Wednesday, July 29, 2020

National Tragedy--US Has Most Single Parent Homes In World

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A Pew Research survey has found that 23% of US children are living with a single parent.

The number of single-parent homes are on the rise. So are births outside of marriage.

Sadly, marriage rates are also in decline.

Does this connect to the mayhem we are experiencing in our country? Absolutely.

Be informed, not misled.

What Pew found.

Pew says, "For decades, the share of US children living with a single parent has been rising, accompanied by a decline in marriage rates and a rise in births outside of marriage.

The survey of 130 countries and territories shows that the United States has the world's highest rate of children (under age 18) living in single-parent households in the world---23%---more than 3 times the average share of the rest of the world which is 7%.

China has 3%. Nigeria has 4%, and India 5%. Canada has 15%.

The reasons behind this trend are not clear because there seems to be a number of factors.

Here's what I found in the survey.

For example. Children in European countries are less likely than the US to live in single-parent households, but more likely than in Asia.

The UK is 21%, France 16% and Germany has 12% of homes with one parent.

The survey shows that it is less common in the US for children to live with relatives (8%) compared to the rest of the world's average of 38% of children who live with relatives.

In Asia, for example, elder members of the family have traditionally moved in with their grown children for care and help in their later years. This affects the numbers in the survey.

Clearly, there are cultural differences that come to bear on how families live in various parts of the world, but should America lead in single-parent households?

Some US groups are weighing in on these findings.

Glenn T. Stanton, director of family formation studies at Focus on the Family calls this information "disturbing", adding that "largely those in the lower half of the socio-economic scale live in single-parent homes and have babies out of wedlock."

Stanton called the study a "national tragedy," noting that it has been a problem for a while.

He said:
"These numbers are growing dramatically for the high school educated and declining for those with college and advanced degrees. This means that the kinds of families they are forming will serve to trap them in the underclass, making it nearly impossible to climb to higher social rungs."

The National Center for Fathering has done extensive studies on the effect of fatherlessness in America over the past 20 years.

They have found that most single-parent homes are fatherless homes, with more than 20 million children living in a home without the physical presence of a father. Millions more have dads who are physically present, but emotionally absent.

If it were classified as a disease, it would be an epidemic.

Note that some of their findings are more recent than others. However, the trends continue as Pew discovered.

Some of their findings:

  • An estimated 24.7 million children (33%) live absent from their biological fathers.
  • Of students in grades 1 through 12, 39% (17.7 million) live in homes absent their biological fathers.
  • 57.6% of black children, 31.2% of Hispanic children, and 20% of white children are living absent their biological fathers.
  • In 2012, 24.4% of children lived with their mother only. In 1960, 8% lived with their mother only.
  • In the most recent census available (2010) 48.5% of black children lived without a father present, 26% of Hispanics, and 18% of white kids lived with their mother only.

The plight of the "fatherless."

Studies have found that children raised without a father are:

  • At a higher risk of having behavioral problems.
  • Four times more likely to live in poverty.
  • More likely to be incarcerated in their lifetime.
  • Twice as likely to never graduate high school.
  • At seven times higher risk of teen pregnancy.
  • More vulnerable to abuse and neglect.
  • More likely to abuse drugs and alcohol.
  • Twice as likely to be obese.

The takeaway.

The biblical model for marriage is the best model. To the degree we abandon that model, to that degree we suffer.

How might our country be better today, if we embraced God's model for marriage and family?

What if biological fathers did the right thing and stood up like a man and invested themselves in the lives of their children---along with the mothers?

What if black lives really did matter to their daddies? And white and brown and all lives to their fathers?

To dad's who are struggling, remember the importance of your role. It's not about being perfect, but being present.

Be Informed. Be Discerning. Be Vigilant. Be Faithful. Be Prayerful.