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Dr. Helen

“It used to be called illegitimacy. Now it is the new normal.”

February 18th, 2012 - 8:05 am

The New York Times has an article on the large increase in illegitimate births to women under 30 (via Newsalert):

LORAIN, Ohio — It used to be called illegitimacy. Now it is the new normal. After steadily rising for five decades, the share of children born to unmarried women has crossed a threshold: more than half of births to American women under 30 occur outside marriage. …

Among mothers of all ages, a majority — 59 percent in 2009 — are married when they have children. But the surge of births outside marriage among younger women — nearly two-thirds of children in the United States are born to mothers under 30 — is both a symbol of the transforming family and a hint of coming generational change.

The article has an interview with one woman who said that her pregnancies were “unplanned and a byproduct of relationships lacking commitment.” The article mentions that men are “worth less” since their earnings are not as good as they used to be and women are earning more. I wonder how this will play out in the courts? Will more men, especially poor ones end up in jail as a result of not being able to support these kids or will women simply pick up the slack?

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