Generation Unbound Drifting into Sex and Parenthood Without Marriage

ISBN-10: 081572635X
ISBN-13: 9780815726357
Edition: 2015
List price: $25.00 Buy it from $13.30
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Description: Over half of all births to young adults in the United States now occur outside of marriage. A large proportion are unplanned. These facts suggest that today's young adults are drifting into relationships and are often unprepared for parenthood. What  More...

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Book details

List price: $25.00
Copyright year: 2015
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
Publication date: 9/25/2014
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 212
Size: 6.00" wide x 8.75" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.880
Language: English

Over half of all births to young adults in the United States now occur outside of marriage. A large proportion are unplanned. These facts suggest that today's young adults are drifting into relationships and are often unprepared for parenthood. What kind of future does this mean for their kids and for society as a whole? In Generation Unbound, Isabel V. Sawhill discusses likely causes for recent changes in the family, such as an increase in women's economic opportunities, the declining economic prospects of men, greater access to birth control and abortion, and new social norms that allow young people more choice —but provide less guidance on what it means to be an adult. Isabel V. Sawhill reveals an emerging class divide in patterns of marriage and childbearing: at the top of the ladder are "planners," who are marrying and having children only after establishing a career; at the bottom, and increasingly in the middle, are "drifters" who are having unplanned children early, outside of marriage, and without the stable support of a second parent. This divide is contributing to rising inequality and less social mobility in the U.S. Isabel V. Sawhill sees merit in the views of those on the political left, who argue for more social supports for the less advantaged, including more educational opportunities, expanded child care, parental leave, family-friendly workplaces, and financial assistance. She also agrees with those on the right who argue for traditional marriage as the best environment for raising children. But, she argues that public policies aimed at restoring marriage have not worked and that existing social supports cannot keep pace with an ongoing tide of childbearing outside of marriage. Instead, she points to a third way: greater personal responsibility among potential parents themselves. Drawing on new insights from behavioral economics, and the promise of new long-acting contraceptives, she suggests a future in which more children will be born to adults who want and are prepared to be parents. Contents1. An Introduction2. Changes in the Family: More Diversity, a Bigger Divide3. Why We Should Worry: The Consequences of Choices about Marriage and Childbearing4. A Growing Class Divide: Planners vs. Drifters5. The Traditionalists vs. the Villagers: Why Government Alone Can't Solve the Marriage Problem6. Making Better Decisions: The Need to Change the Default7. Peering into the Future: Less Marriage, Fewer Children?

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