Re: single parents

Geoff Smith (
Fri, 13 Mar 1998 15:19:05 -0800

> From: Mark D. Fulwiler <>
> To: Extropian mailing list <>
> Subject: single parents
> Date: Saturday, March 14, 1998 12:33 PM
> Wayne Hayes <> wrote:
> > But was it *offered*, or was it *required*, to give up your child
> > if you stayed at Falwell's place? It's not a good idea if it's
> > required; that's called coercion.
> I do not think that any minister can require a teen mother to give up
> her child. A judge could order it, if it was determined she was "unfit"
> or unable to care for it.
> >
> > Could you point me to the statistics that say prisons are full of
> > single-parent children? I know quite a few single-parent children
> > (I'm one of them) that grew up just fine. I feel more sorry for
> > my mother (since she gave up *everything* for 20 years to raise me)
> > than I do for me.
> I will have to track down some specific sources for you. However, I do
> think it is well established that kids from single parent homes are more
> likely to end up in prison. Of course, most kids from single parent
> homes turn out fine, but that doesn't mean it's the optimal situation.
> Didn't you ever wish you had a father? I'm sorry you didn't have the
> experience. Provided he's a decent fellow, it is good for kids to have
> one around.

I think this is a correlation/causation question. I also come from a
single parent home(although I'm not truly single-parented, does that make a
difference?), and know many others, and all of us I would say are *less*
likely to commit a crime. Being the only man of the house(or woman)
requires added responsibilities... such a situation can make one grow up
fast (in the positive sense) My guess is that single-parent homes are
not the cause of a child's tendency towards criminal behaviour, but instead
they are a side-effect of the real cause. For example, I would like to
know how many single parent homes there are in lower income families, or in
lower income neighborhoods. I would also be interested to know if the
details of the child ending up with only one parent are significant...
possibly a child with a parent that has died has a different tendency
towards criminal behaviour than a child whose parents divorced? Anyway, my
point is: I think it is ridiculous to say that single-parent homes
influence criminal behaviour without much more evidence than "there are
lots of single-parent kids in jail."