The report, titled “The Demise of the Happy Two-Parent Home” and produced by the Social Capital Project of the Joint Economic Committee Republicans, dealt with our nation’s crumbling infrastructure in its own way: the American family and how its decay has infected all aspects of society.
The report states, “As sources of social capital, few relationships are as important as the family ties between parents and children.” Yet according to the congressional report, more than 45 percent of American children, by the time they reach late adolescence, spend some time without either a mother or a father in the home.
Eighty percent of black children are raised by a single parent, as well as two-thirds of all children whose mothers have less than a high school education. More than half of Hispanic births are out of wedlock, as are 28 percent of Caucasian births, up from 2 percent in 1960.
Marriage — which provides economic and social stability to both men and women and a loving, nurturing home for children — is in serious decline. According to the report, the percentage of women between the ages of 15 and 44 who are married has declined from 71 percent in 1962 to just 42 percent today. Meanwhile, the percentage of never-married women between the ages of 30 and 34 has gone from just over 5 percent in 1962 to 35 percent in 2019.
Another startling statistic is that cohabitation now precedes two-thirds of all marriages, compared to just 1 percent 60 years ago. This has contributed to the staggering increases in unwed childbearing, with only 5 percent of children in 1962 being born to an unwed mother and 40 percent today being born to an unmarried female.
The rates for minority families are even more alarming: 64 percent of black women in their early 30s have never been married, resulting in the staggering 80 percent of black children being raised by a single parent. That is why so many young men in our inner cities never know who their father is — or in some cases do not even have a relationship with their mother. Many of these children are raising themselves. If there was ever a cocktail for societal rage, that’s it.
Given the fact that nearly every study shows children do best in stable, two-parent homes — which makes them less apt to experience physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, less likely to live in poverty, and more likely to have better health, exhibit less aggression, and do better educationally — is it any wonder that with the breakdown of the family, we are seeing increasing numbers of directionless and destructive young adults?