Who’s to blame for single motherhood and abortion?

Note: I realize the following commentary may be controversial and seems to be backwards at first blush.  So while reading this please try to keep from ‘reading between the lines’, ‘interpreting my views and arguing as though my view and your interpretation are identical’, and trying to figure out ‘what I really mean’.

Single motherhood is one of the leading causes of poverty.  It’s no surprise really.  When a (usually) young woman or teen becomes responsible for taking care of her new child, her odds of becoming successful are slim, not impossible, but slim.  But what is the main cause of single motherhood, and how can it be prevented?

The answer is simple but unpopular, and is only two words long: sexual chastity.  Refraining from sexual activity until one is married and educationally and financially secure will prevent the plague of single motherhood.  Of course being married by definition makes one not a single mother, but I’m speaking more broadly outside strict definitions.  I am speaking of the condition of a young woman who is raising her child alone without the resources of the father of her child around to provide emotional and financial security.

The question is what, or who, shoulders the responsibility for single motherhood?  I believe the bulk of this burden falls on the woman to show sexual restraint.  Let me be clear: I am not saying she should shoulder the burden, only that she does.  In a perfect world, both men and women would show a responsible degree of sexual restraint, waiting until they are willing to make long-term commitments to their sexual partners (and children) through marriage.

This is easier said than done, I get it.  But here’s why I believe single mothers are most to blame for their single motherhood.

Women often choose men of poor moral quality for their sexual partners for whatever reason, usually superficial.  Single men are, for the most part, are willing to have sex with almost any woman who is also willing.  His sexual drive severely clouds his judgement.  Unfortunately, he isn’t very likely to be thinking about the what if’s.  The younger he is the more likely he is to abandon his fatherly responsibilities as well as his responsibility to the mother of his child.  I am not arguing that because he has little to no self-restraint that he is off the hook.  On the contrary, I am saying this is the unfortunate reality of the non-utopian world in which we live.

It falls to her to be more discriminating in her timing of her sexual activity as well as in her choice of men with whom she shares her body.   Because single men, broadly speaking, will not be so discriminating, it is incumbent upon her to remain chaste until such time as to ensure she and her child have an all around stable complete family environment.

Men on the other hand, I believe are morally culpable the majority of the time for abortion.  It is the same irresponsible men who abandon the mothers of their children that create a feeling of desperation in women who are led to believe abortion is a viable option to their ‘situation’.  This failure to ‘man up’ to his responsibility has resulted in millions of dead children.

When a woman feels abandoned, she goes into survival mode.  ‘How will I be able to take care of this baby?  How will I finish school?  How can I afford this?’ and other concerns to this effect.  I have seen this survival mode before, though not in this kind of scenario.  For example, the few times when it seemed that we would be really short on bills, my wife becomes very unsettled.  She feels unstable and unsafe, like everything is at stake.  She becomes increasingly anxious until everything gets paid and we have our cushion in the bank.

When this sense of desperation sets in, there are two responses: look for a solution, or look for a way out — and no, a way out is not a solution.  Far too often she takes the way out and aborts her child.  I think that a solution would be sought more often if the father were present to support her and their child emotionally and financially.  If he wouldn’t abdicate his responsibility to be a husband and father, I believe the number of abortions would take a sharp decline.

So women, abstain from sex until secure and stable.  And men do not abandon the mother of your child, their life depends on it, literally.


  1. Since vasectomies are reversible, it would be more effective and practical if all men receive one once they reach reproductive age and are then allowed to have the procedure reversed once they are married.

  2. There is another, growing, demographic in the equation; the women who are single mothers by choice. I think this has a lot to do with the degradation of marriage’s role in society. With divorce increasingly easy, excessive use of birth control separating the role of parenting from marriage, the loss of multi-generational connections, and the increased notion that fathers are unnecessary, marriage had to become something else. What it’s become is a romantic, fairytale notion of being “in love” rather then “loving” and with people expecting their partners to fulfill their needs. It’s all about finding “Mr. Right,” who is going to make their lives perfect. When people inevitably fail to meet these unrealistic expectations, more and more women have given up on finding the “perfect” man, but still want to have babies; babies who will love them unconditionally in a way they haven’t been able to find anywhere else. Of course, they also have to have their careers – the bills have to be paid – but daycares, pre-preschools, etc. are there to take over. This, many have been convinced, is not only good enough, but superior to actually getting married before having children.

