Saturday, May 14, 2016

Nicholas H. Wolfinger — How to Talk About Single Motherhood

 Conservative mistakes in discourse on unwed motherhood

(Institute for Family Studies)

A colleague of mine recently asked one of his classes whether they think it’s OK for women to give birth out of wedlock. Almost all said yes. Next they were asked if their parents would be upset if they got pregnant or impregnated someone? Again, almost all said yes.

Is this hypocritical? Social conservatives have long condemned those vocal elites on the left who espouse a do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do ethos when it comes to sex and relationships: I’m married and monogamous, but it’s OK for you to be a libertine. As the late James Q. Wilson and others have suggested, this tends to work out fine for the middle and upper classes—they can smoothly transition to stable relationships after they’ve sowed their oats—but not so well for the under-privileged, whose romantic entanglements are more likely to yield out-of-wedlock births than stable relationships. Casting the students’ ostensibly conflicting opinions as polar opposites strikes me as unreasonable.

The issue is not hypocrisy, but moral complexity.

Read the full article HERE.