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The FFCWS now constitutes the most extensive, long-term database on the family lives of the urban poor we’ve ever had, and the dismal picture that it paints of low-income, unmarried couples and their children has nothing to do with the Great Recession.
One of the study’s most surprising initial findings was that the large majority–80%–of poor, unmarried couples were romantically involved at the time of their child’s birth. In fact, 50% of the couples were living together. Fathers almost always visited the mothers and children in the hospital and usually gave financial support. Even better, most of these new parents said that there was a 50/50 chance that they would eventually marry each other. They spoke highly of their partners’ commitment to their children and of their supportiveness.
But within five years, a tiny 15% of the unmarried couples had actually taken wedding vows, while a whopping 60% had split up. At the five-year mark, only 36% of the children lived with their fathers, and half of the other 64% hadn’t seen their dads in the last month. Onehalf [sic] to two-thirds of the absent fathers provided little or no financial support.We don't want to be unkind or judgemental about children being conceived, born, and raised out of wedlock. But we should at least face facts. And a little bit of societal disapproval is probably in order. At the very least we should stop painting single-parenting as some kind of noble, courageous endeavour worthy of admiration. (Some women deserve our highest admiration -- they were widowed; their husband ran off with someone -- but I doubt most single mothers fall into this category today.)
The Fragile Families kids growing up with single mothers have more behaviour problems than those with two parents; those problems worsen with every “transition,” that is, every new relationship and breakup. There’s even evidence that instability affects children’s cognitive performance. Worst of all, children growing up with a boyfriend or stepdad in the house are at greater risk of abuse, a fact horribly demonstrated in Brooklyn recently when two-year-old Aiyden Davis died as a result of his mother’s boyfriend’s beatings.Kids were better off when Canada (and the US) were functioning Christian countries. The liberties we have granted ourselves are for our (supposed) benefit, not kids.
A good God gave us marriage as a constraint on sexual behaviour so kids could be raised knowing the love of their mother and father and so both women and men could enjoy emotional security and true intimacy.
We've let God know what we think of his arrangement.