Family and community are eroding in America — drug deaths and suicide are way up, marriage and two-parent households are way down. It is a widespread and complicated crisis, yet some conservatives have a simple, single target for blame: liberal elites.
Turn on any talk show, open any right-leaning editorial page, and you’ll see it: The reduction in marriage rates and birthrates in America is wholly and singularly the fault of feminists graduating from Wesleyan with women’s studies degrees, declaring marriage to be archaic and motherhood to be oppressive.
Call it the Lena Dunham Fallacy. Rooted in a vague perception of the life and work of the “Girls” creator, it holds that the behavior we see on HBO or in the lives of some Hollywood stars is the norm among the much broader swath of college-educated Americans. (Why name it for Ms. Dunham, whose show ended in 2017? Let’s just say that a behind-the-times stereotype deserves a behind-the-times moniker.)
The true landscape of marriage and family in America is very different. The ZIP codes and the demographics where Ms. Dunham probably has the fewest fans are the ones where marriage is most aggressively in retreat. Meanwhile, in the upper quintile of income and in the country’s most educated towns and counties — the same counties that just helped swing the House of Representatives to the Democrats — people are living fairly conservative lives, complete with intact families and tight-knit communities.
My fellow conservatives, who rightly lament America’s turn away from marriage and the dropping birthrate, need to ask why “real America,” including the most dedicated parts of Donald Trump’s base, is seeing the intact family crumble.
College-educated women and non-college women used to marry at the same rate. Back in 1960, about 85 percent of both groups were married at age 40. Today, it is about 65 percent of college-educated women and below 50 percent for women who never went to college.
It is true that more-educated women are marrying later in life than their parents did, which may feed the Dunham stereotype. But they’re still marrying — while working-class women are less likely to marry at all, and are more likely to divorce. Men without a college education are also more likely to divorce.
While 11 percent of babies born to college-educated women are born out of wedlock, according to the Pew Research Center, the out-of-wedlock birthrate is above 50 percent for mothers who never went.
That may be because teenagers from poor families — that is, household incomes of less than ,000 — don’t aspire to marriage. In a recent Pew study, fewer than one in three said marriage was very or extremely important to them, compared with 56 percent of children from wealthier families. There’s a similar gap when it comes to valuing parenthood.
What’s behind this erosion of the traditional family among the working class? A purely economic account is inadequate. When the fracking boom brought good-paying jobs to working-class communities with depressed marriage rates, there was no uptick in nuptials, according to a study by the Brookings Institution scholar Melissa Kearney and Riley Wilson, a Ph.D. student at the University of Maryland.
At the same time, places like Utah and Western Michigan had consistently strong marriage rates, despite being far from the elite coastal cities.
What do Utah and, say, Northern Virginia have in common? Certainly not politics or income levels. Rather, they both have robust community institutions, whether they be sports leagues, strong public schools or vibrant churches.
The struggling parts of Middle America have seen not only their factories and coal mines shut down, they’ve also seen churches and sports leagues wither and die. They’ve seen the P.T.A.s dry up and social trust erode. Poverty isn’t the only curse in these places — there’s also the plague of social isolation.
Absent the social scaffolding that makes family formation more achievable and more desirable, families don’t form as much. Nearly everyone who has raised children knows the value of cohesive neighborhoods and robust community institutions.
Places with more social capital experience more family formation, the data show. One study in The Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare found that “both finding a job and finding a mate are more likely when women are embedded in diverse, expansive networks.”
Strong public schools and good libraries give parents the tools to raise educated and curious children. Strong church communities reinforce values and provide social networks for parents. Even bustling athletic fields are a huge family booster: Adult sports leagues provide meeting grounds for potential spouses, and youth sports leagues make it easier to raise happy and healthy kids.
The better a place is to raise kids, the more people you’ll get raising more kids.
Dan Albrecht, a mechanic I met in Oostburg, Wis., a small town built around Dutch Reformed churches, told me at the counter of Judi’s diner, “What I really like about this community is they stick together.” He rattled off the community organizations in this village, particularly the youth activities. “The community really backs their children.”
Mr. Albrecht’s’s phrase “their children” struck me. The kids aren’t just the parents’ kids. They’re Oostburg’s kids.
Networks of friends and neighbors, which can be nice when you’re a singleton in your 20s, become necessary when you’re trying to juggle kids, a home and a job.
In some ways this is a very conservative message: Strong and supportive local communities are essential to helping people live their fullest lives. The argument should come naturally to conservatives and Republicans. But in recent decades, an over-individualistic streak expanded throughout the right. Recall how “I did build that” became the conservative retort of choice in 2012. Rick Santorum responded to Hillary Clinton’s “It Takes a Village” with his 2005 book “It Takes a Family.”
That hyper-individualist lurch by the right could be waning, though. As the rural working class has moved into the Republican Party, conservatives are increasingly attuned to declining family formation and crumbling community in much of America.
This is an opportunity for some rare left-right agreement that the way to promote marriage and family is to build a social infrastructure in which family formation can thrive. What can be done to get parents involved in their local schools? How can we physically build communities that draw people together rather than isolate them?
Marriage is hard. Raising kids is harder. These undertakings become more feasible only when they are supported by a very local, very human network of institutions such as strong community schools, churches, sports leagues and tight-knit neighborhoods. You could say that to foster marriage and child-rearing, it really does take a village.
Timothy P. Carney is the author of the forthcoming book “Alienated America: Why Some Places Thrive While Others Collapse,” a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and the commentary editor of The Washington Examiner.
