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Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Family Under Attack

Some alarming facts: "I hope my daughter regains her intellect You have 3months" authors personal note

For more than three decades in U.S. society, marriage has declined, illegitimacy has flourished, and fathers have disappeared from the lives of children. The erosion of marriage and fatherhood has been accompanied by a mushrooming of other social problems: crime, welfare dependence, child abuse and drug abuse. The collapse of marriage, rise of illegitimacy, and absence of fathers are the root cause behind most of the nation's social problems.
When the American War on Poverty began in 1965, 7 percent of America's chil dren were born out-of-wedlock; today nearly a third are. As we speak, one American child is born outside marriage every 25 seconds.
The rise in illegitimacy has been driven by three factors: 1) a decline in the portion of women of child bearing age who are married; 2) an increase in the birth rate of non-married women; and 3) a decrease in the birth rate of married women. As a resuft of these factors, the number of births to married women has declined dramatically and is now at the lowest level since the end of World War II. During the same period, out-of-wedlock births have increased 1,000 percent, rising from 125,000 in 1946 to 1.26 million in 1997.1
For most years, since the mid-1960s the percentage of births which were out-of-wedlock increased steadily. In the last few years, however, there has been modest good news. In 1995, 1996, and 1997 there was, for the first time in three decades, a "pause" in the growth of illegitimacy. The growth of the white out-of-wedlock birth rate slowed considerably, and the black rate actually declined slightly. This "pause" in the growth of illegitimacy (which coincided with the debate and passage of national welfare reform in the Uriited States) is of great social significance. The crucial question is whether this pause will continue or whether illegitimacy will soon resume its steady upward climb.

 We have really screwed our lives up with our rampant irresponsibility

 Family has now been redefined so that it means nothing whatsoever, contributes nothing to society, and cannot even sustain itself.

Out-of-Wedlock Childbearing by Ethnic Group
Childbearing out-of-wedlock and absence of fathers varies greatly between racial/ethnic groups.The highest rate was non-Hispanic Blacks, among whom 69.4 percent of births were out-of-wedlock. American Indians have the second highest rate at 58.7 percent, followed by Hispanics at 40.92 percent. Among non-Hispanic whites, 21.54 percent of births are out of wedlock, and Asians/Pacific islanders have the 1owest rate with 15.64 percent of births being out-of-wedlock.

While black Americans have the highest percentage of births that are out-of- wedlock, this does not mean that most illegitimate children in the U.S. are black. Blacks represent only a small portion of the U.S. population. Since whites greatly outnumber blacks within the population, the number of white children born out-of wedlock exceeds the number of such black children despite the higher illegitimacy rate among blacks. Of the roughly 1.2 million children born outside marriage in 1997: 41 percent were non-Hispanic Whites; 32 percent were non-Hispanic Blacks; 23 percent were Hispanics; American Indians and Asians each comprised 2 percent
 ther Social Factors Relating to Illegitimacy

The rise of illegitimacy in the U.S. should not be confused with teenage pregnancy. Out-of-wedlock child bearing is overwhelmingly a problem among young adult women (age 18 to 25), not minor teenage girls in high school. Only 13.17 percent of out-of-wedlock hirths occur to girls under 18. In fact, more out-of-wedlock births occur to women age thirty and over, than to minor teenage girls.
The decline in marriage among young adult women has been accompanied by a rapid increase in sexual activity outside marriage. Some 79 percent of non-married women aged 20 to 24 report sexual activity within the prior year.2 Similar rates of sexual activity occur among non-married women aged 25 to 35. Overall, some 10 to 15 percent of coitus between non-married partners occurs without birth control protection.3
The conventional image is that out-of-wedlock births are largely the result of accidental pregnancy. In fact, nearly half of all illegitimate births are the result of an intended pregnancy; 34 percent are the result of a pregnancy that occurred earlier than the mother wished, and only 14 percent are the result of a pregnancy that was completely unwanted.
There is a strong tendency toward repeat out-ofwedlock births. Roughly half of all illegitimate births are not first births, but are second, third or even later births to the mother.
Most out-of-wedlock births do not occur as a result of ephemeral sexual encounters between near strangers. In fact, nearly forty percent of all out-of-wedlock births occur to women who are cohabiting with an adult male, who in most cases is the newborn's father. Regrettably, these cohabiting rclationships are unstable and generally dissolve within a few years rather than evolving into marriage.

Another key factor in determining whether a woman will have a child out-of- wedlock is religious belief and practice. Regular church attendance cuts the probability of having a child out-of-wedlock roughly in half.

Father Absence, Poverty, and Welfare Dependence

The most obvious consequences of the rising tide of illegitimacy and disappearance of fathers are: welfare dependence and child poverty. The National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY) data gives a nationally representative sample of young mothers and their children. These children can be divided into four groups:

1. Out-of-wedlock-Never Married: Children born out-of-wedlock whose mother has never married alter the birth of the child;

2. Out-of-wedlock-Subsequent Marriage: Children born out of wedlock whose mother marries subsequent to the child's birth;

3. Within Wedlock-Divorced: Children born to married parents who later divorce;

4. Within Wedlock-Marriage Intact: Children born to parents who were married at the time of birth and remained married.
The amount of time can be seen since birth that a child has lived in poverty for the four different categories of children. Children born out-of-wedlock to never married women are poor fifty-one percent of the time. By contrast children born within a marriage which remains intact are poor 7 percent of the time. Thus the absence ofmar riage increases the frequency of child poverty 700 percent. However, marriage alter an illegitimate birth is again relatively effective, cutting the child poverty rate in half.

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