New trend: Babies born before marriage pose dramatic challenges to future of families

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  • TJ411 Saratoga Springs, UT
    March 20, 2013 11:09 a.m.

    KJB1 Your statement is false. Most studies done on the subject of same-sex marriage and its effect on children (and there are not very many yet completed or even available) have shown similar negative effects on children as being raised by two parents who are merely cohabitating and are not married. To suggest there is no negative impact is simply not supported by the data available and to state these children fare as well as those whose parents are straight and married is completely false.

  • kargirl Sacramento, CA
    March 18, 2013 5:57 p.m.

    Right on, sigmund5! Those are also the jobs (the ones that actually would hire me bitd) wouldn't let most of us work enough hours to earn benefits. Because I had a serious health condition, even a convenience store wouldn't call me back--benefits were one reason I applied. By not giving benefits, they save money and get people who love to work and are desperate for a job, any job. But I needed health care. Gee, wonder why I support single payer health care...can't imagine!

  • kargirl Sacramento, CA
    March 18, 2013 5:45 p.m.

    This article either left out a lot, or never had brought in a lot of other variables. How about health problems? Does anyone mention that getting a job requires not only a trained and eager employee but a willing employer? How about the ability to find and afford child care for a single/divorced/widowed/mother? How about getting that college degree and still not finding a job/being laid off? Oh, and btw, the majority of folks using government assistance are there, kicking and screaming, even if it's SSI or a similar program. I know that for a fact. And if you really think assistance is something people really dream of, try living on that amount for a few months. Just getting though the application process is degrading enough. If kids weren't involved, few would do it. This article as written, brings up more questions than it answers, and most of the comments, I believe, prove that.

  • sigmund5 Salt Lake City, UT
    March 18, 2013 9:13 a.m.

    This article and the view that marriages make people rich confuses cause and effect. People who are poor do the distasteful, low payed and demeaning work that good middle class and upper middle class won't do. These jobs like cleaning, laundry food service are necessary for a society and makes the middle class life of consumption possible. Poor people are working different shifts and have less time together or with their kids. They are stressed by money issues and can't afford health and mental care. Please don't reply with, "I made it out of poverty and these people just need to work harder and improve themselves to make more money." That response is a bit disingenious because these jobs have to be done. We have to have poor people. If interested in helping the poor and strengthening marriages support the Democratic party whose goal is helping the poor much more than Republicans. You need to support increased minimum wage, unions and more regulations. More condescending and self-righteous lecturing doesn't help.

  • rightascension Provo, UT
    March 18, 2013 6:13 a.m.

    the title of this article is a problem.

    It really should read men and women who father children out of marriage pose serious risks to the family. The babies have no ulterior motives in all this.

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    March 17, 2013 12:11 p.m.

    This article waits until nearly the end to reveal the primary driver in the unravelling of the family - economics - but it does nail it, instead of being just another lecture about moral superiority.

    The more inequality we have in economic outcomes, the more society itself is threatened. No longer is it just the poor kids of the town alcoholic, economic anxiety is creeping deep into the middle class, causing hesitation in young people to commit to raising a family within a marriage. The stats are undeniable.

    The more we let our economic system devolve into a darwinistic jungle where a smaller and smaller subset of super-achievers are the optimal economic model for raising kids, the more of this negative stratification of social situations we'll have.

    After WWII, we had much better opportunities for all classes to thrive and prosper, and the result was great optimism, feelings of security, and a baby boom. As the average American worker is exposed to cut throat global competition, and economic anxiety increases, we see breakdowns in the family, delayed commitment to marriage and kids, etc.

    The Epimemiologist Richard Wilkonson impressively correlates economic inequality with a range of social and health problems.

  • luv2organize Gainesville, VA
    March 17, 2013 9:50 a.m.

    KJB1 - please site your data.

    I was raised by a single mother because of my father's death. She raised us all (4) without gov't help and working full time on a teachers salary. I think if gov't stepped back and didn't give so much support to people having children irresponsibly then people might actually think twice before getting themselves into such situation.

    LValfre - I'd be interested to know who sponsored the study. Probably coffee growers/sellers, etc. Check your source. Just like one glass of wine a day is good for your heart but guess what so is fresh grapes and other non-alcoholic items that don't cause addiction and all ages can enjoy.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    March 15, 2013 5:54 p.m.

    It is so funny to read the comments of those who just don't like the results of the study. Actually, it's really sad.

  • LValfre CHICAGO, IL
    March 15, 2013 3:28 p.m.

    Pick and choose studies that support what you want to preach. There was a study in Japan that was unveiled today -
    "Researchers looked at the coffee and tea consumption habits of almost 82,369 Japanese adults over 13 years and found that people who had a cup of coffee every day were 20 percent less likely to have a stroke (compared to those who didn't drink coffee at all).

