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February 21, 2006

The Breakdown of the Nuclear Family

In 6 years, if all trends continue, half the babies born in the UK will be to unmarried mothers. As "progressive" as the UK has been at, among other things, de-emphasizing religious and moral values, this may be a shock, but it's no surprise.

The number of births outside wedlock exceeds 50 per cent in some parts, including Wales. In the North East, it was 54.1 per cent last year.

In London, where a higher proportion of young mothers are Muslims who adhere to more conservative family values, a third of children were born outside marriage.

Now comes the common sense, but is anyone listening?
The figures have alarmed family campaigners, who say the collapse of marriage could have a serious impact on social structures.

They say that most of the statistical evidence suggests that children brought up by married parents do better than those raised by cohabiting couples or lone parents.

This, of course, will be used by "progressives" to further the idea that same-sex marriage is the answer to this dilemma, but this arrangement is little better than a single parent family, as well-rounded children need both a male and female influence. (Here's the report on one study, but there are many more.) The commitment in a "same-sex marriage" is better than none, of course, but as the report notes, there is far more that children need than that.

What we have is a slippery slope. While each person or group moving us down may not be working in concert with anyone else farther up the slope, the effect in any case is to have an incremental push over the course of a couple generations to the liberal side of the spectrum. In order to really make "same-sex marriage" palpable to a majority of people, you have to find a reason for redefining a term that has endured for millennia. Out-of-wedlock births fits that bill, but in order to do that, you have to break down the traditional taboos and mainstream extramarital sexual activity. In order to do that, you have to erode the religious traditions of the country (and sometimes you get the churches to help in that regard, unfortunately).

What it amounts to is the classic entrepreneurial action of creating a need and then filling it. Unfortunately, as people have continued to accept more and more liberal values during this process, countless lives have been destroyed. But with each slip, the proposed "solution" was always sold as being better than what came before. Instead, more and more lives are ruined. I predict that the next "solution" will bring about even worse results.

Campaigners and Church leaders have accused politicians of marginalizing marriage by undermining its legal and financial privileges and shying away from promoting it above other types of family.

Labour abolished the last tax break for married couples, the Married Couples' Allowance, while its tax credit system is said to favour single-parent families.

Ann Widdecombe, a former Tory Home Office minister, said: "After the death of the extended family, we are now seeing the death of the nuclear family.

"The long-term consequences are bad for everyone. A well-ordered society is based on the bedrock of marriage, otherwise we will have increasing social disruption."

The real solution is to go back to what worked, and worked well. Unfortunately, this may take further generations. In the meantime, the slippery slope is further littered with the lives of those who believed in the new "solutions".

Posted by Doug at February 21, 2006 12:54 PM

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"The real solution is to go back to what worked, and worked well."

How do you propose to do that?

Posted by: s9 at February 21, 2006 04:23 PM

Time machine. Sometime post-McCarthy but pre-Jim Crow?

"The Past is the textbook of tyrants; the Future the Bible of the Free. Those who are solely governed by the Past stand like Lot's wife, crystallized in the act of looking backward, and forever incapable of looking before."

~Herman Melville, White Jacket

[I'm being sarcastic, but of course, the breakdown of families is a matter of concern to us all.]

Posted by: Dan Trabue at February 21, 2006 11:34 PM

You forgot to mention these studies from the APA and Journal of Epidemiology and Community Heath ... but I suppose these are just a little too scientific for you.

Posted by: Pat at February 22, 2006 07:36 PM