January 19, 2020

Why Is There Still a Stigma About Single-Parent Homes?

“Given that one in four children now grow up in one-parent homes and that 42% of marriages end in divorce you might expect prejudice against single parents to be a thing of the past. Yet a 2014 poll found that 75% of single parents had experienced stigma.

Indeed, Boris Johnson has recently been confronted about a column he wrote for The Spectator in 1995 which described the children of single mothers as “ill-raised, ignorant, aggressive and illegitimate”. When pressed on the comments by callers on LBC radio, Johnson said this was written before he was in politics.

It’s maybe not surprising, then, that mothers who took part in my research interviews described feeling isolated, stigmatised and frustrated with negative stereotypes.

In fact, most participants in the study said they wouldn’t tell someone they met for the first time they were a single parent, viewing it as a “label” which they automatically associate with “being judged”. Some told me about critical remarks made by relatives, colleagues or acquaintances. Others spoke of being “dropped” from their social circle after their divorce or not being invited when couple families got together for meals and outings.

Stereotyping was by far the most common symptom of stigma raised by mothers from a range of backgrounds and circumstances. Unsurprisingly, The Daily Mail and Jeremy Kyle Show were named as prime culprits for portraying “teenage mums deliberately getting pregnant so they can scrounge off the state” and “single mums who don’t know who the fathers of their children are”.”

Read more

JJ Editor's Picks

"U.S. President Donald Trump thinks he’s suffered more injustice than the alleged witches of Salem, but it could be worse. Pakistan’s former president Pervez Musharaff faced possible impeachment in 2008, leading to his resignation. In the end..."

"The 2000s felt like a decade of looking forward. Wi-Fi went mainstream, phones got smarter, social media connected us, digital tools let us rely less on physical ones. But the 2010s brought a shift. There was still tons of new technology, but..."

"While some women experience pregnancy and childbirth as joyful, natural and fulfilling, others find themselves recoiling in horror at the physical demands of carrying and sustaining a child in their womb, and even more so at the potential..."

"A few months ago, the New York Post’s Steve Cuozzo bemoaned the death of the Manhattan power lunch. Gone were the long, decadent afternoons filled with networking and Negronis: “Suit-and-tie-wearing machers in media and Wall Street gave way to..."

"Economic inequality has moved to the top of the political agenda in many countries, including free-market poster children like the US and the UK. The issue is mobilizing the left and causing headaches on the right, where wealth has long been..."

"If you’re not familiar with the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Cats — or even if you are — then you probably have many, many questions going into the film adaptation this weekend, especially if you’ve witnessed the widespread bafflement the trailer..."

"Despite his precisely targeted campaign and some unexpected support, the chances of Gideon Saar engineering a surprise defeat of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Dec. 26 primaries for the Likud party leadership are still considered modest.."

"Peter Thiel is Big Tech’s most prominent Trump supporter. He is an unabashed enemy of the free press, having covertly funded a lawsuit that bankrupted Gawker three years ago. He has become one of the most vocal pro-monopoly advocates, taking a..."