Dr. Helen

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

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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