(Teen) Marriage is not a universal solution to pregnancy out of wedlock
"Tell a girl who is a teenager planning to marry, to wait until her 20s." Michael Bramlett, co-author, First Marriage Dissolution, Divorce, and Remarriage Should teenage girls who become pregnant be encouraged to marry? What might the effects be on a young woman, on her child, or on the child's father? What do we know about how teen marriage patterns vary with age, race, and other factors?
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Some young women are better off not marrying and raising their child with their family
"80 percent of teen births are out-of-wedlock and 50 percent of non-marital first births are to teens (and it is these first births that are driving the increase in out-of-wedlock childbearing)."
Most teenagers choose not to marry when pregnant, partly because parents of the girl are concerned that the teenage boy that impregnated their daughter may not be right for her. Or that allowing a teenage marriage under these circumstances can create the same issues as child marriage, teenagers are simply too young to marry and take on the responsibilities of marriage and parenting, all by themselves. [[http://www.ucg.org/christian-living/what-does-it-take-be-successful-single-parent/]]
In ethnic minority groups there are added concerns that young men only get young women pregnant to give them no option but to marry, and be forced to live in penury for the rest of their lives.
"The gorgeous 16-year-old daughter of Sarah seems to be pretty popular with the boys of Wasilla and, if she’s learned anything from her big sister, being a teen mom is pretty lucrative!
Sarah Palin‘s eldest daughter Bristol came to national attention in 2008 when it was announced the then 18-year-old and unwed teen was pregnant. The result? She has since gone on a national speaking tour, appeared on The Secret Life of the American Teenager, and is a current contestant on Dancing With the Stars. Being a teen mom paid very well for her — could 16-year-old sister Willow be next?"
Not every one is a Palin, not all families can afford to house and take care of a pregnant daughter and certainly not all families are tolerant of teen pregnancies. Measures are and have been taken to hide teen pregnancies generally, pregnant girls have been sent to convents in foreign countries returning to their homes with a 'sister/brother'.
The shame of a teen pregnancy can lead to honour killings in extreme cases, and in those cases it is best for the mother-to-be to marry the father-to-be and exit the parental home to save her and her baby's life.
Plenty of single mothers have been successful simply because they laid their priorities out straight
[[http://s242739747.onlinehome.us/publications/teenmariage02-20.pdf]] Success as a mother is often related to success as a human being, and in making the right decision. Many husbands young or old work to break a home rather than build/maintain it.
Young women know the choice they are making when they reject the option of taking a spouse. When this choice is made or when the father disappears from the scene the mother gives the child the best she can offer. Only an irresponsible good for nothing scared individual would abandon an unwed mother and an unwed mother would only reject a man/boy she does not trust.
"One of the things that’s troubling is that people see a Natalie Portman or some other Hollywood starlet who boasts of, ‘Hey look, you know, we’re having children, we’re not married, but we’re having these children, and they’re doing just fine. But there aren’t really a lot of single moms out there who are making millions of dollars every year for being in a movie. And I think it gives a distorted image that yes, not everybody hires nannies, and caretakers and nurses. Most single moms are very poor, uneducated, can’t get a job and if it weren’t for government assistance, their kids would be starving to death and never have health care. And that’s the story that we’re not seeing, and it’s unfortunate that we glorify and glamorize the idea of out of children wedlock.”
"Natalie is an extraordinary actor, very deserving of her recent Oscar and I am glad she will marry her baby’s father. However, contrary to what the Hollywood media reported, I did not ’slam’ or ‘attack’ Natalie Portman, nor did I criticize the hardworking single mothers in our country.
My comments were about the statistical reality that most single moms are very poor, under-educated, can’t get a job, and if it weren’t for government assistance, their kids would be starving to death. That’s the story that we’re not seeing, and it’s unfortunate that society often glorifies and glamorizes the idea of having children out of wedlock." Mike Huckabee
Research indicates single mother homes are not disadvantaged compared to single father homes
[[http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/singpar.htm]] "Researchers at Ohio State University compared a sample of 456 15- and 16-year-olds who lived in single-father households with 2,583 teens who lived in single-mother households. The results showed that the two groups were very similar in terms of deviance and behavior at school, relationships with others, and school performance once factors such as family income and parent education are accounted for.
The results suggest researchers should rethink the assumption that the sex of a parent plays a critical role in the development of children, said Douglas Downey, co-author of the study and assistant professor of sociology at Ohio State."
"“The results contradict the assumption that fathers are more successful disciplinarians than mothers,” Downey said.
Another assumption has been related to the fact that men score higher on tests of quantitative skills while women score higher on tests of verbal skills. Given these facts, some researchers have argued that children who grow up in single-mother households won’t do as well in mathematics, while those growing up in single-father households won’t do as well in English.
However, the results of this study showed no such difference. “We found that single-mother households didn’t promote verbal skills over quantitative skills, and single-father households didn’t promote quantitative skills over verbal skills,” Downey said. “These findings are inconsistent with the claim that women and men facilitate unique capabilities in their children.”"
but they are disadvantaged compared to homes with both parents? [[http://smart-single-parents.blogspot.com/2006/12/successful-single-mother.html]]
There are many good families and couples waiting to adopt. A child deserves to be parented by two people that have planned to marry.
According to the 1988 National Survey of Family Growth there are an estimated 3.3 adoption seekers for every actual adoption. http://statistics.adoption.com/information/adoption-statistics-hoping-to-adopt.html
Divorce occurs, but when two people plan to marry there is a better chance that the couple starts off strong, with a clear intention. On the contrary, when commitment to marriage is clouded by an unplanned pregnancy, the decision is distorted by what is the right thing/accepted by society.
When a couple adopts they are going to great emotional and financial lengths to give a child a warm, loving home. When an unmarried couple finds themselves unexpectedly pregnant, there has been no preparation or commitment to parenting. Parenting takes a LIFETIME of commitment by balanced adults, prepared to handle the biggest challenges in their lives.
"About 820,000 teens become pregnant each year. That means that 34 percent of teenagers have at least one pregnancy before they turn 20. 79 percent of teenagers who become pregnant are unmarried. 80 percent of teenage pregnancies are unintended. " http://www.teenhelp.com/teen-pregnancy/teen-pregnancy-statistics.html
A teen has not even created a solid vision and steps to achieving that vision for himself/herself. Getting married due to social mores makes it difficult to attend/finish college, maintain a job because of daycare needs, and puts the child with a stranger during the day rather than the parent who still needs to take care of himself/herself.
What do you think?