While the New York Times recently ran a piece focused on the economic disaster single mothers occasionally face, University of Massachusetts professor Nancy Folbre decided to look at a different aspect of the growing problem—unmarried fathers who abandon mothers. The Times piece surmised that single mothers are more likely to be uneducated, insinuating to some that these women are too naïve to find men that won’t abandon them, but Folbre believes these stereotypes are incorrectly focused.
“Most discussions of single mothers focus on their choices, faulting them for deciding to raise a child without a secure commitment from a father,” she says. “This argument, combined with the widespread misperception that most single mothers are Black, helps explain why policies in the United States are so much less supportive of single parents than those in other countries.”
In her piece, which ran in the Sunday addition of the Times, she believes many men actually want the children they have, but are discouraged by the financial burden that comes soon after. “If they [single mothers] would just marry men like Mitt Romney, they would have it made. Instead, they have sex with men who don’t help pay their bills.”