The single-mother revolution shouldn't need much introduction. It started in the 1960s when the nation began to sever the historical connection between marriage and childbearing and to turn single motherhood and the fatherless family into a viable, even welcome, arrangement for children and for society. The reasons for the shift were many, including the sexual revolution, a powerful strain of anti-marriage feminism and a "super bug" of American individualism that hit the country in the 1960s and '70s.Some people argue that it is not so bad that America is abolishing marriage, because Europe is also. But America is replacing the two-parent household with lone motherhood, and Europe is not doing that.
In its broad outlines, the story is familiar by now. In 1965, 93% of all American births were to women with marriage licenses. Over the next few decades, the percentage of babies with no father around rose steadily. As of 1970, 11% of births were to unmarried mothers; by 1990, that number had risen to 28%. Today, 41% of all births are to unmarried women. And for mothers under 30, the rate is 53%.
Though other Western countries also concluded that it was OK for the unmarried to have kids, what they had in mind as the substitute for marriage was something similar to it: a stable arrangement in which two partners, cohabiting over the long term, would raise their children together. The embrace of "lone motherhood" — women bringing up kids with no dad around — has been an American specialty.
She has more detail in this City Journal article on American family breakdown.
The LA Times had a bunch of good comments such as:
Daniel Bryant at 5:40 PM June 04, 2012: Sure. This brilliant sobriquet of profound insight from the same lib mindset that tells us men don't matter, abortion is a good thing to have and babies can be dropped off at fire stations without consequence.And this:
Men pay child support, but women can abort with or without his concent.
Men are jailed for failure to support kids they love and can only see when a COURT says it's 'OK."
Women, you've got EXACTLY what you've always wanted.
Just wait until you are drafted for war, THEN you'll curse the day Gloria Steinem was born.
Andrew Paquette at 3:01 PM June 4, 2012: I can vouch for your last comment from my own experience. My mother left my father so that--as she told my sister and I many times--she could be a free and independent woman. She had many marriage proposals from stable men, but rejected them all in favor of this lifestyle choice, one which could not fairly be blamed on the men around her. Some were not good people, but this wasn't true of all of them, some of whom were kind, generous, and reliable. None were acceptable for various reasons, but ultimately it came down to a choice that was not forced by circumstances.