The Right Coast

Editor: Thomas A. Smith
University of San Diego
School of Law

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Monday, December 3, 2012

Paul Rahe, The Deepest Source of Our Troubles -

The deepest source of our present discontents is the sexual revolution. Our abandonment of chastity as a norm has had dire political consequences. Take a close look at this chart, which I have lifted from a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:


Focus your attention on the bottom line in green running across it. That line represents the bastardy rate -- i.e., the percentage of children born out of wedlock each year. As you will see, in 1940 (before I was born) and in 1950 (shortly after I was born), something on the order of 3% of American children were born out of wedlock. By 1960, the number was up to about 5%. Then, it went up by leaps and bounds. In 1980, it was 18.4%. In 2007, it was 39.6%. Today it is somewhere in the neighborhood of 40%. As the editors at Pravda-on-the-Hudson proudly trumpet, bastardy is "the new normal." In 2009, 53% of all children born to women under 30 were born out of wedlock.

Now think about this. How available was contraception in 1940, 1950, and 1960? Condoms existed, of course, but they were outlawed in many states, and the pill was not approved by the FDA until 1960. Abortions could be had -- but not legally -- and they were , in fact, exceptionally rare. This should give you pause for thought. Since Roe v. Wade in 1973, more than 50 million unborn children have been killed.

So, what did women do in 1940, 1950, and 1960? For the most part, they exercised an iron self-control. They forced interested men to respect their needs and concerns, and men complied. Now young women do not have it together well enough even to be able to take a pill every morning or a shot every month. As contraception and abortion have become available, as they have become a frequent resort, the proportion of out-of-wedlock births has soared. If the trend continues, bastardy will be the norm, and the family will be regarded as a relic from an earlier, benighted age.


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war on women war on women war on women war on women . . . .

Posted by: JMS | Dec 3, 2012 10:04:11 AM

In the 50s and before, I suspect there were far more "shotgun" weddings which saved the child from being a bastard. And, in many of them, the couples did stay married and thus the child had two parents. Even so, I also suspect that the number of illegitimate and product of a shotgun wedding babies was far lower than the illegitimacy rate today. Also, I think the rate of illegal abortions, at least in the 1960s was far more than "extremely rare" (at least in urban coastal areas) though not nearly as common as today. I don't have any source to back these suspicions up, other than being an observant adult (at least I hope I was) during these times.

Posted by: Paul McKaskle | Dec 3, 2012 11:25:36 AM