Shaming of single parent families continues, even through to this day.

Moms have taken the blame for shit for 100 years, starting with Freud on up. [one could go back further but I’ll start modern era].

Up through the 1970s, Autism was blamed on “refrigerators mothers”. Moms didn’t love the kids enough. Not enough hugs. Cold moms. Created autistic kids.

In the 80s: moms going to work led to latch-key kids but they didn’t blame the fathers but rather the ERA and women wanting to go out to work. They were wrecking the family by divorce courts.

They also were used to define “dysfunctional families”. Why were they dysfunctional? The so-called “broken home”. That’s a great message for kids and single parents to get bombarded with. If you have love in a home, you’re 80% there.

Through this whole time, various marriage acts get proposed in state courts. Shaming of single parent families continues, even through to this day.

It’s fine for a family or church to say “Shouldn’t you really be with someone?” – you know, regular passive aggressive family guilt and shame.

But then that’s all over the media, in textbooks, and what does it succeed in improving? Pats on the back for “intact families”?

There’s a reason WHY you hear less and less about “broken homes” being “the reason” for crime. Stats aren’t bearing it out as the reason. Correlation aside, it doesn’t seem to be causation.


Question: Do you consider this an equal issue among white single parent households and black single parent households?


Another option: If it’s single mother black families, less targeting of black fathers by police, or even earlier, get rid of the school to prison pipeline, – more community youth programs in black neighborhoods with male mentor figures abundant.

If you really want to “solve”, solve.


It’s irrational to point out something is bad and then stop.


This is a short time scale – only 10 years – but it looks like despite marriages and divorces and new pairings and such, the levels seem to be the same for this 10 year period.

This is good. It can provide a stable background to see if there are differences in crime rates over the same period of time.



Now, here’s violent crime (not all crime) for the same period by race.

*but* here’s a problem: these would be *adult* statistics whereas the “single parent households” would be kids.

*now* you’d have to go back in time to figure out what generation the criminals are in and look at whether there is a correlation between crime rate now to the single parent rate when they were counted in single parent statistics.

I’m not going to do that. But point is, it starts to get complicated.




Let’s say you institute community programs to help kids in single family households. You institute scholarship programs to help them pay for extra schooling.

The program starts working.

But then the messages continue about crime rates and single parents.

The programs get cut by new politicians before their success or failure comes in. Why? Because they’re based upon old data from adults who are NO LONGER in single parent households but whose actions negatively reflect about CURRENT single parent households and the kids in them.

I”m not saying things shouldn’t be done. But too often programs get cut long before there’s been enough time to assess success/failure rates.

No fixing takes places and the repetition of the statistics amounts to blame because efforts to fix aren’t given time to work properly long enough to be reflected in new crime stats. The cycles continue.


Time problem is parental interaction time, yes.

I don’t believe in the nuclear family alone as automatically beneficial. Rather, I believe in communities that have cohesion between citizens, including children, adults, schools, police, government.

I believe a single parent household in a strong community will produce kids who will be more likely to be upstanding members of society.

But there’s an additional problem than interaction time: income.

Single parent income is automatically more likely to be lower. That prevents participation in a number of school programs and usually prevents completion of college.

Regarding blacks and incarceration, looking at the “School to Prison” pipeline is one avenue for answers. It’s a known problem. It’s not an exclusively US problem but it’s been addressed better in other countries, like Australia, who have less zero-tolerance policies and have had more restorative justice models in place.



Identifying a problem without providing a solution though doesn’t provide an avenue for a solution.

Even a ridiculous solution is better than none at all.

Why? When you state a bare fact it can be used for a LOT of other reasons than solutions.

It can be used for blame. It can be used as excuses for non-solutions to be ok because of these bare facts. such as discrimination.

Not providing some suggested solution can lead the reader into presuming that these are fixed and unchangeable. Why, if someone believes in evolutionary psychology they may even use these bare facts to concoct a just-so story to explain “why fundamentally ‘this group’ is” – something negative – permanently.

A bare fact doesn’t mean anything without a reason behind stating or a direction to go into. If you don’t provide the direction or purpose, your audience will and it often won’t be in the direction of reasonable solutions.



Skyler Hart I dunno. I was raised in a tiny white blue collar town in suburban NJ with two churches, a synagogue, sports everywhere (but just for the kids who had intact families – not officially but it was just a given), but generally very kid friendly.
Raised by mom and grandmother and the town. Hence my interest in the topic. Shaped my beliefs about the world and about my role as an adult male as someone responsible for strong communities and to help all kids in some small way.
I only know by experience that “intact families” can be really fucked up internally and produce shitty adults, and that “broken families” can produce decent adults.
There’s statistics then there’s experiences. Statistics don’t show impetus, interest, drive, but they can have implicit bias.

I think it belongs in this conversation. If you present a statistic, why? There’s a “so what?” moment with facts.


I’m not saying they trump statistics. I’m saying they’re meaningless without a reason why they’re brought up.

That’s where current experience (conversation) joins statistics.

Here we have statistics about single parents and crime. Ok. Next topic.

Statistics don’t exist in a vacuum. Why do these statistics matter to you?


I question these easily thrown around stats because of the often questionable justifications they’re used for.

I can easily accept them but only if there’s some point to accepting them.

It’s the “and because you accept this statistics, ‘you must also accept'” that often follows that I’m attempting to predict because stats without context serve no purpose, do they?


I mentioned race because “single-parent households in inner-cities leads to gangs which must be stopped by stronger police force” is a very common US narrative. I’m not suggesting this is your narrative, but the link between “single parent household” and “crime” and presumably “USA” typically leads to race.