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【昭】【娣】【的】【纤】【手】【突】【然】【被】【一】【阵】【冰】【冷】【紧】【握】，【防】【备】【不】【及】【跌】【坐】【在】【床】【榻】【边】，【身】【体】【被】【迫】【前】【倾】，【一】【瞬】【趴】【在】【了】【宁】【弘】【的】【胸】【膛】【上】。 【身】【后】【扶】【苏】【虽】【是】【反】【应】【极】【快】，【脚】【步】【一】【震】【正】【欲】【扶】【她】，【见】【她】【纤】【细】【的】【腰】【身】【被】【搂】【住】，【那】【悬】【在】【空】【中】【的】【手】，【还】【是】【收】【了】【回】【去】。 【冰】【冷】【的】【玉】【手】【划】【过】【脑】【后】，【身】【下】【人】【呢】【喃】，【带】【着】【虚】【弱】【的】【嗓】【音】，【唇】【瓣】【厮】【磨】【在】【昭】【娣】【的】【耳】【边】，【竟】【是】【入】【耳】【酥】【化】，
“【真】【是】【太】【可】【惜】【了】，【要】【是】【你】【们】【再】【多】【一】【个】【人】【的】【话】，【说】【不】【定】【情】【势】【就】【不】【能】【改】【变】【了】。” 【策】【天】【川】【如】【是】【说】【着】。 【很】【快】，【就】【看】【到】【了】【罗】【刹】【组】【织】【的】【人】【朝】【着】【芷】【荷】【跟】【子】【开】【两】【个】【人】【攻】【击】【过】【去】。 【唐】【郁】【在】【边】【观】【战】，【觉】【得】【事】【情】【还】【真】【的】【跟】【策】【天】【川】【说】【的】【差】【不】【多】，【如】【果】【再】【来】【一】【个】【人】【的】【话】，【应】【该】【就】【能】【够】【挽】【回】【局】【势】【了】。【只】【是】，【这】【样】【的】【事】【情】【真】【的】【可】【能】【吗】？【如】【果】【自】
【今】【天】【她】【说】【是】【太】【后】【派】【她】【来】【的】，【容】【锦】【夜】【却】【也】【并】【不】【会】【因】【此】【就】【判】【定】【太】【后】【是】【她】【背】【后】【的】【主】【子】。 “【她】【是】【不】【是】【想】【强】【了】【你】？” 【容】【锦】【夜】【无】【奈】，“【沐】【颜】……” “【是】【还】【是】【不】【是】。”【苏】【沐】【颜】【严】【格】【执】【行】【规】【则】，【只】【有】【两】【个】【答】【案】【可】【供】【选】【择】。 【容】【锦】【夜】【挣】【扎】【了】【一】【下】，“……【是】，【虽】【然】【她】【想】，【但】【是】【她】【也】【没】【那】【个】【本】【事】【啊】。” 【苏】【沐】【颜】【手】【下】【重】【重】【掐】【了】高清跑狗图123图库【没】【用】【上】【多】【长】【时】【间】【之】【后】，**【与】【木】【头】【两】【人】【就】【出】【了】【巷】【道】。 【唰】！ 【一】【股】【蕴】【含】【着】【沧】【海】【桑】【田】【岁】【月】【变】【迁】【的】【古】【朴】【气】【息】【迎】【面】【而】【至】。 “【主】【人】【来】【过】【这】【里】。”【木】【头】【喃】【喃】【自】【语】。 “【什】【么】？”**【不】【由】【得】【微】【微】【一】【怔】，“【木】【兄】【主】【人】……” “【我】【记】【着】【主】【人】【的】【身】【上】【就】【有】【这】【样】【的】【气】【息】。”【木】【头】【看】【上】【去】【痴】【痴】【傻】【傻】，“【主】【人】【去】【过】【的】【每】【一】【处】【地】【方】【都】
“【和】【离】【书】【我】【会】【提】【前】【准】【备】【好】【的】，【若】【是】【没】【有】【别】【的】【事】【情】【月】【颜】【就】【先】【告】【退】【了】，【我】【回】【去】【府】【里】【准】【备】【准】【备】。” “【好】【孩】【子】，【再】【点】【回】【去】【吧】，【别】【担】【心】，【有】【哀】【家】【和】【皇】【帝】【呢】，【不】【会】【让】【他】【们】【伤】【着】【你】【的】。” 【可】【能】【是】【怕】【庄】【以】【沫】【年】【纪】【小】【扛】【不】【住】【事】，【在】【她】【临】【走】【的】【时】【候】【太】【后】【紧】【紧】【的】【拉】【着】【她】【的】【手】【安】【抚】【了】【好】【一】【会】【儿】【之】【后】【才】【不】【舍】【的】【放】【了】，【还】【特】【意】【让】【自】【己】【身】【边】【最】【亲】【近】
【孙】【诚】【坐】【在】【勋】【章】【传】【媒】【的】【接】【待】【室】【里】，【四】【下】【随】【意】【打】【量】【这】【里】【的】【陈】【设】【布】【局】。 【对】【于】【这】【家】【仅】【用】【三】【年】【时】【间】【就】【打】【拼】【出】【如】【此】【惊】【人】【成】【绩】【的】【影】【视】【公】【司】，【孙】【诚】【其】【实】【有】【些】【好】【奇】【的】。 【当】【然】【他】【更】【好】【奇】【的】【是】【勋】【章】【传】【媒】【年】【轻】【的】CEO【卫】【勋】。 【作】【为】【一】【位】【出】【色】【的】【投】【行】【经】【理】，【孙】【诚】【在】【来】【勋】【章】【之】【前】，【就】【已】【经】【把】【这】【家】【公】【司】【的】【资】【产】，【营】【收】【等】【信】【息】【做】【了】【评】【估】【考】【量】。