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And the best advantage is to have a married mother and father. Every civilisation throughout the world has known this. But for some reason the West now thinks otherwise.

I have a friend whose step daughter has a daughter, born as a result of IVF. This girl, by design, has been denied a father. This is child abuse.

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White(-ish) married to a Chinese wife, and working with lots of Chinese and Indians. Marriage (as most other things) is due to culture. Among the (mostly educated) Chinese I interact with, NO one has kids out of wedlock. Very few divorces.

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the work you are doing should embarrass the hell out of not only journalists but academia also. Keep it up!

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I think on of the major elements that often gets left out of this debate is the cultural shifts related to changing attitudes in society--the ease of divorce, the sexual revolution and its impact on both men and women -- but also a really hard, honest look at how the creation of the birth control pill and more reliable contraceptives opened many doors for changes in those cultural attitudes. I'd suggest Mary Eberstadt's book "Adam and Eve After the Pill". She has many good essays that, even if you vehemently disagree, still prompt excellent reflection.

I disagree that everything about this solidly comes down to just changing economics. All issues re more complicated than they seem on the surface.

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The main problem with the social ills in our country is that fact that we are three generations deep of homes without a father figure to raise children. Since the vast majority of these fatherless homes belong to Black women and to a lesser extent other minorities, even broaching this problem will have you branded as a racist. Furthermore, our government provides a financial incentive for women to not have fathers in their homes. And the more children they have, the greater the financial incentive. I don't have an answer to how to solve this problem, but I believe identifying where the problem lies is a a start.

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Great piece.

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Somewhere in the last half of the interview they discussed a GW Bush era law that was designed to strengthen marriage, I can't recall the title of it. Melissa mentioned that it didn't necessarily lead to more marriages and so funding was eventually ended. But she went on to say that for those who participated, it made a real difference in the preparation for and commitment to married life. This was compared to a whole range of other social programs which don't seem to have data to suggest they achieve their goals, if they have quantifiable goals, (e.g., many education programs) but are regularly renewed. My own side note on that is those programs are often given more funding not defunded, despite lack of evidence for success, as the explanation is always "we didn't try it big enough, i.e., spend enough money. But those are almost always programs that are supporting some progressive or redistributionist agenda, lobbied for hard by unions and other groups. The push to end things like standardized testing for K-12 is really a way to avoid accountability for such failed or mistargeted programs and avoid scrutiny of how funds are being spent.

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I believe that this argument kind of misses the point. If you focus just on two-parent family makeup, then you won't see the successes of separated parent families. The key is not whether two people are married, it's whether they share parenting in an equable and cordial way. It's a matter of assuming responsibility for your actions, a principle that is in horrible decline in this country, for reasons too complex to go into here. I'm talking about dads who contribute their genes and then walk, and maybe do it again, and again. I'd be willing to wager that kids raised in a true co-parenting situation, or one where the mother is the primary caretaker but the father is deeply involved both financially and socially, do just as well as kids in a two-parent home. I've done it and know plenty of others who've done it too. So do the research and prove me wrong. If you can't, then you should be talking a lot more about the responsibility problem....

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Does this mean a mother and a father.

I notice that chickens only need a mother and any clucky chook will do.

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Jason Riley published an op ed in the Wall Street Journal today that made the same points, but referenced different studies. Where there is smoke, there is fire...

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Thomas Sowell has been on this topic for decades, and despite his credentials, is largely ignored. Society is spiraling downwards. We are at a point where even left leaning people are condemned for speaking obvious truths. I think the Free Press is a result of this societal breakdown.

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Liked touching on taxes towards the end. I think the structure can disincentivize marriage on both ends of the income spectrum, interesting to think about.

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It really shouldn’t be a shock or surprise that a two-parent home is more economically viable and socially beneficial.

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Someone somewhere dropped the “earned” part, as it was once a two-word term, “earned privilege” which no one was born with or given without specific effort calibrated to the precise amount and types earned. When a single word referenced the “earned “used to be silent and assumed. I guess people today feel entitled to not work and don’t have to earn anything.

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I’ve been thinking about this book and corresponding podcast and thought to myself, “Captain Obvious, of course kids are going to have better outcomes with two parents.” Why do we have to state the obvious these days and more importantly, how can this be even remotely controversial?

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Being children of divorce back in the 70s, I can say that it was definitely detrimental to the mental and social development of my siblings. As the eldest I had the benefit of the 2 parent family longer than they did, but not by much. (Reading saved my life.) That was why when my husband and I had a child, we decided the spouse that had the better earning potential would work and the other stay home. He went to work, I stayed at home and took care of the rest. I’m getting ready to retire after 25 years at a job I love, and raising my child for that 18 year interlude was the very best time I will ever have.

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We vowed NEVER to divorce, we weren’t going to put our kids through the hell we endured.

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