No one benefits more from the destruction of the American family than the Democratic Party
Opinion by Conn Carroll
Looking at just the gender breakdown of this year’s exit poll, it first appears that men are more polarized politically than women. Men favor the GOP by 14 points (56% Republican to 42% Democrat), while women only favor the Democrats by 8 points (53% Democrat to 45% Republican).
But drill down one level further by adding marital status into the picture, and it quickly becomes clear that one demographic is far more polarized than the others:
Sure, married men break for Republicans by 20 points, but married women also vote Republican by 14 points. Even unmarried men vote Republican, although by a much smaller 7-point margin.
But unmarried women are a Democratic bonanza. Democrats clean up among single women by a whopping 37-point margin.
The good news for the Democrats is that the number of unmarried women is growing every year. From the earliest census up through 1950, roughly 80% of households were led by a married couple. By 2000, that percentage had fallen to 52%, and by 2010, for the first time in the nation’s history, most households did not include a married couple. Marriage has only continued to decline since then.
The destruction of the nuclear family may be great for Democrats, but it has been a disaster for children, especially boys. As MIT economist David Autor and UCLA economist Melanie Wasserman recently noted:
“It is widely documented that children of single-parent homes fare worse on a broad range of outcomes relative to children of dual parent homes. In comparison to children living with both biological parents, children living with a single mother score lower on academic achievement tests, have lower grades, have a higher incidence of behavioral problems, and display a greater tendency to engage in risky behaviors such as drug use and criminal activity. Notably, the effects of even relatively short periods of parental absence are detectable in children’s test scores.”
It turns out that the disadvantages of single parenthood don’t affect genders equally. In fact, while girls from single-parent homes seem to have almost equal outcomes to their married parent peers, boys do far worse. Autor and Wasserman write:
“Although male and female children within a given household are theoretically exposed to the same environment—including schools, neighborhoods, and adult guardians—the increasing prevalence of female-headed households implies that the majority of girls continue to cohabit with their same-sex biological parent who will likely serve as a same-sex role model. By contrast, male children raised in female-headed households are less likely to have a positive male adult household member present that serves an analogous role. A growing body of evidence, summarized below, indicates that the absence of stable fathers from children’s lives has particularly significant adverse consequences for boys’ psychosocial development and educational achievement.”
This gap between boy and girl outcomes from single-parent homes is a continuing gift to the Democratic Party because it makes marriage more elusive.
Women understandably want a mate who is at least as educated, or has earning power equal to their own. But the more single-parent households there are, the fewer of these marriageable men there are available for women seeking husbands in the next generation. The result is a never-ending doom cycle of more unmarriageable men and more single parents.
Democrats want everyone to believe that all these missing fathers can be replaced by welfare checks and government-funded pre-K and child care programs. They’re wrong. These programs are not suitable replacements for fathers.
So, until we find a solution for our nation’s marriage crisis, the family will continue to fall apart. Also, the Democratic Party will win more elections.