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According to the best available sociological evidence, children fare best according to virtually every indicator examined when reared by their wedded biological parents.
But it turns out that it's mom who is being careless and gets pregnant by her married lover--and she tries to hide it from her daughter. Yes, it's a Lifetime movie, but a single mom's sex life isn't safe from these types of issues.
Call it guilt, but you can also chalk it up to the fact that there's often no time to do grocery shopping let alone meet a man you want to sleep with. "I have one day a week where I go out with my girl friends," one divorced mom of two kids under five (who chooses to remain anonymous) shares.
"The kids are with their dad on Fridays and Saturdays, so those are my 'single' days.
Wilcox reports that “35 percent of girls in the United States whose fathers left before age 6 became pregnant as teenagers, that 10 percent of girls in the United States whose fathers left them between the ages of 6 and 18 became pregnant as teenagers, and that only 5 percent of girls whose fathers stayed with them throughout childhood became pregnant.” Would you rather have a 35- or a 5-percent chance of becoming a teenage mom? Children in single-parent families, children born to unmarried mothers, and children in stepfamilies or cohabiting relationships face higher risks of poor outcomes. When parents are unable to care for their children, someone has to step in, and that “someone” is often the state. And it’s not simply a historical matter—it manifests itself in our daily lives.
Social science confirms the importance of marriage for children. By encouraging the marriage norms of monogamy, sexual exclusivity and permanence, the state strengthens civil society and reduces its own role. And the sociological evidence presented here, and in my new book, shows why marriage as the union of husband and wife matters.
Simon Senior Research Fellow in American Principles and Public Policy at The Heritage Foundation, where he researches and writes about marriage, bioethics, religious liberty and political philosophy. The essay is an excerpt from my new book, “Truth Overruled: The Future of Marriage and Religious Freedom.” In the book, I argue on the basis of philosophy, social science and public policy that the judicial redefinition of marriage will have negative consequences for our country.