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The retreat from marriage in America, a retreat that Roiphe seems keen to defend, has led to “diverging destinies” for children from less-educated and college-educated homes.

Children from poor and working-class homes are now doubly disadvantaged by their parents’ economic meager resources by the fact that their parents often break up.

By contrast, children from more-educated and affluent homes are doubly advantaged by their parents’ substantial economic resources and by the fact that their parents usually get and stay married.

news story on the marriage divide in America as a “puritanical and alarmist rumination on the decline of the American family.” Since when is it puritanical and alarmist in progressive circles to raise the red flag about a major driver of social and economic inequality?

Specifically, Mc Lanahan and a colleague found that boys raised in a single-parent household were more than twice as likely to be incarcerated, compared with boys raised in an intact, married home, even after controlling for differences in parental income, education, race, and ethnicity.

These cultural changes are only reinforcing the marriage divide in America, insofar as religious attendance and marriage-minded norms tend to strengthen marriage.

This makes these men less attractive as marriage partners, both in their own eyes and in the eyes of their partners.

Hence, less-educated Americans are less likely to get and stay married, even when they are having children.

Research by the Economic Mobility Project at Pew suggests that children from intact families are also more likely to rise up the income ladder if they were raised in a low-income family, and less likely to fall into poverty if they were raised in a wealthy family.

For instance, according to Pew’s analysis, 54 percent of today’s young adults who grew up in an intact two-parent home in the top-third of household income have remained in the top-third as adults, compared with just 37 percent of today’s young adults who grew up in a wealthy (top-third) but divorced family. Single mothers, even from wealthier families, have less time.

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