Americans Still Not Embracing Single Motherhood, Study Finds


Many women seeking divorce advice in Pasadena often worry about the stigma attached to being a single mother. It's no mystery as to why. Although America has slowly embraced nontraditional families, the country overall still seems like it has mixed feelings about single moms. Now a new poll by the Pew Research Center says Americans do, in fact, still view single mothers as detrimental to society.

Even though the calendar says its 2011, the minds of some Americans when it comes to the roles of mother are clearly stuck in the 1950s, the report notes.

"People aren't embracing these changes, but they are accepting them," Rich Morin, author of the report as well as an editor at Pew told The Washington Post, adding "the days when people were made to wear a scarlet letter or were shunned after a divorce are ancient history."

Pew researchers asked more than 2,500 Americans their thoughts about seven trends in modern relationships that go against the grain of what used to be considered the traditional family: gay couples raising children together, single mothers, partners living together outside of marriage, interracial married couples, women who never have children, and unmarried parents jointly raising children. The poll found that one third said the trends are positive or don't really affect society while another third considered the changes harmful to society. The rest said they accepted all the changes to the modern family - except for single motherhood.

Sociologist Andrew Cherlin says the results reflect our ideals of two-parent homes.

"Working mothers are acceptable to almost everybody," Cherlin said. "Two parents who are unmarried are tolerated or acceptable. But many people, including single parents themselves, question single-parent families. There's still a strong belief that children need two parents."

But Cherlin also believes that most Americans are primarily concerned for the welfare of children of divorce.

"They're concerned about the economic problems of single mothers, and the amount of effort it takes to be a good parent," he adds. "People aren't anti-single mother as much as they are pro-two parents."