There is approximately 13.7 million single parents in the United States, who are parenting 22 million children, of which 82.2% of these single parents are women. Most of the women raising children in a single parent household started out in committed relationships and did not plan to become single parents.
According to the census bureau, it is twice as likely for single women and their children to live in poverty, when compared to the general population. About 18.8% of single parent father households experience poverty while roughly 30.4% of single mother households live in poverty.
The general population poverty level is around 14% which indicates that poverty is more prevalent in single family households but astronomical among those households headed by women.
In addition to the economic challenges of raising children as a single parent, single women primarily face social scrutiny and judgement unlike single parent fathers, who tend to be viewed as heroes with a perspicuous assumption that the mother of children being raised by men are bad. The facts are that death, divorce and separation is a primary reason behind single parent households. That would defy some of these sterotypes:
1. Most single mothers or fathers were never married. False…as noted above.
2. Most single mothers depend on the system. False. Most single mothers (and fathers, who are already assumed to work to support their families) work and fully support their families.
3. Children raised in a single parent home, are lacking something. False. If a child is not loved & valued in any family structure they are missing something and if they receive love and are valued in any family structure they are NOT missing anything.
These are some of the challenges and stereotypes faced by single parents. Yes, there are challenges both economically and otherwise for single parenting but the stereotypes create more challenges for these families. Removing the stereotypes and addressing the issues that do create the high poverty level for single parents would be a win win for the children and these families as well as society overall. Stigma harms, support lifts.