NOTE : Whenever we say family we mean one thing: The mother, father and children inside a stable marriage. We always back our assertions with authorative research. Page numbers below refer to the excellent book Farewell to the Family? Public policy and family breakdown in Britain and the USA, Patricia Morgan, UKP 9.00, IEA Health and Welfare Unit, 2 Lord North Street, London SW1P 3LB, Tel 020 7799 3745, Fax 020 7799 2137. ISBN 0-255 36356-7

Myth 1 : ‘Family, lone-parents : it’s all the same thing’:

False! Family life offers significant benefits!

Family members enjoy better health

* Less infant mortality. p122
* Less mental illness. p144
* Less suicide. p144

There is less child abuse amongst families

It’s a sad truth that [statistically more] children of lone-parents are abused physically and sexually by that parent and by the ‘partner’ of that parent. p125

Members of families are much less likely to commit crimes

* Adult crime: Single males and live-in partners commit far more crime than husbands. p118
* Youth crime: Children of lone parents (or those with step-fathers) commit far more crime than children within families. p118

Children from families have a much better academic record

Children of lone parents do far worse at school. p46 p133
Children of families are less likely to divorce when they get married

All the bad side-effects of lone-parent families get amplified. The next generation is far more likely to end up as lone-parents. p48

Myth 2 : The bad side-effects of lone-parent families are due to their poor economic situation

False! The unfortunate side-effects listed above are not a result of a low economic status of lone parents and their children. All the facts above make full allowance for any economic disparities. They are real effects due to the absence of a stable loving framework for life. p130

Myth 3 : Lone-parents are hard done-by compared to families

False! The evidence is strong that attempts to help the perceived needs of lone parents have actually damaged families and increased the number of lone parents! Economically this means a spiral of decline. The best way to halt this spiral is to make sure that families get their deserved support, financially and in the attitudes of society and the law. p50

Myth 4 : We are out to bash lone-parents

False! Of course there are many terrible families and many wonderful examples of lone parents. But our aim is simple: we want to do our best to support families. The evidence is strong that, on average, families are better for individuals and better for society. This is the truth, and the world should know the truth. p119

We always encourage response to our articles on modern myths. We would be especially interested in any US data relevant to the topic. Feel free to Send your views to NACF


Categories: Myths