April 2014

All the Single Ladies

PaigeThe number of children living in single-parent homes has nearly doubled since 1960, according to data from the 2010 Census. Having children out of wedlock is the new norm in today’s society. According to article in the New York Times by Jason Deparle and Sabrina Tavernise, more than half of births to American women under 30 occur outside marriage.

Why is that? Women aren’t marrying as much as past decades. With the rise of women empowerment, women are able to do things they once relied on man for. Since women can now work and provide for themselves, easier than past years there are more independent women. Women today are focused on self-success, and have less time for monogamy. People with college degrees are considered degree, and upper class people are more likely to marry.

Studies from the Fatherless Generation showed that fatherlessness has a major negative impact on the social and emotional development of children. These children are more likely to engage in illegal behavior because of lack of affection, attention, and monitoring. The children are affected from the lack of economic and parental resources available to the children. Most children living with single parents are economically disadvantaged. According to the US Census Beau, half of single mother families have an annual income less than $25,000. Median income for single mother families ($25,353) is only one third the median for married couple families ($78,699). While married couples with children enjoy an average income of $80,000, single mothers average only $24,000. It is difficult for poor single parents to afford the books, home computers, and private lessons that make it easier for their children to succeed in school. Similarly, they cannot afford clothes, shoes, cell phones, and other consumer goods that give their children status among their peers. Moreover, many live in rundown neighborhoods with high crime rates, low-quality schools, and few community services.

Children from single-parent homes have less monitoring because the mother is always at work. Children without fathers are much more likely to grow up in poverty. Mothers are the breadwinners in these households, so that leaves the child home alone with time to their selves to do anything they want. It’s hard to provide for a household making the minimal. In some cases these children need attention that they are lacking because of the lack of affection received by the hard working parent. Unattended girls are more likely to engage in sex earlier than girls that were raised with fathers, according to a study by Bruce Ellis of the University of Arizona.

Being raised by a strong and resourceful single mother, I must say I’ve turned out ok. Sure in grade school I had times where I made unusual outburst that sent me to the counselor office. However I didn’t let those things hinder me from getting my act together and going to college to receive my degree. My life is proof that single-parent homes turn out fine. However there always been a question I always ask myself. What if I had both parents?

Due to these unfortunate circumstances these children encounter hinder them from prospering. The girls end up having children and the guys end up in legal trouble. This repetitive problem is why African Americans lead in poverty. Who’s to blame? The decline of marriage among poor and working-class Americans is partly a consequence of changes in the American economy. The change in culture is also the blame. Today’s society support “Single Ladies” women are more independent and okay with being single.

-Paige Anderson