"About 80% of black babies are born to unwed moms," Indianapolis Star, January 24, 2008:Contrast that slice of harsh reality with Coontz's smug tone:
About eight in 10 black children in Indiana are born to unwed parents -- a start to life that sets them up for problems during adolescence and beyond, according to an Indiana Black Expo report [being released Friday]...
Child Trends, a nonpartisan national children's research organization, reports children born to single mothers are more likely to:
- Live in poverty and experience social and emotional problems.
- Have low educational attainment, engage in sex at younger ages and have a premarital birth.
- Enter adulthood neither in school nor employed, or have lower occupational status and income, and more troubled marriages and divorces than those born to married parents.
The issues that spin out of struggling single-parent families show up throughout the new Black Expo report, including the teen birth rate of 81 per 1,000 for blacks. That is almost twice the state's overall teen birth rate of 43.5 per 1,000.
[T]he time has passed when we can construct our social policies, work schedules, health insurance systems, sex education programs — or even our moral and ethical beliefs about who owes what to whom — on the assumption that all long-term commitments and care-giving obligations should or can be organized through marriage. Of course we must seek ways to make marriage more possible for couples and to strengthen the marriages they contract. But we must be equally concerned to help couples who don’t marry become better co-parents, to help single parents and cohabiting couples meet their obligations, and to teach divorced parents how to minimize their conflicts and improve their parenting.Who is this "we" of whom Coontz writes? Is it government? Is it "liberal" know-it-alls like Coontz? What we (the real we) need is less government involvement in family matters, not more. We certainly don't need the amoral, socially destructive "help" of Coontz and her ilk.
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