Friday, March 20, 2009

Sad news for children this week

Two studies were released this week that are bad news for the children of the United States of America. We learned that 40% of all children born in 2007 in the USA were born to an unmarried mother. And we learned that children raised by lesbian couples are twice as likely to be raised in poverty than those raised by heterosexual married couples.

The study with the numbers on births to unwed mothers comes from the National Center for Health Statistics. The New York Times reported on the racial and ethnic breakdown:
Racial and ethnic differences remain large: 28 percent of white babies were born to unmarried mothers in 2007, compared with 51 percent of Hispanic babies and 72 percent of black babies. The shares of births to unwed mothers among whites and Hispanics have climbed faster than the share among blacks, but from lower starting points.

The AP story on the study results skipped those statistics and got a quote a Professor from Emory University, Dr. Carol Hogue:
Cultural attitudes may be a more likely explanation. Morgan noted the pregnancy of Bristol Palin, the unmarried teen daughter of former GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. The young woman had a baby boy in December, and plans for a wedding with the father, Levi Johnston, were scrapped.

"She's the poster child for what you do when you get pregnant now," Morgan said.

But shouldn't the "poster child" be a black woman given the much greater percent of black children born out of wedlock? Maybe that is why AP skipped giving those statistics. And the study was based on 2007 birth certificates, and nobody had heard of Bristol Palin in 2007, let alone 2006, when many of those 2007 babies were conceived. And Bristol's baby was born in late 2008. I think the AP reporter was just using this as an excuse to get in another dig at the Palins. Why didn't he interview someone who would talk about the Octo-mom or lesbian unwed mothers?

Which leads me to the study with the high poverty rate for children raised by lesbian couples, titled Poverty in the Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Community comes from UCLA's Williams Institute. The study intention is to support the push for gay marriage. But it seems to me that it undermines the claim that lesbians are such good parents. Lesbians chose parenthood while children are the natural result of heterosexual couple sexual behavior. So, I have to wonder why lesbians are choosing to have children that they will be raising in poverty.


karl.rosenqvist said...

Yep .. all studies show that married, white, christian, heterosexual males are far better off than the rest of us.

Am I the only one who thinks this is unfair and possibly the result of a social norm which discriminates in favour of an extreme minority?

Robert said...

Karl, do you have studies showing that this (somewhat gerrymandered) sector has what it has as a result of partially administered distributions from the government? If not, then who, exactly, is being unfair or discriminating?

Yes, indeed, you are right that there is a difference, but the difference is the result of different life-expectations and different sets of options and life skills having been taught those who now have the "edge."

Is there any work being done to research how they got smart in the ways they did, so that others may profit ? Remember that if all prosper by their own achievement then the whole society benefits. If, however, those who achieve the most are taxed punitively for their success, what is to keep them, or their children, from leaving the market place and finding a way to "get theirs" at the dole lines with everybody else? Take a close look at the condition of modern Russia, even today, or at England, where a growing "dole class" is populating the estates with mobs of knife-wielding, idle, youth while the "workies" struggle for survival.

In the name of "redistribution" the rich suffer, the poor suffer, and the government winds up with a shrinking production base to tax and a growing cadre of police, prison staff, and social technicians to pay to keep some semblance of order. Is this the utopia you long for?