Originally Posted by TonyR
I agree that absentee fathers are a huge issue. But I'm curious what these "liberal progressive causes to marginalize the role of the father" are.
Welfare critics point to a steady decline in family unity since the explosion of the mid-60s. Its no coincidence the two are happening at the same time, they say.
According to the Census Bureau, a single-parent family is six times more likely to be poor and thus a recipient of welfare than a two-parent family. Women heading families are particularly vulnerable.
In 1980, there were 6.2 million families headed by single women, making up 19.4% of all families with children. By1990, that number had risen to 8.4 million families, or 24.2% of the total.
Blacks have been especially hard hit.
The percentage of black households headed by women grew from 28% to 40% between 1970 and 1980.
At the beginning of World War II, the illegitimate birth rate among black Americans was slightly less than 19%. Between 1955 and 1965 the year of the Watts riots and also the start of the War on Poverty it rose slowly, from 22% to 28%.
But beginning in the late 1960s the slow trend rapidly accelerated, reaching 49% in 1975 and 65% in 1989.
Empirical studies have borne out the theory that welfare is behind much of this disintegration.
For example, a study at the University of Washington showed that an increase of roughly $200 a month in welfare benefits per family correlated with a 150% increase in the illegitimate birth rate among teens.
According to the House Ways and Means Committee "Green Book" for 1990, about 40% of parents collecting AFDC were black, 38% white and 17% Hispanic. Blacks make up about 12% of the population, while Hispanics make up about 9% of the population.