Some highlights (or lowlights) if you don’t feel like reading the article:
-Children of unmarried mothers of any race are more likely to perform poorly in school, go to prison, use drugs, be poor as adults, and have their own children out of wedlock.
-The black community’s 72 percent rate eclipses that of most other groups: 17 percent of Asians, 29 percent of whites, 53 percent of Hispanics and 66 percent of Native Americans were born to unwed mothers in 2008, the most recent year for which government figures are available. The rate for the overall U.S. population was 41 percent.
-There are simple arguments for why so many black women have children without marriage. The legacy of segregation, the logic goes, means blacks are more likely to attend inferior schools. This creates a high proportion of blacks unprepared to compete for jobs in today’s economy, where middle-class industrial work for unskilled laborers has largely disappeared. The drug epidemic sent disproportionate numbers of black men to prison, and crushed the job opportunities for those who served their time. Women don’t want to marry men who can’t provide for their families, and welfare laws created a financial incentive for poor mothers to stay single. If you remove these inequalities, some say, the 72 percent will decrease.
The article goes on from there. I’m not here to preach or cast judgment on anyone or their parent(s). These numbers are staggering, though. As a community, we must do better. I will say that I found this article to be a bit misleading. To me, it’s less of an issue of marriage and more of an issue of absent fathers. If you’re an unwed mother, but you have a good relationship/understanding with your baby-daddy, great. If both parents are in the child’s life, marriage becomes less of a factor. It becomes a problem when the dad is not in the child’s life and is merely a monthly check, if that. P.S. Fellas, handling your business as a man and a father consists of more than child support payments. I digress. The article rattled off some reasons (or excuses) as to why these numbers may be inflated. Perhaps, this would be more accurate if we knew how many of these unwed mothers have no relationship with the father of their children. Also, with the divorce rate hovering around 50%, who’s to say that marriage is the solution? There are plenty of toxic marriages that children shouldn’t be around either. Just my thoughts…feel free to disagree, agree, or comment.