    ... the study noted that people who drank four or more cups of green tea a day were also about 20 percent less likely to have a stroke.

    Since the two drinks help prevent strokes in different ways, drinking both can lower your risk of stroke more than just drinking one or the other, the study authors explained."

    Probably won't see this published on this news board but it's good news for the many coffee and tea drinkers in America and worldwide.

  • sparkey Clearfield, UT
    March 15, 2013 2:56 p.m.

    The only real exception I take to the article is the term "priveleged" in identifying those who wait to get married, wait to have kids, and complete college etc., before choosing to start their family. I come from such a family background and I have generated such a family currnelty with my wife. The only exception is that I would have chosen to have kids if we could have while still in college (we couldn't due to infertility issues but I digress). I don't feel particularly "priveleged" as the term seems to me to though these things were just handed to me without me having to earn them. If I am priveleged at all it is because I have wise parents and married a woman who also had wise parents who instilled in each of us how to make wise choices that tend to lead to positive consequences in life. If that is being priveleged then so be it. I tend to think that it is not so much being priveleged as it is simply being smart and wise and making positive choices while avoiding stupid ones. Something ALL can do if they choose.

  • bullet56 Olympia, WA
    March 15, 2013 2:40 p.m.

    The story is interesting. I would like to see a study, long term study done on the children of St. George Utah. Some are from families with unmarried mothers with a whole lot of children, as well as some very young mothers married to established men. It would make for a very interesting comparison.

  • samhill Salt Lake City, UT
    March 15, 2013 2:26 p.m.

    "Hymowitz said.....'The evidence is pretty convincing that children suffer when their parents’ lives are unstable.'”


    Unfortunately, as this article points out and any even cursory examination of popular culture makes clear, the "evidence" may be obvious, but it is hardly "convincing".

    The sad truth is that more and more people are being persuaded to devalue basic, fundamental, timeless and necessary rules of nurturing our children, by relentless pressure from "progressives" to denigrate and dismantle traditional societal institutions, like marriage and religious devotion.

    This pressure, along with the age-old and equally relentless marketing verity that "sex sells", is a pretty potent and "convincing" combination that, so far, tells me that we are headed for some very tough times ahead.

  • One of a Few Layton, UT
    March 15, 2013 1:01 p.m.

    I know I shouldn't comment but can't help myself. I can't think of a time when families weren't struggling regardless of when most children were born, except for a brief period after WWII when taxes were high and gov subsidized everything including Utahns - if your folks worked at HAFB, you remember the annual punch card. Of course that all ended with Reagan the great and has continued the death spiral forced by the Tea/Gadianton party.

    This article also mentions women delaying child birth to get an education and begin earning an income - which is just the opposite of the Utah model which I believe is get 2 or 3 years of higher ed, find a spouse, start having children.

    Just saying.

  • rafinsure Elk Grove/U.S.A., 00
    March 15, 2013 11:33 a.m.

    It's astonishing that people would be offended by this data. I work in inner city schools where 3/4 of my students are raised in single parent homes (mostly mothers), with a grandparent or extended relative, and the repercussions are horrifying. Many of my students lack motivation to study, suffer from food insecurity, and have behavior problems at extreme levels that existed at much smaller levels even ten years ago. Also, the number of unwed teen mothers continues to be a huge issue. Ernest Bass and the rest of you folks who criticize this research, please wake up! Our country is falling apart at the seams due to the disintegration of the married two-parent home. If you don't believe it, spend some substantial time volunteering in our schools.

  • jkguy Palmdale, CA
    March 15, 2013 10:56 a.m.

    This article is a good regurgitation of reports, however is somewhat misleading in the beginning when discussing the "great crossover". The discussion regarding the average ages at marriage and at the birth of first child is written to appear to be stating new findings. "The shift has created what’s being called a “Great Crossover,” where the average age of a first birth is actually younger than average age of marriage." However, based on the included chart, this "crossover" occurred more than 20 years ago. Rather than taking something that occurred 20 years ago and adding in a new data point or two (college graduate or not) and making forward looking statements that can't be guaranteed, I would rather see an analysis of those who are now 20 in college / work force / etc, and get statistics on what has occurred so I can learn and make changes going forward (assuming changes are needed). I'm disappointed that old data is drudged up, made to look new, and future estimates are made without discussing or applying what has been learned.

  • KanataHal Ottawa, 00
    March 15, 2013 10:42 a.m.

    I don't like this article's sweeping generalizations rehashed from from a very tentative statistical relationship at the outset. There must be dozens of other factors that go into the mix, not all of them positively reflecting on the traditional way of life. The author has clearly cherry picked the statistics to prove a previously determined outcome. As an apology for the traditional way of life it is very good, but as a scientific explanation it is hopelessly flawed.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    March 15, 2013 10:33 a.m.

