The Data Show, Again, That Family Matters
by JONAH GOLDBERG
It’s been a good month for champions of the traditional family, but don’t expect the family wars to be ending any time soon.
In recent weeks, a barrage of new evidence has come to light demonstrating what was once common sense.
“Family structure matters” (in the words of my American Enterprise Institute colleague Brad Wilcox, who is also the director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia).
Princeton University and the left-of-center Brookings Institution released a study that reported “most scholars now agree that children raised by two biological parents in a stable marriage do better than children in other family forms across a wide range of outcomes.”
Why this is so is still hotly contested. Another study, co-authored by Wilcox, found that states with more married parents do better on a broad range of economic indicators, including upward mobility for poor children and lower rates of child poverty.
On most economic indicators, the Washington Post summarized, “the share of parents who are married in a state is a better predictor of that state’s economic health than the racial composition and educational attainment of the state’s residents.”
Boys in particular do much better when raised in a more traditional family environment, according to a new report from MIT.
This is further corroboration of Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s famous 1965 warning:
“From the wild Irish slums of the 19th century Eastern seaboard, to the riot-torn suburbs of Los Angeles, there is one unmistakable lesson in American history: a community that allows a large number of men to grow up in broken families, dominated by women, never acquiring any stable relationship to male authority, never acquiring any set of rational expectations about the future — that community asks for and gets chaos.”..................