In Singled Out, I devoted a chapter to debunking the myth that the children of single parents are doomed. I described various studies and showed how the results are exaggerated or misrepresented. I also reviewed studies inconsistent with the doom-and-gloom narrative; they, unfortunately, get little media attention.
New studies have been published since then, so I have continued to address the topic. There is also lots of panic around single parenting and some overwrought media stories and political proclamations. I’ve critiqued those, too.
In 2015, I put together a collection of my writings in Single Parents and Their Children: The Good News No One Ever Tells You.
Below are some articles I have written about single parents and their kids. There are also relevant sections in Singlism: What It Is, Why It Matters, and How to Stop It. (Paperback is here; ebook is here.) The Bedford Reader has included an adapted version of my Singled Out chapter on the children of single parents in each of the past two editions.
Enough with the Myth of the Doomed Kids; Let’s Have Some Facts
- 10 things no one ever tells you about the children of single parents
- Children of single mothers: How do they really fare?
- 10 myths about single people: Here are numbers 5, 6, and 7
- Single fathers: Defying caricatures, connecting with kids
- The case for marriage is a sham
The Children Are Listening
- A child of a single parent asks, why the hurtful digs?
- A child of a single mother asks how to stop the stigmatizing and do some good instead
The Media Piles On – and Gets It Wrong
- Deplorable article on the pathetic single-parent family and the awesome married one
- TIME’s misleading cover story on marriage
- USA Today’s big new story on marriage peddles same old fallacies
- Time calls marriage a ‘luxury yacht;’ Remember what happened on the last cruise ship?
The Politics of Single Parenting
- Are you failing because your family is ‘badly broken’?
- The wrong way to help children
- Should we care that more women are having children without having husbands?
- ‘Avoid marriage,’ advises Atlantic writer
- Scolding single mothers about marriage: Some cautionary facts
- Required to hear false information — and pay for it — in order to divorce?
- “Marriage Vow”: Born into slavery? At least you had two parents
- Shriver Report serves up compulsory marriage and mothering
- Shriver’s ‘Woman’s Nation’ is actually a wife and mother’s nation: The evidence
- Is the Lean-In conversation going to leave out single women?
- Who are you going to believe — the National Marriage Project or your plants?
The Big Picture
- It takes a single person to create a village
- On tax breaks, emotional commitments, and the myth of the transformative power of marriage
- Futurist Faith Popcorn predicts the rise of the solo citizen (She notes, for example, that “Children of single parents will be better prepared for the future.”)
- ‘Single motherhood’ and the bigger, broader meanings of family and love
- Caring about children and their future: Is it a parent thing?
- Is single motherhood bad for your health? Why you should be skeptical
- Single mothers and their health, around the world
- Self-regulation: Getting it all wrong (about the self-regulation abilities of children)
- 11 awful things you are doing to people when you shame them
- PT blogger answers my questions about sex, single parenting, Steve Pinker, and stupidity
- What anthropologists know about single people