But, not always. I wasn’t presuming you had a bias against black people by the way. Just that this statistic is often used as a proxy for poor black inner city families on welfare who are draining the taxpayers hard earned money. [another common US narrative].

It’s so common which is why I brought it up early and used myself as an alternative to sway a conversation away from that possible zone.

Besides a quest to correct inaccurate comprehensions of reality – which is also my quest – what in specific draws you to have an interest in these statistics? Why does the correlation matter to you?

Or has this ALL been solely to get me to agree with the statistics? [which I’d already done earlier].



Oh jeez, to get statistics on this would require drilling down to city/neighborhood level programs.

Neighborhood. Name of program. When instituted. Who politically supported it. How long did the program last. Did the funding get cut by a politician? Was there any tracking of the effectiveness program when the kids in these programs were adults, even though funding had been cut long ago?

Even if I could answer those, I could only likely produce anecdotes.

So, you can dismiss it if you like because the data collection for such a task would be a massive undertaking and I doubt anybody’s even tried.


Crime/parent statistics are simpler. Rolls up cleanly. Easy data.



Once upon a time, I worked for a pharmaceutical company as a systems analyst. One big project I worked on involved doctors, local prescription plans, several competing drugs, and sales reps.
Pain in the ass. This was back in ’99-’02. Do you know HOW MANY different prescription plans there are? How many insurance companies there are? How many doctors? What are they prescription specifically to each patient? During a single week?
I knew. The data I got was from a huge amount of messy sources, from mainframe to CD ROM to internet to pieces oaf paper that got slipped under my door.
Each of 8000 sales reps had to get personalized reports for their sales area and mickey moused with interactive push button fun that couldn’t fail.
It’s data that is as close to illegal to possess as we could get away with without it being actually illegal. … well… I could drill down to patient names with some data but I got rid of those ASAP…
Took thousands of lines of Excel VBA code and these things I wrote and ran over several oversized sheets took hours to run and sometimes I’d have to copy it to other computers to push them out on time each week.
It made the company a shitload of money even after I left (they were still using in 2010 for other drugs)
Once upon a time I set up data automation from scratch (in Excel with thousands of lines of visual basic code at times) for a pharmaceutical for a living so while I don’t know much about fear, I *do* know about setting up reports and the difficulties of certain types of data collection and reporting.Here for example: national crime statistics with single parenting doesn’t mean much to me. More prisoners had single parents? Ok. So what?State level seems equally meaningless. County level gets more interesting. But it’s neighborhood level where it matters to me.Do single parent kids / young adults commit more crimes in their neighborhoods statistically?Is this true in all neighborhoods with single parent kids in the same amounts?If not, what is different about each neighborhood that predicated crime or lack of crime?That’s where you can find effective / ineffective answers and solutions.
  National level holds little interest to me because I’m not in a position to do anything nationally. Or on a state level. But perhaps neighborhood level. That’s where people live – in neighborhoods. Crime affects neighborhoods most directly, not nations. [unless you’re talking about funding, but what’s being funded? Will it be effective? Back to neighborhood we go.]By meaningless statistic, I mean it’s a useless statistic without there being an attached purpose for that statistic.What am I doing with that information? “Oh, that’s interesting” isn’t always meaningful.”How many Pokemon are there?”
“How much crime is committed on a national level by people from single parent homes?”Are equally useful to me. Actually, the Pokemon statistic might be slightly more useful.
  If you’re a church, you can set up “marriage encouragement” programs.
If you’re a school district or neighborhood, you can set up mentoring and financial assistance and kids activities.
If you’re a sheriff’s office, you can use the national statistic to compare with your own areas and try to improve the situation in your own area because that’s your domain.
If you’re an individual… I don’t see what use the information would have.
  I want policy makers to have accurate statistics but I want to know what they’re going to *do* with those statistics.How much reach do policy makers have over individual families?What will they do with that information?I’m not disregarding the compiling of that information. But what it’s being used *for* and by *whom* makes a difference. Back to original point, if it’s an individual citizen who is *not* a policy maker and has this information, what are they using for?Most commonly: Blame. What else can a citizen without political power do with that information? Not much.
 Be objective. Are you a policy maker? Am I?
 Usually. Courts might decide otherwise at times.
  If you’re rational, you wouldn’t shoot me in the face. But assuming you pass all of the standard criteria, it’s likely your fault in a court but again, lawyers are tricky people.Personally, I’d blame you regardless of circumstance. But there’s court of public opinion and there’s criminal court as well.
 Depends on the neighborhood as to the severity of the crime. If I leave the keys in my car and the doors unlocked in a neighborhood in which stealing and joy riding in cars is commonplace, you’d be to blame, but I’d also be an idiot – yet not as much to blame as you would in a neighborhood where such things don’t normally happen. In that case it would be more your fault.
  Look I grew up near Newark NJ. You can look it up if you’ve never heard of it.If I left my car unlocked and keys in the ignition and someone joyrides in my car? I was an idiot and wouldn’t tell anybody what happened.But if I did the same thing in a part of the country where people leave their keys in the ignition and car doors unlocked regularly? You bet I’d prosecute.
  Ok. You’re talking about national advocacy (or world advocacy) then.
On a world level, you want the World Health Organization. I don’t know what they have to say about single parents but they have a lot to say about other aspects of education in that area.
Or is that too broad?

  Did a little more looking up. Seems the WHO is going to classify infertility as including being single as a disability as they consider right to a family a fundamental right, although this is the Telegraph which you have to take with a grain of salt.
ah this is interesting: the USA stands out in extremely high poverty rate for single parent families among counties who have similar single parent rates.
Looks a lot of these things may be USA specific problems.



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