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As a married man with three children, I was extremely disturbed by a story I saw in The New York Times: For the first time in America, more than half of the births to women under 30 now occur outside marriage.
The story presages a depressingly hopeless future for many American children because of a simple fact that we can't avoid: children born to married couples still are more likely to graduate from college, have a higher income and have fewer emotional and behavioral problems. As the Times story points out, what this means is that we are increasingly forming two social classes -- the well-educated, who wait until they are married to have kids and who are able to lead their children to college graduation and higher incomes, in a cycle that repeats itself; and the lower-educated mothers and fathers who have children out of wedlock and consequently see their children fail to graduate from college and wind up with lower incomes, in another cycle that repeats itself.
As I read the Times piece, what I came away with was the notion that the value and purpose of men in our society is undergoing a disturbing diminution. As men become less competent, less able to make a living, less able to support and lift a family, women are finding it less necessary to be married to one. After all, as we’ve heard it said by women over and over, "I can do bad by myself." So while this story on its surface seems to be about the choices women are making, just below the surface it's clear the story is really about how unappealing and unnecessary men are becoming as life partners to women.
Find out how Nick Chiles says men can avoid the word "father" becoming obsolete at MyBrownBaby.