    There are also teens who also choose to get pregnant specifically so that they can have a someone who will love them and need them; something they feel is missing in their lives.

    In both cases, it’s not about sexual freedom, but about the product: a child that fills some sort of gap in their lives.

    • Kunoichi

      I wasn’t considering planned single motherhood. I think intentional single parenthood (usually mothers) is selfish. They often have the attitude that they can be both a mother and father and this just isn’t the case. Both boys and girls need the proper male role.

  3. I didn’t want to miss this since I have an invitation to comment.

    So think seeking to place blame is the wrong approach, but if we do look to place blame, I think sexual chastity is a good place to start. Those who teach “abstinence only” leave young girls ashamed of their bodies and feelings and ignorant of how to deal with the feelings and relationships they will have. The idea that kids should be responsible all the time forgets that they are kids and make mistakes. It gives them a 15 to 20 year sentence of hard labor (depending on how you count the parenting timeline) or at least a one-year sentence of hard labor (for adoption) and social ostracism for a mistake. And that says nothing of the child growing up with limited support because their mom was in a situation she wasn’t ready for.

    So sexual chastity is to blame because it is a policy of ignorance and shame where there should be a policy of education and support to allow kids to have a transition from being young kids into being sexually-responsible adults. Then they can have healthy, full relationships. Then, maybe, just maybe, they might be ready to be parents. Maybe adults will be ready to take responsibility for kids by teaching them about their bodies and coaching them through relationships instead of pretending that women are babymakers waiting only for a priest to tell them they’re married and it’s ok to have sex.

    • So Jason

      You hold the same view as the president then, that children are a punishment? And the view that pregnancy is more akin to a disease that needs to be remedied?

    • People don’t advocate abstinence because sex is shameful. Its advocated because single parenthood leads to poverty, and so does having children too early in life. Why is the solution killing the baby instead of just not engaging in the behavior that leads to pregnancy?

  4. “So is it your view that sexual liberty be preserved at all costs? Why is it so anathema to reserve sex til marriage? Why is that desire irrefusible?
    Because it’s *your* desire JB. Don’t pretend others have the same inhibitions. And if some kids don’t want to have sex, then fine. But they should still have the education just in case they find themselves in a situation they didn’t expect or if they start to have a different desire. We teach about drugs and alcohol and crossing the street. That doesn’t condone the behavior, it just prepares them.

    And reserving sex until marriage implies that sex and sexual intimacy are no big deal. Sexual compatibility is an important part of a healthy relationship. Sexual intimacy is a way for people to connect as people and to be vulnerable and to trust one another and to break down boundaries. That’s a benefit to both people. It’s not fantasy when we see a difference in maturity between virgins and non-virgins. Making a lifelong commitment to someone without messing around means you don’t really know the person as well as you should. Maybe it will work out and maybe it will be a sexless business arrangement whereby you jointly raise kids, smile in public, and cry in private. You don’t know because you haven’t really tested out the relationship.

    Don’t forget that this idea of choosing who you are with is new. 100 years ago, a person would normally have hardly anyone to choose from in their town. They might have had an arranged marriage. This idea of being able to pick your mate is an undeveloped concept and part of that process should be developing sexual maturity and testing sexual compatibility. It’s way better than tossing young virgins into lifelong commitments.

  5. The “kids make mistakes” angle is no better than throwing in the towel before round 1 even begins. Of course kids make mistakes. But with the proper moral upbringing, they make far fewer and far less severe mistakes.

  6. People also advocate abstinence because it happens to be really effective at preventing pregnancy as well as numerous diseases. We certainly wouldn’t want to advocate for anything that prevents disease, prevents unwanted pregnancies, helps keep women and children out of poverty, and encourages self control to boot. What a silly proposition.

