Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Statistics du jour

How the culture has changed:

But the nation’s intense focus on teenage childbearing has obscured a more fundamental problem in childbearing trends. Last week, the CDC reported that about 40% of American children were born out of wedlock in 2007, more than triple the 11% who were in 1970. This means that more than 1.7 million children were born outside of marriage in 2007. Moreover, the vast majority of these babies -- 60%, to be precise -- were born not to teenagers but to women in their 20s (only 23% of nonmarital births were to teens). Furthermore, the CDC reports that nonmarital childbearing has been rising much faster among adults than among teenagers.

None of this should come as a surprise, given that a 2003 Gallup Survey found that 64% of young adults age 18 to 29 thought that having a baby out of wedlock was "morally acceptable."

Discussions - 5 Comments

Why doesn't the author mention the cost of contraceptives? The most reliable are, usually, the most expensive - which might help to explain why (as the author notes) poorer, less educated people are having the unintended pregnancies. If you don't have insurance, generic birth control can cost quite a bit of cash. I imagine that doesn't help make this author's point, though.

If you don't have insurance, generic birth control can cost quite a bit of cash.

Condoms are pretty darn cheap, Matt, and they're 98 percent effective when used correctly.

On another note, don't these statistics make it a bit hard to argue that gay marriage will destroy the traditional family?

No one ever showed me how to put a condom on right (I went to Christian school), so I can't go wrong with both the condom and the pill. And you can't ever have TOO much protection.

Something tells me those "less educated" minorities the author is talking about probably don't like having sex with a condom (because you're right on the 98% effectiveness, of course). If I were a woman who didn't want kids, I wouldn't trust any man to use a condom. It's not like the men are getting stuck with the baby afterward anyway (at most, they would just have to foot part of the bill).

Well, John, I think you're wrong that it deflates the argument about gay marriage, though I will concede that heterosexuals have done a pretty good job of destroying the institution on their own buying into many modern lies.

This isn't happening because of the cost of contraception, nor is it related to "heterosexuals" dropping the ball. It's the decay of the West's moral base, pure and simple, aided and abetted by the government (e.g., easy divorce laws, welfare for unwed mothers, the vigorous exclusion of religion from political discourse). Gay marriage is just the next agenda item in the destruction of our civilization (and no, NLT trolls and critics, I'm not exaggerating). Nor should we let capitalism off the hook here. National markets rip families apart. The increasing scramble for profits rescinds older values (e.g., the advertising of sexual product lines). And of course the educational establish reinforces these changes with psychobabble and multicultural drivel. And the media, don't get me started.

So, who to blame? Well, liberal elites for one, but also impotent conservative intellectuals who'd rather talk about erudite philosophy than real-world sociopolitical problems. What is needed are courageous intellectuals who'll stand up and link these pernicious cultural trends to the bleak future we are facing, and do it in a style that most people can related to.

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