There’s an avoid-poverty formula going around that states something like this: to reduce the risk of being poor, graduate from high school, work full time, get married, and start having children after marriage.
People have so much more control over their lives than they realize. Children especially benefit from the institution of marriage. Children living with their married, biological parents are generally better off physical, financially, and emotionally than children who grow up in female-headed households. And shacking up isn’t the same.
Children in these fatherless homes face a higher risk of physical and sexual abuse. They tend to graduate at a lower rate, get pregnant out-of-wedlock, and end up in the juvenile justice system. A majority of prisoners come from such homes.
The Wall Street Journal reported on the racial aspect of family instability:
Of the many barriers to equal opportunity for African-Americans, differences of family background may well be the most consequential—and the least likely to yield to public policy. This is the gravamen of research made public in recent weeks, much of it collected in the fall 2015 issue of the academic journal the Future of Children.
Although there were signs of trouble to come in the 1960s, racial differences in marriage rates remained modest until 1970, when 95% of white women and 92% of black women had been married at least once. By 2012, however, a large gap had emerged: 88% of white women age 40-44 were or had been married, compared with only 63% of black women.Education makes a difference: Among black women with a bachelor’s degree or more, the ever-married rate is 71%; for those with no more than a high-school diploma, it is only 56%. But race also matters. The ever-married rate for college-educated black women is 17 percentage points lower than for white women, while the black/white gap among the least-educated women is a stunning 31 points.
Black children are less likely to grow up in married households. It’s particularly bad for black boys who grow up with family instability. In a recent column, Star Parker wrote:
Since the 1960s, both black marriage and black male identity have been deeply wounded by the assault of liberals and big government on black life.
The unique challenge for blacks is that the truths that popular American culture is out to destroy, traditional sexual identity and traditional marriage, are the very truths that must be resuscitated and saved in order to save black communities.
The best hope is getting black children out of public schools. Inner-city public schools are failed union-controlled cesspools of politically correct culture. It’s why school choice — providing education options that include traditional values — is vital to a healthy future for young black men and the black family.