Senator Mike Lee’s Social Capital Project (SCP) made a number of shocking discovers yesterday. They found that the percentage of unmarried mother has increased to 35% from 5% since 1960 – the rotten fruit of the ‘60s “Sexual Revolution.” Additionally, nearly 75% of new mothers under 30 are unwed.
SCP is a long-term project by the Congress’s Joint Economic Committee, which is responsible to analyze the ‘associational life’ in America – a term which is used by the members of the project, for churches, teams, schools and other such civic organizations – places that serve as connections between Americans and the state.
According to the report, the most important of all these institutes of associational life is family, which SCP accurately describes as “the most intimate and central form of associational life.”
“A healthy family life is the foundation for a healthy associational life, weakened family life portends a diminished ability of a people to promote and nurture the civil society and pro-social norms that facilitate happiness and prosperity,” the report goes on to note.
The report says that a weak or not-so-closely knit family is the product of an unreal increase in the rates of birth out of wedlock over the last 50 years. The children who are raised by bachelors or single parents are weak in developing a proper social life and lack in different aspects when they are observed against their counterparts, that come from a close family.
“While children intentionally born into married families can subsequently experience divorce, unwed childbearing is particularly worrisome because it often signals both unintended pregnancy and an unstable parental relationship,” the report goes on.
As per the report, among the different reasons for the high rates of unmarried mothers is the point that more single young women choose to have sex and are against abortion. Similarly, a trend of getting married at an older age is also a major reason, along with the huge number of women of old ages being divorced, or never wanting to get married.
Then comes the pool of women who don’t marry all their lives, a practice that the report refers to be one of the “most important” factors in the increase of childbirth to unmarried women.
The report also points towards another important fact, which is, the falling rates of “shotgun marriage+ – a practice where the society and the family of women who were pregnant out of wedlock are pressurized to get married to ensure a more functional upbringing of the child than single parenthood could possibly ever allow.
The report provides a time frame between the years 1950 and 2009, where the percentage of unmarried mothers increased from a mere 10% to a huge and staggering 50%. This is pretty much the same as the percentage of couples who married after getting pregnant – and before the birth – out of wedlock, which dropped from 43% to 9% in the late 2000s.
“The decline in shotgun marriage has been a bigger factor than changes in either non-marital or marital pregnancy rates taken individually… the unwed birth share would have risen only to 27 percent if shotgun marriage rates had stayed as high as in the early 1960s while everything else changed,” the report further argues.
“To date, we have tended to spend additional wealth to pursue individual and personal priorities. That has eroded our associational life—including the stability of our families, especially among disadvantaged families who have enjoyed the fruits of rising affluence less than others have,” the report goes on to concludes. “Continuing to make the same choices with our ever-higher purchasing power threatens to diminish the quality of life for rich and poor alike.”
The report and its conclusions are added to the previous data that the SCP keeps on the subject of breaking down the associational life of the citizens of America. The SCP is led by Senator Lee, who said that he hopes to give the politicians and people of authority a deeper insight on the issue and the significance of their actions on the American society through the results of this report.
“The structure of American families has changed over the past generation and it is important that policy makers study the factors that are contributing to this trend,” Lee said. “I hope this paper contributes to that debate.”