MadSci Network: Neuroscience

Re: Is single parenting right?

Date: Tue Jun 12 08:34:50 2001
Posted By: Jeffrey Utz, M.D., Neuroscience, pediatrics, Allegheny University
Area of science: Neuroscience
ID: 990398254.Ns

Unfortunately, there is not a scientific answer to your question. In the 
United States, there are many single parents. Some are women who chose to 
have children out of wedlock, others are men and women whose partners 
either left them or died.

I have seen excellent single parents and horrible single parents. I have 
also seen excellent married parents and horrible married parents. Whether 
a parent is a good parent has nothing to do with whether the parent is 

For your specific questions: Is single parenthood beneficial to society? 
If the person (could be either a man or a woman, really) is a good parent, 
then it is beneficial to society. If the person is a bad parent, I guess not.

Would the child be mentally stable in the future? The answer is the same 
as if the child had two parents: If the child has good role models, 
including the parent, aunts and uncles, teachers and other community 
members, the child is more likely to be mentally stable. If the child has 
bad role models, the child is less likely to be mentally stable.

In the future, would the mother be scorned upon? In the US, years ago, 
single parents would be, yes. Today, the answer is either only a little bit 
if at all. In most places, I believe, parents whose spouses died are not 
scorned upon at all. In the US, parents whose partners left them are not 
scorned upon either. But in other places they are. And mothers who have 
babies out of wedlock are scorned upon a little bit. So the answer to 
your question depends upon where you live.

Science has little to say about whether single parenting is right or 
wrong. It is really a value judgement. The answer to the question has a 
lot to do with which society in which one lives, the ability of the parent 
to care for a child by herself (or himself), and how the community is set 
up to care for single parents and their kids.

Current Queue | Current Queue for Neuroscience | Neuroscience archives

Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on Neuroscience.

MadSci Home | Information | Search | Random Knowledge Generator | MadSci Archives | Mad Library | MAD Labs | MAD FAQs | Ask a ? | Join Us! | Help Support MadSci

MadSci Network,
© 1995-2001. All rights reserved.