17 Jan Myth Buster Monday: The bulk of unwed births are to teens
We regularly read of the need for more sex education in our schools in an effort to avoid teen pregnancy. Shows like Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant garner lots of attention and add to the perception that the biggest problem with out-wedlock-child bearing can be found at your local high school. The reality is, however, that teens account for about 23 percent of all out-of-wedlock births with sixty percent of those unmarried teen births to women who are 18 or 19. These are certainly not numbers we should be content with, but it is worth knowing that the unmarried teen birth rate has been falling slowly over the last two decades.
The majority of unwed births in this country are to unmarried mothers in their twenties, with the greatest increase in the number of unwed births (2008-2009) occurring to women between the ages of 30 and 34.
Maggie Gallagher, in her publication “The Age of Unwed mothers, argues: “What has changed most in recent decades is not who gets pregnant, but who gets married.” Gallagher has written extensively about the growing disconnect between marriage and childbearing, the cultural attitudes that foster it and the damage to society that ensues.
I was getting ready to regale you with all of the statistics of the consequences to children because of the epidemic of out-of-wedlock child bearing, when I ran across this short article that just does too good of job of making my point. So I’m passing it on to you. It’s an older article (2008) but it’s absolutely worth the read and comes from a publication that might surprise you: