Last Modified: 2011-07-18
- 86% of single-parent families headed by mother
- Kids 2x as likely to drop out of high school with single parent
- Emphasize play, helps kids regulate emotions
- Fathers help children learn about male/female relationships by watching
- Bad effects: girls tend to be more sexually active; boys have “problems” in area of sex role and gender development identity; children more likely to be abused by stepfather
- (Blankenhorn: Stepfathers can be a reminder of fatherlessness)
- Transition to individualized marriage - expressive individualism
- Negative effects on kids: sexual intercourse at an earlier age, stepparent is stressful for families- 76% think family ties are breaking down, 82% say own family ties aren’t
- Personal choice benefits: more egalitarian, allowed wives to be employed and be in home
- Costs: children must deal with changes parents make; children end up being more delinquent
- How did this happen? Marriage was always more fragile than it seemed; was designed for an environment of scarcity
- Why retreat from marriage? Increasing economic independence of women, generosity of welfare (if single), declining pool of marriageable men
- Early childbirth common because childlessness = unbearable; want to make meaning out of lives
- “I’m not going to make promises I can’t keep” – for marriage
Gay and Lesbian FamiliesNo significant differences between “normal” children and children raised by gay parents on any level.
Barbara Whitehead – Life Without Children & Dismantling Divorce Culture
- Connection between marriage and parenthood has weakened (births out of wedlock, cohabitation, higher divorce rates)- Widespread divorce has generated greater economic insecurity and poverty among women/children
- Divorce has enormous consequences for children (school, learning)o Has contributed to welfare dependency
- Dual incomes are necessary
- Working women are healthier- Shrinks gender roles
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