January 6, 2011

Disapprove of Single Mothers

69%

Seven-in-ten say the trend toward more single women having children is bad for society, and 61% say that a child needs both a mother and father to grow up happily.

The share of births to unmarried women has risen dramatically over the past half century, from 5% in 1960 to 41% in 2008. There are notable differences by race: Among black women giving birth in 2008, 72% were unmarried. This compares with 53% of Hispanic women giving birth and 29% of white women. Overall, the share of children raised by a single parent is not as high as the share born to an unwed mother, but it too has risen sharply — to 25% in 2008, up from 9% in 1960. Seven-in-ten Americans (69%) say the trend toward more single women having children is bad for society, and 61% say that a child needs both a mother and father to grow up happily. The public also believes children of single parents face more challenges than other children — 38% say “a lot more” challenges and another 40% say “a few more” challenges. Survey respondents see even more challenges for children of gay and lesbian couples (51% say they face a lot more challenges) and children of divorce (42% say they face a lot more challenges). Read More