Children thrive in a stable household with two parents

There was a commotion when New York City rapper Zeddy Will hosted a joint baby shower for the five women carrying his children.

The news broke last week after one of the women posted videos and photos from the festive gathering on social media.

Some of you will be relieved to know the posts were met with many disapproving comments.

But perhaps the most notable response was one of the rapper’s representatives’ statement to The Post.

Will’s co-manager welcomed what he called a shift in “modern relationship dynamics,” whose “essence lies” in “breaking away from the one-size-fits-all approach and societal pressures to conform.”

The statement brings to mind the 2020 controversy surrounding the national Black Lives Matter organization’s stated aim to “disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure,” which was promptly deleted from its website after generating a flurry of negative stories that likely caught many of the group’s new funders by surprise.

Leaving the moral questions for another day, the available data make crystal clear that encouraging an even greater shift away from traditional families, in which children are raised by two married biological parents, is utterly indefensible.

Why? Because all indications are it would be at least as disastrous as the post-1960s spike in the out-of-wedlock birth rate has already been — particularly for the black community, which saw the share of children born to an unwed mother grow to nearly 70% by 2016 (nearly triple the 23.6% black out-of-wedlock birth rate Daniel Patrick Moynihan sounded the alarm about in his seminal 1965 report).

The continued derision of the traditional nuclear family structure will likely worsen two problems American blacks have long dealt with at higher rates: poverty and crime.

The evidence on out-of-wedlock childrearing is overwhelming, with researchers across the ideological spectrum finding a link between family income and family structure.

As Melissa Kearney highlights in her excellent book “The Two-Parent Privilege,” “the odds of graduating high school, getting a college degree, and having high earnings in adulthood are substantially lower for children who grow up in a single-mother home.”

Robert Rector, in a 2012 report for The Heritage Foundation, found, “Being raised in a married family reduced a child’s probability of living in poverty by about 82%.”

Scholars who have studied the “success sequence” — which the federal government defines as “obtaining at least a high school education, then finding a full-time job, and waiting for marriage to have children” — report that “close to half of the Millennials who had a baby [before marriage] (regardless of their later marital status) are in the bottom third of the income distribution when reaching adulthood,” while 36% and 50% of those who had children after marriage reached the middle and top third of the income distribution, respectively.

The crime data are just as troubling.

In a recent Institute for Family Studies paper I coauthored with Brad Wilcox, Joe Price and Seth Cannon, we found cities with more than the median share of households headed by a single parent had overall crime rates 48% higher — and violent crime and homicide rates 118% and 255% higher. We are hardly the first to notice.

Harvard’s Robert J. Sampson has been noting family structure’s effect on crime since at least the 1980s, finding, for example, that “female-headed families have strong positive effects on rates of personal victimization.”

Other scholars report that “rates of delinquency and crime correlate with the proportion of mother-only families with dependent children in a community.”

So while flaunting rampant out-of-wedlock childbearing may boost the name recognition of an up-and-coming musical artist, it is not a model Americans should be following.

The idea of “breaking away” from the nuclear family — arguably the single most important institution for a society’s overall health — is a pernicious one.

The undeniable reality is that intact families are absolutely crucial to stability and success in life.

Perhaps we need more songs about that.

Rafael A. Mangual is the Nick Ohnell fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, a contributing editor of City Journal and author of “Criminal (In)Justice: What The Push For Decarceration And Depolicing Gets Wrong And Who It Hurts Most.”

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