  7. “Those who teach “abstinence only” leave young girls ashamed of their bodies and feelings and ignorant of how to deal with the feelings and relationships they will have.”

    Hogwash. Teaching abstinence has nothing to do with body shaming, nor ignorance. Those are completely different things. Body shaming is cultural, and there’s plenty of that being taught in our highly sexualized culture that teaches our children – girls in particular – that their bodies are never thin enough, pretty enough or good enough. Abstinence also does not equal ignorance. In fact, it has been my observation that the more informed children are, the more they understand the risks and choose abstitnence on their own.

    “And reserving sex until marriage implies that sex and sexual intimacy are no big deal. ”

    Quite the opposite. It teaches that sex and physical intimacy is a precious and special thing, and that they and their bodies deserve better then to be taken advantage of, or to treat in a haphazard manner.

  8. This is rich:

    “Making a lifelong commitment to someone without messing around means you don’t really know the person as well as you should. Maybe it will work out and maybe it will be
    a sexless business arrangement whereby you jointly raise kids, smile in public, and cry in private. You don’t know because you haven’t really tested out the relationship.”


    That you believe sex is a means by which we learn about each other shows that you lack the maturity to involve yourself with another person in even a short term relationship. Leaving sex for last is by far the most likely way of insuring a relationship lasts forever. There are far more important things to learn about one’s prospective spouse which get covered up and ignored, if even noticed at all, when sex is put up as a high priority. Indeed, the benefit of a long courtship is that the superficial attraction will eventually fade to the point where each can truly see who it is they thought they wanted to have sex with for the rest of their lives.

    Anyone who thinks that having sex is necessary for “testing out the relationship” has a twisted understanding of both sex and relationships.

    • What about studies which show lower divorce rates for for women who arent sexually active before marriage?

      The University of Iowa study shows that 31 per cent of women who had sex for the first time as teens divorced within five years, and 47 per cent within 10 years. Among women who delayed sex until adulthood, 15 per cent divorced at five years, compared to 27 per cent at 10 years.

      Jason’s view seems to still be that sexual gratification is of utmost importance. Which explains a lot as to some other positions he holds. For some reason one’s desire for sexual satisfaction should never be delayed or kept in check. I wonder why sex is so important that it drives so many decisions?

  9. I would suggest that Jason, and others of his ideology, get themselves a copy of the book, “The Ring Makes All the Difference,” by Glenn T. Stanton, and give it some really thoughtful perusing!

  10. Inquizative says:

    What’s happening in society is the consistent decline in the importance of fathers in helping in loving and raising children especially among minority women. I feel that it is important to identify the culprit of this mentality. For one, the Women’s Liberation movement sparked the undermining of the necessity of Fathers. As a result, men where reduced to sperm banks and a child support checks. Women were seduced by the negatives of arrogance in assuming that fathers were not significant. Considering the statistics, how sadly they were mistakened. This distortion of thinking grew out of the woman’s Liberation movement who who although rejected men, still felt the natural urge of motherhood even though men were ostracized from their lives. Although women disliked (to put mildly) the fact that they still needed a man in acquiring the most important thing in confirming their womanhood, a baby. Many women tolerated the sexual contact with the man in which they decided had the physical attributes that would make a cute baby.

    Another factor that produced single motherhood and all the negatives that entailed, is the sexual revolution. This in conjunction with effective birth control “the pill” gave women control over birth and which made it less taboo for women to have casual sex. Once effective forms of birth-control existed and the novelty of “the pill” wore off. The sexual habits remained. This is a another contributing factor in conjunction with the Women’s Liberation movement which caused an explosion of single motherhood and ultimately the suffrage of innocent children especially among minorities.

    I know most women emotionally do not like accepting responsibility in the major cause of children growing up without fathers but this is a fact. In order for the problem to be rectified, this has to be accepted. I am not implying that father are innocent bystanders, that is not true. However if the curse of single motherhood is ever changed, today’s women have to stop having children with baby daddy’s and only having children with husbands. If women cannot find a husband they should consider adoption. However women, need to refrain from having children out of wedlock, it is solely their choice and they have total control through available and free birth control.

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