been taught to think bad things about men (they’re rapists) and marriage (it’s slavery) by feminists – so they don’t even try to understand men, or to respect men, or prepare their character for being a wife and mother. Feminists just don’t understand that hard work is needed to understand men and prepare for marriage.

In a previous post, I explained how feminists wanted to get women to drink like men, have sex like men, and to abolish courtship and marriage. Under the influence of feminism and Hollywood celebrities, women began to choose men to have sex with without any consideration of morality, religion, marriage, etc. They thought that sex was an easy way to trick a man into committing to them without having to treat him like a real person, or to take the demands of marriage and parenting seriously. (They have been taught to value education and careers over husbands and children, you understand). This results in a cycle of binge-drinking, one-night-stands, cheating, co-habitating, breaking-up, stalking, aborting, etc., until the woman’s ability to trust and love anyone but herself is completely destroyed. And yet these college women somehow believe this is “adventurous”, that it makes them feel “sexy”, and that the experience of being selfish and seeing the worst kind of men acting in the worst possible ways, point blank, somehow prepares them for marriage and motherhood.

Often, a young unmarried woman’s biological father was NOT selected by her mother based on his ability to make commitments and moral judgments. Many feminists prefer men who do not judge women morally, nor impose his religion on her. But those very things that young unmarried  women today seem to dislike most about men, because they fear rejection on moral and religious grounds, are exactly the things that make men good husbands and fathers. They don’t want to be judged or led spiritually, so they choose immoral, non-religious men. Men who are not firm on morality and religion cannot be counted on to act morally and self-sacrificially. And when they fail, and the marriages break up, the children grow up fatherless and may develop negative views of men.

Every young unmarried woman who chooses a bad man, and then has a bad experience with him is pushing away marriage with both hands. The more she destroys her ability to trust, love and care for others, the less she is able to be happy and effective in a marriage.

Filed under: Commentary, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Wintery Tweets

Click to see recent visitors

  Visitors Online Now

Page views since 1/30/09

  • 3,943,242 hits

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,726 other followers

Archives

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,726 other followers

%d bloggers like this: