Here are some stats that I have come across in my reading, and have filed away in my files. If accurate, they are thought-provoking. I want to share them with you.
1. FATHER IN THE HOME
W. Bradford Wilcox, an assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Virginia, has written an article entitled, “Who’s Your Daddy? There’s more to fatherhood that donating DNA.” He mentioned these stats “one study of 6,403 boys carried out by scholars at Princeton and the University of California at San Francisco found that boys raised in single parent homes are twice as likely as others to end up in prison…
University of Arizona Psychologist, Bruce Ellis, who studied 762 girls in the United States and New Zealand, found that girls who saw their father leave the family before age six were more than six times as likely to have a teenage pregnancy as girls whose fathers stuck around through their entire childhood.
A study of all Swedish children between 1991 and 1998 found that those in single-parent families were twice as likely to attempt suicide and 50% more likely to succeed in committing suicide than children in two-parent families. Pioneering work by Bruce Ellis suggests that the timing of puberty is linked to the presence of a biological father: Girls who grew up without their biological fathers experience puberty (and therefore are more likely to have sex) at a significantly younger age than girls who grew up with their fathers” (The Weekly Standard, Dec. 12, 2005).
Maybe God knew what He was doing when He designed the home as He did, and specified that it is only within marriage that a man and woman are to “know” one another.
2. DATING AGE
Marilyn Morris, founder of an organization on teen abstinence, Aim for Success, has included these statistics in a book she’s written: “91% of all girls who started dating at age 12 have sex before graduation. 56% of all girls who start dating at 13 have sex before graduation. 53% of all girls who start dating at age 14 have sex before graduation. 40% of all girls who start dating at age 15 have sex before graduation. 20% of all girls who started dating at 16 have sex before graduation” (ABC’s of the Birds and the Bees, p. 48 – she borrowed these stats from Josh McDowell’s book, How to Help Your Child say ‘NO’ to Sexual Pressure).
Let’s remember that we are to be about the business of “Train(ing) up a child in the way he should go…” (Proverbs 22:6). Children need restraints. They should not be left to themselves. “A child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame” (Proverbs 29:15).
3. BEHAVIOR CORRELATION
Marilyn Morris also includes these statistics, “Teenage boys who have had sex are: 6 times more likely to drink alcohol than virgin boys; 4 times more likely to smoke cigarettes; 5 times more likely to smoke marijuana; 4 times more likely to use other drugs; 7 times more likely to consider dropping out of school; 3 times more likely to run away from home; 4 times more likely to be arrested by police; 7 times more likely to be suspended from school than virgin teenage boys.
‘Teenage girls who have had sex: 6 times more likely to drink alcohol than virgin teenage girls; 7 times more likely to smoke cigarettes; 10 times more likely to smoke marijuana; 4 times more likely to use other drugs; 4 times more likely to drop out of school; 18 times more likely to run away from home; 9 times more likely to be arrested by police; 5 times more likely to be suspended from school; 6 times more likely to attempt suicide than virgin teen girls.” (ibid, p. 237 – stats taken from “Premature Sexual Activity as an Indicator of Psychosocial Risk, Pediatrics, Feb. 1991).
What I want you to consider is that misbehavior in one area of life is often an indicator of what may be going on in other areas. If your child’s friends have lack of self-control, or a lack of respect for authority in one area of life, likely that is not the only area.
A good parent warns his children about “evil company” (Proverbs 1:10-15; Proverbs 13:20; Proverbs 22:24; 1 Corinthians 15:33). Let us seek each day to “provoke not (our) children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).
4. BOY FRIEND AGE
“According to a report published by the California Department of Health Services, men 20 years old and older father five times more births among junior high aged girls than do junior high school aged boys. On average, when a 12-year old or younger girl becomes pregnant, the father of the baby averages 22 years of age. When junior high aged girls become pregnant, the fathers of the babies are usually five years older than the mothers. When high school girls became pregnant, the father averaged nearly four years older” (ABC’s of the Birds and Bees, p. 52 – stats taken from California Vital Statistics – 1992).
Parents, don’t allow your child to get in a situation where they are “unequally yoked.” It is our duty to protect them.
5. TEEN MOM/ SINGLE PARENT
“Fact: About 1 million teenage girls get pregnant each year. That is 1 out of 5 sexually active girls. Pregnancy is the top reason why teenage girls are hospitalized. 7 out of 10 adolescent mothers drop out of high school. When daughters of teen mothers grow up they are 50 percent more likely to have children before they are married.
“When sons of teen mothers grow up, they are 2.7 times more likely to spend time in prison than sons of mothers who delay childbearing until their early 20’s” (ibid, p. 151 – stats from two sources: The Alan Guttmacher Institute, Sex and the American Teenager, p. 41 and Rebecca Maynard’s Kids Having Kids, A Special Report for the Robin Hood Foundation).
“Children of single parents are six times as likely to be poor” (Rush Limbaugh, See, I Told You So, p. 98). “About 50 percent of all unwed mothers go on welfare within one year of the birth of their first child. More than 75 percent go on within five years” (Bill Bennett, The Index of Leading Cultural Indicators, p. 65). William Galson and Elaine Kamarck who served in the Clinton – Gore administration concluded, “The best anti-poverty program for children is a stable, intact family.” (ibid, page 63).
The Bible warns, “the way of the transgressor is hard” (Proverbs 13:15). It also makes clear that the decisions of one generation can effect the next (Genesis 18:19; 1 Kings 15:26; 2 Kings 21:19-21; 2 Chronicles 22:3).
As parents, it is our responsibility to teach our children these things; and to point out (physical difficulties aside), the spiritual consequences to sin (if not repented).
6. UNMARRIED COHABITATION
The world sometimes argues for a “trial marriage.” “Let’s live together for a while and see how it goes,” it’s reasoned.
Marilyn Morris cites three studies on this idea. (1) The first is from the University of Wisconsin. She writes, “sociologists at the University of Wisconsin stated that ‘recent national studies in Canada, Sweden and the U.S. found that cohabitation increased rather than decreased the risk of marital dissolution” (ABC’s p.41 – ref. Elizebeth Thomson and Ugo Colella, University of Wisconsin – Madison, 1992). (2) “Another study documented in the Journal of Marriage and Family stated that the divorce rate is 50% higher among those who lived together before marriage” (ibid, – ref. Larry Bumpass, The Role of Cohabitation in Declining Rates of Marriage, Journal of Marriage and the Family, Nov. 1991; 53, 913-928). (3) “An Australian study found that couples who cohabited before marriage were more likely to divorce than those who did not cohabit before marriage. They … ‘separated more often, sought counseling more often, and regarded marriage as a less important part of their lives than those who did not live together before marriage” (ibid – ref. John Cunningham and John Antill, Macquarie University, 1994).
Don’t believe Satan’s lies. God’s ways are always best. Let’s teach our children that “Marriage is honorable in all…” (Heb. 13:4).