Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Perils of Single Parent Homes

When a couple decides to stay together for the children, it seems that they have a point. Children do better when they grow up in a two parent home. Divorce and single-parenthood make a socialization more difficult.

This does not mean that divorce is always bad or that single parents, most often, single mothers, are less than capable and loving. It does mean that in most cases single-parenthood is a significant impediment to a child's development.

This issue is incendiary. Many have debated it vigorously, myself included. I made some remarks about it in my book Saving Face.

Yesterday, I ran across an interesting and cogent article on the topic by Nobel Prize winning economist Gary Becker. Link here. Gary Becker is always worth reading, and his post on the way single parenthood and divorce affect children will surely be of interest to those who are concerned about these questions.

As Becker explains, the problem with divorce and single mothers is, especially for boys, the absence of a father, that is, the absence of a male authority figure. Apparently, proper socialization for males requires that a father be present in the home. Without such a presence boys are more likely to join gangs, commit crimes, and indulge acts of excessive rebelliousness.

1 comment:

RileyD, nwJ said...

For an even more politically incorrect viewpoint read Daniel Amneus's Back to Patriarchy.

Yes, divorce is to be avoided if at all possible. However, if divorce has to occur, the children, both male and female, fare better with a single father than a single mother.

Standard caveats apply - this is simply a statistical fact. It does not mean there are terrible fathers who should not be raising their children nor does it mean there are not mothers who are fully capable of raising their children.

To review the bidding - most favorable circumstances for children:
1 - married parents/mother & father
2 - divorced single father
3 - divorced single mother
A person may not like the facts, but one should have to deal with them.

RileyD, nwJ