Saturday, April 9, 2016

The link between marriage and poverty in Nashville acknowledged in NashvilleNext.

I have finally gotten around to reading NashvilleNext.  I found this gem in the Economic and Workforce Development section. Often the role of marriage as a factor in poverty is ignored. I am pleased to see it acknowledged in this report. This is from page 21 at this link


Unfortunately this acknowledgement does not lead to a recommendation of goals, policies or actions.  A policy prescription from this acknowledgement should be that Nashville will attempt to instill a respect for marriage and work to discourage young women from becoming pregnant. 

There is only so much government can and should do to promote social policies, however the same leadership Mayor Barry has shown to combating youth violence could be devoted to curtailing illegitimate births. United Way could make reducing illegitimate births one of their goals for which they award grant funding. Religious leaders, civic and charitable organizations, and schools could join in a united campaign to combat pregnancy among young girls. Surely, as much attention should be paid to reducing illegitimate births as there is to combating bullying, not texting and driving, wearing seat belts, and not littering.  

The term "single mother" is used everywhere as an inclusive term for divorced mothers, widowed mothers and never married mothers who gave birth out of wedlock.  I wish some researcher would dig deeper. I suspect that there is less poverty and societal ill effects from divorced mother and widowed mothers than from never married mothers. We should discontinue use of the term "single mothers" as an inclusive term that includes divorce, widowed, and women who had a child born out of wedlock. 

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