Growing up in the 1970s in the Quad-Cities, I witnessed Americans reaction to government policies legalizing abortion and the vast availability of contraceptives. Soon to follow was an attitude expressed by many that sexual activity without commitment in premarital relationships was acceptable. By the 1980s, I began to see nuclear families splitting up and divorces occurring, leading to an increase in households run by women.
Next, the stigma of unwed motherhood lessened and women increasingly chose to bear children out of wedlock often leading to poverty for these single parents or cohabitating couples. It seems that children were and remain the victims in this societal shift resulting from adopting new sexual freedoms.
I wondered whether the Quad-Cities was embracing this cultural shift leading us away from being a civilization of love and commitment to the family. Well, the Quad-City Times reported 76 birth announcements during the week of Aug. 24 through 30. Of these births, 38 had parents listed with the same last name, a mere 50 percent of reported births. Twenty-eight children listed provided both parents' names. Yet 10 of our newest citizens, or 13 percent, of births reported listed no father at all.
So if this is a typical week, our metro area is growing, but is this the kind of population increase that brings about a more equitable and just society?