The recent rise in single motherhood has set off few alarms, unlike in past eras. When Daniel Patrick Moynihan, then a top Labor Department official and later a United States senator from New York, reported in 1965 that a quarter of black children were born outside marriage — and warned of a “tangle of pathology”— he set off a bitter debate. By the mid-1990s, such figures looked quaint: a third of Americans were born outside marriage…Now the figure is 41 percent — and 53 percent for children born to women under 30.

Jason DeParle and Sabrina Tavernise, “For Women Under 30, Most Births Occur Outside Marriage” (via The New York Times)

Let’s all relax about single parenthood. Based on what I’ve heard from my interview subjects, we’ve got it on lock.

Feb 23, 2012