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For Women Under 30, Most Births Occur Outside Marriage
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. 
Once largely limited to poor women and minorities, motherhood without  marriage has settled deeply into middle America. The fastest growth in  the last two decades has occurred among white women in their 20s who  have some college education but no four-year degree, according to Child  Trends, a Washington research group that analyzed government data.
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. 
One group still largely resists the trend: college graduates, who  overwhelmingly marry before having children. That is turning family  structure into a new class divide, with the economic and social rewards  of marriage increasingly reserved for people with the most education.
“Marriage has become a luxury good,” said Frank Furstenberg, a sociologist at the University of Pennsylvania.
The shift is affecting children’s lives. Researchers have consistently  found that children born outside marriage face elevated risks of falling  into poverty, failing in school or suffering emotional and behavioral problems. 
The forces rearranging the family are as diverse as globalization and  the pill. Liberal analysts argue that shrinking paychecks have thinned  the ranks of marriageable men, while conservatives often say that the  sexual revolution reduced the incentive to wed and that safety net  programs discourage marriage.
…
Large racial differences remain: 73 percent of black children are born outside marriage, compared with  53 percent of Latinos and 29 percent of whites. And educational  differences are growing. About 92 percent of college-educated women are  married when they give birth, compared with 62 percent of women with  some post-secondary schooling and 43 percent of women with a high school  diploma or less, according to Child Trends.
Almost all of the rise in nonmarital births has occurred among couples  living together. While in some countries such relationships endure at  rates that resemble marriages, in the United States they are more than  twice as likely to dissolve than marriages. In a summary of research, Pamela Smock and Fiona Rose Greenland,  both of the University of Michigan, reported that two-thirds of couples  living together split up by the time their child turned 10. 
…
Other [women] noted that if they married, their official household income would  rise, which could cost them government benefits like food stamps and  child care. W. Bradford Wilcox, a sociologist at the University of  Virginia, said other government policies, like no-fault divorce, signaled that “marriage is not as fundamental to society” as it once was.
Even as many Americans withdraw from marriage, researchers say, they  expect more from it: emotional fulfillment as opposed merely to  practical support. “Family life is no longer about playing the social  role of father or husband or wife, it’s more about individual  satisfaction and self-development,” said Andrew Cherlin, a sociologist at Johns Hopkins University.
Money helps explain why well-educated Americans still marry at high  rates: they can offer each other more financial support, and hire others  to do chores that prompt conflict. But some researchers argue that  educated men have also been quicker than their blue-collar peers to give  women equal authority. “They are more willing to play the partner  role,” said Sara McLanahan, a Princeton sociologist.
Reviewing the academic literature, Susan L. Brown of Bowling Green State  University recently found that children born to married couples, on  average, “experience better education, social, cognitive and behavioral  outcomes.” 
*Click above to read the full article

For Women Under 30, Most Births Occur Outside Marriage

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.

Once largely limited to poor women and minorities, motherhood without marriage has settled deeply into middle America. The fastest growth in the last two decades has occurred among white women in their 20s who have some college education but no four-year degree, according to Child Trends, a Washington research group that analyzed government data.

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.

One group still largely resists the trend: college graduates, who overwhelmingly marry before having children. That is turning family structure into a new class divide, with the economic and social rewards of marriage increasingly reserved for people with the most education.

Marriage has become a luxury good,” said Frank Furstenberg, a sociologist at the University of Pennsylvania.

The shift is affecting children’s lives. Researchers have consistently found that children born outside marriage face elevated risks of falling into poverty, failing in school or suffering emotional and behavioral problems.

The forces rearranging the family are as diverse as globalization and the pill. Liberal analysts argue that shrinking paychecks have thinned the ranks of marriageable men, while conservatives often say that the sexual revolution reduced the incentive to wed and that safety net programs discourage marriage.

Large racial differences remain: 73 percent of black children are born outside marriage, compared with 53 percent of Latinos and 29 percent of whites. And educational differences are growing. About 92 percent of college-educated women are married when they give birth, compared with 62 percent of women with some post-secondary schooling and 43 percent of women with a high school diploma or less, according to Child Trends.

Almost all of the rise in nonmarital births has occurred among couples living together. While in some countries such relationships endure at rates that resemble marriages, in the United States they are more than twice as likely to dissolve than marriages. In a summary of research, Pamela Smock and Fiona Rose Greenland, both of the University of Michigan, reported that two-thirds of couples living together split up by the time their child turned 10.

Other [women] noted that if they married, their official household income would rise, which could cost them government benefits like food stamps and child care. W. Bradford Wilcox, a sociologist at the University of Virginia, said other government policies, like no-fault divorce, signaled that “marriage is not as fundamental to society” as it once was.

Even as many Americans withdraw from marriage, researchers say, they expect more from it: emotional fulfillment as opposed merely to practical support. “Family life is no longer about playing the social role of father or husband or wife, it’s more about individual satisfaction and self-development,” said Andrew Cherlin, a sociologist at Johns Hopkins University.

Money helps explain why well-educated Americans still marry at high rates: they can offer each other more financial support, and hire others to do chores that prompt conflict. But some researchers argue that educated men have also been quicker than their blue-collar peers to give women equal authority. “They are more willing to play the partner role,” said Sara McLanahan, a Princeton sociologist.

Reviewing the academic literature, Susan L. Brown of Bowling Green State University recently found that children born to married couples, on average, “experience better education, social, cognitive and behavioral outcomes.”

*Click above to read the full article

Filed under children marriage pregnancy pregnant divorce shift divorce rate child trends marriage marry feminism feminist family classism racism effects government social social roles society mother father marriage rates education

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    This is one of those, “Well, duh!” articles, but it’s still helpful to see some statistics about it. Doesn’t really...
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