December 26, 2012

FORWARD! Fathers disappear from households across America; Big increase in single mothers. “In every state, the portion of families where children have two parents, rather than one, has dropped significantly over the past decade. Even as the country added 160,000 families with children, the number of two-parent households decreased by 1.2 million. Fifteen million U.S. children, or 1 in 3, live without a father, and nearly 5 million live without a mother. In 1960, just 11 percent of American children lived in homes without fathers.”

UPDATE: A reader emails:

Regarding your link to the Washington Times article about disappearing fathers: Note how the language has changed. We used to have words like “widow,” “divorcee,” and “unwed mother,” in descending order of opprobrium. Assuming a woman still has children at home, “single mother” has now replaced all three terms.

The most interesting aspect of this language shift: “single mother” is the new “widow.” Like the widow of a generation ago, the single mother is assumed to be a) virtuous (we don’t ask how she got to be a single mother), b) needy (so Jenny McCarthy can identify with her fellow single mothers who are poor and unknown), and c) totally alone (we rarely ask where’s the dad).

Language follows culture, and this example shows it.

Interesting. Of course, without all those single mothers our demographic collapse would probably be worse. . . .