Friday, October 28, 2005

More Bad News...

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, 35% of all American babies--more than one in every three--were born out of wedlock last year, an all-time record.

While the AP article notes (correctly) that teenage girls today account for fewer illegitimate births, the overall picture is hardly encouraging. There are well-established links between out-of-wedlock births and various social pathologies, including higher drop-out rates, and increased risks for juvenile crime. The AP notes that many children born to unmarried mothers are the product of existing "partnerships" between the women and their boyfriends. However, the wire service fails to report that many of those relationships are short-lived, and children born between a single woman and her "shack-up stud" (to use Dr. Laura Schlesinger's term) are also at higher risk for poverty, violence and other social ills.

Or, to cite often-used statistics, consider the apparent impact of illegitimacy on the nation's African-American community. In 1960, about one in four black children were born out of wedlock. Since that time--and for a variety of reasons--marriage has seemingly been discarded by significant numbers of African-Americans, and illegitimacy rates have soared; today, more than two-thirds of all black children are born out of wedlock, and many of them are raised in single-parent homes by their mothers. The results of this trend have been disasterous, and are reflected in higher rates for youth crime, gang activity, and dropping out school.

Lest we forget, African-Americans represent only 13% of the nation's population. When illegitimacy rates among White and Hispanic Americans reach 70% (and they're on the way), our society is finished, plain and simple.

On a day when the Libby indictment dominates the headlines, this is the story that deserves national attention. This is very bad news, indeed.

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