Toward the end of her attention-grabbing cover story of the Atlantic magazine, Kate Bolick shares what she has discovered about the attractions of single life for women. Often single women have networks of close friends. They can balance autonomy and intimacy. They can even raise children.
But then she adds this parenthetical aside: “(Evidence suggests that American children who grow up amidst the disorder that is common to single-parent homes tend to struggle.)” At least she includes some qualifiers. She’s talking about American children, not all children. The kids “tend to” struggle; they don’t struggle mightily. Still, this sort of casual condemnation of millions of American children is not unusual – not even in an article that is in other ways very thoughtful about single life.
When I was writing Singled Out, I studied original research reports on lives of children from single-parent families and how they differed from those of children raised by two married parents. I continue to keep track of that research. Below is some of what I’ve learned from that research – conclusions that rarely get any play in the media. (Chapter 9 of Singled Out provides many more details and lots of references.)
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