chapter  8
Resilient Relationships: Men as Fathers and Partners
Pages 17

Many have argued that the rise of adolescent parenting as a social problem stems less directly from the age of the mothers than from their status as single parents (Furstenberg et al., 1987; Lawson & Rhodes, 1993; Nathanson, 1991). As noted earlier, the number of births to teenagers has actually declined since the 1950s, whereas the number of out-of-wedlock births has soared (Children’s Defense Fund, 1993). Nevertheless, policies aimed at reducing the number of children born out of wedlock, or supporting these children once they are born, have rarely incorporated roles for men. On the contrary, policies directed at unwed adolescent mothers have been unequivocal in assigning them custody of and responsibility for their children.