    @My Humble Opinion
    "Are you disputing these facts, or do you simply not like them?"

    Neither. I just don't like how some people use these facts to condemn non-traditional families.

  • My Humble Opinion Sandy, UT
    March 15, 2013 10:11 a.m.

    @ atl134:

    You said "You people are difficult to satisfy. Even the single mothers who choose life are criticized for "attacking the family"."

    I didn't see any attacking of single mothers in this article. It merely pointed out facts that show that children raised in a home with a mom and dad who were married before they had children were at an advantage when compared to children who were not raised in those circumstances. Are you disputing these facts, or do you simply not like them?

  • Red Salt Lake City, UT
    March 15, 2013 9:45 a.m.

    The world wants to mock God's laws and then expects to have a great life.

    We will continue to see the quality of life erode as all the people who are living off of the backs of the stable people increase.

    Everybody loves Salt Lake City but they forget the struggles of the Pioneers and people who created this City out of the desert. Now the people who are bringing down the quality of life want to make fun of the standards that created such a great place.

    Where is the respect?

  • Moabmom Moab, UT
    March 15, 2013 9:31 a.m.

    It's sad that our culture/society has come to a point where we need to have a "study" done before we believe that traditional family life and marriage, is the best way to raise children. I know several couples who have actually had children before they got married because of all the government programs and welfare that is out there now for single moms. Young men don't "man up" and take responsibility for the child unless forced to by the courts. The educational aspect of the article is not fully transparent as, there again, it is easier for a single mom to get "help" to go to school than it is for a married mom, because of gov't programs. The child is the key to a lot of free money and reduced cost programs and "help" and the child is the one who loses the benefit of being raised by a mom and dad. (I'll probably get slammed for the mom and dad thing, but throwing the whole gender identity hoopla in the mix, doesn't help the child either.) God's plan really is the best for all concerned.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    March 15, 2013 8:49 a.m.

    You people are difficult to satisfy. Even the single mothers who choose life are criticized for "attacking the family".

  • Albert Maslar CPA (Retired) Absecon, NJ
    March 15, 2013 7:49 a.m.

    This gives more credence to traditional biblical values that when ignored en masse, create negative social consequences that we are already paying for. Maybe God does know what's best.

  • KJB1 Eugene, OR
    March 15, 2013 7:47 a.m.

    So when is the DN going to give equal credence to the numerous studies that say that kids raised by same sex couples turn out just as well as straight ones? Otherwise, these kinds of articles just come across as cherrypicking propaganda.

  • Liberal Ted Salt Lake City, UT
    March 15, 2013 5:49 a.m.


    So are you claiming scientific research is the cause of societies ignorance?

    The article was well written, cited it's sources, gave the results of the research. If you feel that is inaccurate, then you may offer up your scientific research to rebuttal this article.

    Until then, comments like yours is just an opinion created from your web of thoughts that stem from a few exceptions; rather than the rule.

  • Common-Tator Saint Paul, MN
    March 15, 2013 5:42 a.m.

    Sorry Ernest ... I have to concur with SammyB. The article made no judgement of those who chose to do otherwise. It was reporting factual data, for which evidently you don't care. As one who came out of such a situation (parents forced to marry due to my birth -- subsequently divorcing while I was a youngster, and thus all the inherent disadvantages that came with that situation, both lack of stable parenting and fiscal difficulties), the road I had to go down was much more difficult than those of my peers who had that stability at home. I vowed not to let that be the case when I chose to marry -- the only one of my siblings who did so, and my siblings (and subsequently their children) have continued that downward trend.

    Of equal importance, as Sammy correctly points out, is the societal devaluation of the core family, something about which we should all be concerned, and conscientiously working to counter -- advantageous to our own families / children, and to society at large.

  • ute alumni paradise, UT
    March 15, 2013 4:47 a.m.

    we don't want people to feel guilty for wrong choices. i'm okay, you're okay and who cares about the little ones? typical liberal behavior

  • SammyB Provo, UT
    March 14, 2013 10:46 p.m.


    Until recently, that narrow worldview was held by the overwhelming majority of the civilized world throughout history. These results from extensive studies are important. If someone takes offense from them, then that is their own issue. Many of us appreciate being informed of this data.

    As the family comes more and more under attack, we need to have the courage to remain committed to moral absolutes that were given to us by God and His prophets without being guilted into staying silence. I saw no finger pointing or preaching in this article. Good job Deseret News.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    March 14, 2013 10:19 p.m.

    These articles the Dnews keeps pushing do far more harm than good. They induce unecessary guilt into far too many people.
    The article last week was just as bad, about working moms. Got new for you D-news, many people from many backgrounds are still productive members of society. Just because they may not fit in to your narrow world view doesn't mean they don't offer as much as you do.