Spoiled Children of Divorce

TIME Magazine Article on Changing Attitudes Towards Marriage
November 23, 2010, 7:29 am
Filed under: links to articles, Uncategorized, Websites

TIME Magazine published an interesting article about how attitudes towards marriage have changed in the United States since the 1960s called “Who Needs Marriage?  A Changing Institution” written by Belinda Luscombe (Nov. 18, 2010).  The article is based on some polls which were taken with the Pew Research Center.  I think I may have messed up the linkee thing so it will be down at the bottom of post as well.

Divorce boom peaked in 1978.  Lots more unmarried mothers now who are not necessarily single.  Couples who stayed married tend to be better educated and wealthier.  Most couples agree that marriage is the best situation for the kids, something like 70 to 80 percent.  That surprised me because it seems that everyone I’ve talked to about the research I was working has on attacked me.  I think someone even hacked into the articles cause they’re looking mighty cut and pasted in orders I don’t recollect doing on my own.  The 20-30 percent who think that marriage is best for the children must be the psychologists who are bottom feeding off the misery and the various child molesters who know that kids from single parent homes are easier prey.

Interesting differences in actual attitudes and beliefs as compared with reality and, uh, er, the statistics.  In Sweden, couples with children who cohabitate but don’t marry tend to stay together for longer than married couples with kids in the United States.  One must realize that Sweden is a much smaller country and doesn’t have a varied and transient population same as the United States so there is a much more stable society and culture which can provide stability in the background for a child in an unstable household.  So we can’t just compare ourselves with these other countries.

I don’t know really where the article gets its statistics from.  It was probably written there right in front of me and I didn’t notice.  As I’ve said before, Divorce Statistics for California aren’t tabulated at all (since 1984 I believe) and aren’t included in the national averages with the CDC, etc. Nobody knows what the Divorce rate in California is except for a couple of ambulance chasers in Southern California who estimate 65-70 percent. That throws the national average way off since California is the most populated state and has a very high rate of divorce.  And since so many of the shrinks intentionally do their research on 100 normal families who live out in the boonies of Ohio or wherever the hell these normal people live that research is silly.

From the article:

The Kids May Not Be All Right
Rarely is there a bigger chasm between what Americans believe to be the best thing for society and what actually happens than in the bearing and raising of children. Half or more of the respondents in the Pew poll say that marital status is irrelevant to achieving respect, happiness, career goals, financial security or a fulfilling sex life. When it comes to raising kids, though, it’s a landslide, with more than three-quarters saying it’s best done married.

Yet very few people say children are the most important reason to get hitched. Indeed, 41% of babies were born to unmarried moms in 2008, an eightfold increase from 50 years ago, and 25% of kids lived in a single-parent home, almost triple the number from 1960. Contrary to the stereotype, it turns out that most of the infants born to unmarried mothers are not the product of casual sexual encounters. One of the most extensive databases on such kids, the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, a joint project of Princeton and Columbia universities, which has been following 5,000 children from birth to age 9, found that more than half of the unmarried parents were living together at the time their child was born and 30% of them were romantically involved (but living apart).

Most of those unwed mothers said their chances of marrying the baby’s father were 50% or greater, but after five years, only 16% of them had done so and only about 20% of the couples were still cohabiting. This didn’t mean that the children didn’t live with a man, however, since about a quarter of their moms were now living with or married to a new partner. That doesn’t always work out as well as it seems to in Modern Family or Phineas & Ferb. Offspring from earlier relationships put pressure on new ones. For the least wealthy children, Mom’s new boyfriend often means their biological father is less likely to visit and less likely to support their mother. Many stepparents are wonderful and committed, but a series of live-in lovers is not at all the same thing. “About 21% of American children will see at least two live-in partners of their mothers by the time they’re 15,” says Cherlin. “And an additional 8% will see three or more.” 

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2031962-4,00.html#ixzz165Wghh49

Thanks for the great article, Ms. Bascombe and TIME Magazine.  Read more: http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2031962-4,00.html#ixzz165SjbtMZ


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