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Most American mothers below age 30 are not married, research group Child Trends revealed.
The organization stated that the increase in non-marital birth rates is “both a symbol of the transforming family and a hint of coming generational change.”
“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,” The New York Times reported.
While 59 percent of mothers of all ages in the study were married, the figures were radically different for those in their 20s, according to the study.
“In 2009 [the most recent data available], women in their twenties were responsible for the largest share of nonmarital births (62 percent) and had the highest nonmarital birth rates.”
In addition, less than half of births outside of marriage during 2009 were firstborns.
“Even among teen women aged 15-19, almost one-quarter (24 percent) of nonmarital births were second- or higher-order,” Child Trends reported.
The New York Times article highlighted the case of a 27-year old mother who “found herself pregnant” for the second time by a new boyfriend who only worked part-time. She said her boyfriend did not want to wed.
Regarding marriage, she told the media outlet: “Most of my friends say it’s just a piece of paper, and it doesn’t work out anyway.”
The Child Trends report showed that unwanted pregnancies have a negative impact on children.
“For example, children born to women who did not intend to get pregnant have been found to have lower birthweight, poorer mental and physical health, lower educational attainment, and more behavioral problems than do children whose births were intended.”