The Definition of Marriage Is Shifting in the U.S.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

single mother mom (Matthew Kenwrick/flickr)

It might surprise you to learn that today, 48 percent of first-time mothers are unmarried. This figure is not about a rise in teen pregnancy, though. It's about a different demographic shift. The children of teen moms make up only 23 percent of all unmarried births. Sixty percent of the women having their first child out of marriage are women in their twenties. It's just one sign of the greatly shifting definition of marriage in this country. 

Kay Hymowitz is a William E. Simon fellow at the Manhattan Institute and author of "Knot Yet: The Benefits and Costs of Delayed Marriage in America" and Stacia Brown is founder of the blog Beyond Baby Mamas, a resource for single parents of color.

Our Washington correspondent, Todd Zwillich, is filling in as host all this week. Follow Todd on Twitter for the latest from Capitol Hill.


Stacia Brown and Kay Hymowitz

Hosted by:

Todd Zwillich

Produced by:

Tyler Adams and Mythili Rao

Comments [5]

kashif from paksitan

yes my age 26 but i m like u shift me all life my help and i m muslim boye u intarst me islam i m marige u life and satil us i m soo intars u my skyp id . kashif_0126 u add and live chat and chans marige u and come to u smile

Apr. 28 2013 04:45 PM

I might get married one day, but to me right now, the word marriage serves as a reminder of a religious history that still has a lot of influence in our society, and mostly ostracizes me, my child, and many other people throughout the US.

Mar. 27 2013 04:57 PM
Larry Fisher from Brooklyn, N.Y.

The definition of divorce will remain the same

Mar. 27 2013 02:38 PM
Amy Martin from Dallas, TX

Conservatives want government out of our lives...oh unless you are pregnant or gay. What hypocrites.

Mar. 27 2013 12:57 PM

Is there anywhere, that has marriage vows that address responsibility and obligations to the children produced from the union??? I've never heard any of these type marriage vows (perhaps some couples make them up???)
All the vows I've ever heard only address obligations to the adults who are marrying.

Also, why is it that so many mothers refer to their husbands (hopefully jokingly) as their "oldest child"?

Mar. 27 2013 10:01 AM

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