There was a recent poll taken by the Pew Center for Research recently which dealt with changing trends in American families. The questions asked to over 2,500 Americans had to do with trends in American families and whether the individuals who were polled considered various things to be good, bad, or of no consequence to society. People were asked about a variety of different family arrangements: more mothers of young children working outside the home, more people of different races marrying, more gay and lesbian couples raising children, and more single women having children without a male partner to help raise them,…..
The researchers called about a third of the respondents (31%) “accepters”–About half to two-thirds of this group say that these trends make either no difference to society or are good for society.
A similar percentage of the respondents, the “rejecters” did just that–they responded that almost every trend mentioned was bad for American society.
The third (and largest group, at 37% of the respondents) were called “skeptics.” While they generally shared the views of the accepters, in one area they had a stark difference–and that trend was single motherhood. “Virtually all Skeptics say mothers having children without male partners to help raise them is bad for society. Among Accepters, just 2% say this.”
So it appears that over 67% of the American population believes that single women raising children on their own, is bad for American society. This isn’t something that I wasn’t aware of, I am a single mother–my husband died one year after we adopted our two daughters–and I have felt some of that bias. I remember one of my friends complaining about her teenage son’s friendship with another boy who was turning out not to be a good influence. “Well, he lives with his mom and she’s not married,” she told me one day–as if that explained everything. (I guess she forgot I too was a single mother.)
You might think it strange that I bring up this bias on an adoption blog, but singles can and do adopt children. I am also bringing it up because one of the only ways we can get over our biases is to bring issues out into the open. So bear with me for my next three posts because I want to delve into the topic of single mothers.