There\’ll be huffing and puffing about this

The demise of the traditional family set-up is continuing despite growing evidence that children suffer when they are not raised by a married mother and father.

Data published by the Office for National Statistics show that in 2007, 44.4 per cent of live births were outside marriage.

The proportion is the highest on record, up from 43.7 per cent the previous year, and has risen from just 9 per cent in 1976, when illegitimacy was taboo.

It may be that children suffer but there\’s not a great deal that can be done about it.

This is a side effect of womens\’ economic emancipation.

It used to be, was for most of our species\’ time on earth, that it was economically necessary to have two parents. The tasks of feeding children plus two parents took the full labour of those two parents. This is no longer true and it\’s something that has happened in these recent decades. It\’s entirely possible for a woman to bear and raise a child or children entirely off the back of her own working efforts. Not easy, perhaps not as good for the child as the task being shared. but widely and generally possible now.

And no, it\’s not entirely the welfare state either.

Given that this is so, that the rise in the illegitimacy rate (actually, it seems slightly odd to be even calling it that now, it has something of an old fashioned ring to it) is a result of economic emancipation, attempts to reverse it will, at least Ithink so, have to reverse that very emancipation.

Which isn\’t something I would expect anyone to want to do nor do Ithink it wise to try.

Celebrate the liberty and put up with the side effects.

2 comments on “There\’ll be huffing and puffing about this

  1. “Celebrate the liberty and put up with the side effects”

    What liberty? Oh, the liberty for some. Although I think it is really only women who become politicians or who are high-flying in some other endeavour, who see the ability – more likely necessity – of going to work as an unalloyed good and an extension of their liberty.

    And the side effects? The diminution of the quality of liberty for others (the children).

  2. Also one might suggest the liberty at question is the liberty to choose to positively affect the quality of (the parents) life. While at one end of the scale we have delightful 15 year old mums there are other cases there as well, the misery involved in unworkable relationships, those who have left abusive partners, etc. Is miserable Mum better than happy Mum as long as she stays with the father?

    Liberty of the children is not necessarily diminished by single parent families and therein lies the problem, given the ability to make choices some individuals, probably lots of individuals, will make bad ones.

    But I’d suggest that taking away that choice is not the solution, we might want to look at issues like education (the real stuff how to think, assess, etc rather than the ability to select from multiple choice.)

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