The Harry Potter Generation

An excerpt from this article:


Denying that kids do best when both biological parents raise them is not just naïve, it’s cruel and abusive.

It doesn’t matter who raises children as long as they have money and basic parenting skills. That’s the gist of Emily Badger’s article at the Washington Post, “Children with married parents are better off—but marriage isn’t the reason why.”

Badger admits that children raised by “two parents tend to be more successful—at school, in the future labor market, in their own marriages—than children raised by a single mom or dad.” But it’s not because their own parents are raising them, it’s because of economics and parenting skills among the type of people who marry.

Let’s cut to the chase. This is just another attempt to attack the traditional family and undermine the importance of marriage. If all that matters for children “to thrive” (which Badger defines in basically materialistic and economic terms) is decent parenting skills—such as reading to and eating meals with the kids—and a healthy bank account, then most anyone could successfully raise a child. A single dad. Or not a dad. A single mom. Or not. Two men. Two women. How about a nanny? Would that work? Sounds like it.

A glaring omission from Badger’s analysis is the biological, psychological, and spiritual dimension of a child. The researchers she cites—who coldly call marriage a “commitment device”—seem oblivious to what it means to be a complete human being. We don’t come into the world isolated and alone. We are born into a social framework, a family. We are born to two parents—a father and a mother—and this is deeply significant to the well-being of the whole child.

Dads Bring More than Bacon

As the Heritage Foundation has noted, fathers in the home make all the difference as both parents raise their child together. Yes, economics is a part of it: “Being raised in a married family reduces a child’s probability of living in poverty by about 82 percent.” But money is not all that matters:

Some of this difference in poverty is due to the fact that single parents tend to have less education than married couples, but even when married couples are compared to single parents with the same level of education, the married poverty rate will still be more than 75 percent lower. Marriage is a powerful weapon in fighting poverty. In fact, being married has the same effect in reducing poverty that adding five to six years to a parent’s level of education has.

Having a father in the home—not just a cohabiting male—has a positive effect on children that goes far beyond reducing poverty. While many behavioral problems can be associated with the higher poverty rates of single mothers, not all can:

In many cases the improvements in child well-being that are associated with marriage persist even after adjusting for differences in family income. This indicates that the father brings more to his home than just a paycheck.

The effect of married fathers on child outcomes can be quite pronounced. For example, examination of families with the same race and same parental education shows that, when compared to intact married families, children from single-parent homes are

So, contrary to the researchers cited in Badger’s article, who say parenting skills and economics “explain most of the better outcomes for the children of married couples” than marriage, many other researchers come to a different conclusion: that marriage is fundamental to a child’s well-being.


Those who think marriage is basically irrelevant don’t know human nature, and they deny the deep needs of the human heart. They reject biology for a political scheme, and instead of doing what is best for children—advocating for both parents to raise children in a committed relationship called marriage—they attempt to advance their own twisted views of humanity. They reduce children to material, isolated units instead of seeing them as soulful creatures fashioned from two people and connected to a genetic history that informs them of who they are in this big, diverse world.

To intentionally deny children the opportunity to know both parents—and to be raised by them—is not only naive and foolish, it is cruel. It is a form of neglect—and those who advocate it are advancing the neglect, the abuse, of children. Such people aren’t to be legitimized and they’re certainly not to be admired. They’re to be exposed for what they are: self-centered people who care only about an agenda, not about children. If they were truly compassionate as they claim, they wouldn’t rob children of what they need most in this world—the love and intimate knowledge of their mom and their dad. They would support marriage between a man and woman, which is essential to children knowing themselves and being truly happy.

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1 comment for “The Harry Potter Generation

  1. patriarchal landmine
    October 4, 2014 at 2:38 AM

    my mom started putting herself through college when I was growing up.

    even factoring in these stats about how much better off we should have been with her education, the only result is that she utterly ignored us. then she got knocked up by another white trash hillbilly loser and had yet another kid she could not take care of. guess what happened to the white trash hillbilly by the way. if you guessed “into the ether” you would be right.

    ultimately, the only explanation I can give for my childhood is that I was raised by wolves. a single mother is by far the worst parent anyone can have.

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