Explaining away the positive effects of marriage

The left-of-centre UK think tank, Demos, has published a rather useful new report out called ‘Building Character’. Its thesis is that parents are the principle architects of a fairer society and that good character, and the habits associated with good character (thrift and so on), open up pathways out of poverty. However, its section on marriage is truly awful. 

The report is honest enough to admit that children from married families do considerably better on average than children from lone parent families, step families and cohabiting families, (see pages 39 on) but then it shows its ideological colours by trying to explain away this positive marriage effect. 

It says that once you control for ‘parenting style’ and ‘parenting confidence’, the positive effect of marriage almost completely vanishes. 

It goes without saying that the quality of parenting a child receives is more important to a child than whether or not his or her parents are married. However, what the report doesn’t ask is why it is that quality parenting is more associated with married families than with other types of families. 

The tendency of the left is always try to explain away the positive effects of marriage. The left is absolutely determined to give no credit to marriage whatsoever. It will always try to attribute the beneficial effects of marriage to something other than marriage. This is because it doesn’t want to be ‘judgemental’, and it wants to treat all families ‘equally’. But this is putting its particular doctrines before the facts. 

The facts are that marriage is consistently the family structure associated with the best outcomes for children, on average. There is simply no getting away from this. If you want to do the best for children, you must encourage marriage. To the extent that the left fails to do this, it fails children. 

Odd, is it not, how the left never tries to explain away the negative effects of poverty in this fashion?