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trends regarding unwed mothers

2004 set a new record for the number of children born to unwed mothers … 1.5 million in all. What caught my eye was the age group most reponsible for the increase — it wasn’t teenagers, as one might assume. It was young women in their 20s, specifically between the ages of 25-29. According to the article in USA Today, teenage girls accounted for 50% of unwed births in 1970. In 2004, they accounted for only 24%.

One particularly interesting note from the article:

Young adults having children without being married isn’t surprising to Sarah Brown, director of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, who says federal data found that almost two-thirds of girls ages 15-19 agree it’s OK for an unwed woman to have a child. “Young adults are acting on their attitudes,” she says. “They are doing what they think is OK.”

Where did two-thirds of teenage girls get the idea that it’s OK for an unwed woman to have a child? Better yet, what can be done to initiate a more constructive view of child-bearing and sex in general?

The article does a good job presenting the evidence as to why it’s better to raise a child in a two parent household. It even goes so far as to suggest that it’s even best when the two parents are married. Obviously this type of evidence is not keeping two people from having sex outside of marriage.