Having a child out of wedlock used to be rare. Today, it is very common. Politicians frequently blame the demise of the traditional family unit for a number of social problems in the United States. While many people in society do not seem to think about the legitimacy in the way they once did, politicians can still touch a nerve by mentioning it.
Politicians blame the erosion of the family unit in part on the fact that many children are born out of wedlock. Politicians have used the financial angle as a way to attack women who have children out of wedlock for years now. As a group, mothers having children out of wedlock were less likely to vote than other people and they were generally underrepresented. In general, the unwed mothers who did vote tended to have more progressive views.
Most of the time, when politicians attack mothers who have had children out of wedlock, they target unwed teenage mothers, not older women who can financially support a child on their own. Many women choose to have a relationship with their child’s father without involving marriage. Many politicians are still against this type of relationship. Many politicians believe that a family unit should consist of two married parents and their children.
While it is mostly conservative political agendas that address the erosion of the nuclear family unit, even liberal politicians have expressed concern about the subject. Many people believe that addressing this concern has been pointless, as numbers of children born out of wedlock continues to grow rapidly. While legitimacy is important to some people, others consider it an old fashioned concern.