An op-ed in today’s Providence Journal by Wendy Warcholik and Scott Moody explores a point that has been mentioned frequently on this site:
We, as a society, don’t discuss this nearly enough, but we’ve embarked on a major experiment that has disproportionately impacted our children. No scientist would have authorized such an experiment because of its clear ethical implications on a vulnerable population, yet American society has pursued it with abandon.
That experiment is the elevation of adult desires over the needs of children, which manifests itself in divorce, cohabitation, and out-of-wedlock births. These actions destroy a child’s sense of self and leaves them to fend for themselves before they are ready.
This trend contributes to myriad problems in our society, arguably including school shootings, opioid abuse, and suicide, among a vast array.
A recent article from the Catholic News Agency (CNA) presents the theme on the national scale:
One in two: that is the current number of children in the U.S. who are being raised by both their married biological parents throughout their childhood.
“This figure is based on the proportion of 17-and-18-year-old high school students who were reported to be living with both their married birth mothers and biological fathers in 2016,” noted a report issued by the Institute for Family Studies.
This family structure is associated with better outcomes for children, and the fact that it skews along racial and economic lines suggests that rigid inequality will continue to increase, no matter how many government programs or corporate pressure campaigns we pursue.
Sooner or later, we’re going to have to address the underlying causes of our problems, even if it means challenging the free-love ethos of the Me Generation. The later we let that reckoning be, the harder it will be to fix and the more people we’ll allow to suffer.