LIVING: Are Single Mothers Raising Daughters to Remain Single?

Do women raising girls on their own unwittingly set those girls on a path toward spinsterhood?

CNN writer Audrey Irvine ruffled some feathers on Thursday when she offered this controversial theory: Women who bring up daughters on their own tend to urge those girls to be “independent” and “self-sufficient.” These are good qualities, of course … but are they also code words for not ever leaning on a man, even for emotional support?

While Irvine specifically discusses the plight of black women -- a recent Yale study found that 42 percent of African-American women are unmarried, compared with 23 percent of white women -- her theory can apply to anyone.

Irvine also observes that women who are bitter from divorce or bereavement may make disparaging comments about men that encourage girls to go it alone.

WATCH single mom, Nadya Suleman (aka the Octomom) looks for Valentine's date.


wat ch mom nadya suleman aka octomom valentines date poll

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  • Phletch 2010/05/08 08:29:23
    All cardboard boxes contain ovens. Wrong. Some do while others do not. Raise your daughters well; keep them off the pole 'n the pipe & their chances of living in a cardboard box are greatly reduced.

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  • Rainbow Jenamarial 2010/05/08 06:59:45
    You shouldn't be bitter because not all men are totally douchebags. Maybe you just won't give good guys a chance. So many women shove the good boys who like them away and then complain that the guys they date are jerks. I promise you, good people exist. I've even met a few.
  • rj 2010/05/08 02:44:45
    FIrst and foremost== "Spinsterhood?"??? shades of 1880 !

    sheesh -& pray tell what is WRONG with being independent & not Having to lean on anyone?

    WHY do people STILL in this so called modern day and age have such Prehistoric attitudes - woman do NOT need to be emotionally or physically dependant on some guy to survive...

  • BurntBa... rj 2010/05/08 14:29:22
    It's not prehistoric, it's human nature.
    Having a husband helps so much emotionally. Honestly, I would shrivel up in a little ball and die if it were not for my husband. I am emotionally dependent on him, as he is for me, a really healthy co-dependency, where we can just tell emotionally, what's wrong with each-other or what makes each of us happy..... It's just so comforting knowing that you have someone to share everything with, who will not judge you, no matter what. We're financially independent of each other, though. I think it's so important to be able to make your own money, so you won't lose your sense of self.

    One day, you'll find someone who thinks you hung the moon.
  • rj BurntBa... 2010/05/08 19:06:04
    yes its human nature to seek such a pairing - it is NOT however a necessity for survival any longer. & i do have such a person- 35yrs married to him
  • BurntBa... rj 2010/05/08 22:50:28
    I apologize. The way you wrote your response it sounded like you're not ever going to find love or something.

    apologize wrote response sounded love

    For some people it is a necessity.
  • rj BurntBa... 2010/05/08 22:54:39
    love and companionship are very neccessary. my only point is that far too many (mostly men) Assume that a woman MUST have a man in order to "be".

    too many civilizations have been built on that incorrect premise. the sad thing is for most of the time, most women have bought into it.

    I would Never prefer to be without my loving dh, but i was a whole human before i knew him - thats what most forget they need to be FIRST.

    have a lovely day & if appropriate a wonderful mothers day ;)
  • BurntBa... rj 2010/05/09 01:01:08
    I totally understand where you are coming from. I guess, like you, I was a whole person before I married; and now, I'm a more complete person. Does that make sense? I never thought about how some women feel the need to have someone, whether they love them or not. I don't get those kinds of people.

    Happy mother's day to you too!
  • C. C. R... rj 2010/05/08 20:59:58
    C. C. Rider
    I know...I had to laugh when I read that too...not TOOOOO biased lol kinda like all single men after 30 are single due to they are gay!!!... and that is not true either...lol...
  • rj C. C. R... 2010/05/08 22:37:22
    too right!!! have a great day
  • Derek 2010/05/08 01:58:54
    Some women (and men) can honestly go their whole lives single and be fine. Others have mental breakdowns whenever they feel alone.

    Everyone should be encouraged to find out how much emotional investment they can put in a partner before it's unhealthy.

    As for finances, I think every couple, absolutely every couple, even those guys who have been together 50 years, needs a little something his/her partner does not know about. Whether it's runaway money or a secret stash for a birthday present, it does not matter. Complete financial dependency is hardly healthy, in fact it may very well strain the relationship.
  • akgold 2010/05/08 01:52:16
    Kids learn what they see. They are free to teach their daughters what they want. If they want to greatly increase their chances of poverty, teach them to be single mothers.
  • Derek akgold 2010/05/08 02:01:40
    You're generalizing. I know many women who are single mothers AND they're financially successful. Besides, this news tidbit did not say anything about the daughters becoming single MOTHERS, just emphasized the "single" part. A woman can live her whole live without having children, you know?
  • akgold Derek 2010/05/08 02:28:28
    Of course I am generalizing, When you are talking about 165 million women there is nothing they all have in common. When you are talking about black, white, brown or yellow people you are generalizing. When you talk about Dems, Republicans, politicians, police or any group you are generalizing. If you don't want generalization you must talk about individuals.
  • Derek akgold 2010/05/08 04:32:23
    Again, maybe I'm wrong, but I feel that you were suggesting in your original post that single women cannot be financially successful.

    A single, childless woman can make as much as a single, childless man. Any single parent (male or female) will probably have financial issues because raising children is not easy in one income.

    So mothers teaching their daughters to be single are NOT leading them towards the poverty associated with being a single parent unless they also keep stressing they want grandchildren or don't stress the responsibilities of sex enough.
  • bags 2010/05/08 00:04:56
    Being a single parent Mom can show your daughter that marriage is not necessary, that you can survive quite well without a man. I was raised in that time period when you were expected to marry and raise a family while 'he' went off to work to 'support' you. What a lousy way of life, IMHO. Let the girls know they have a choice.
  • SA 2010/05/07 23:47:20
    I know many happy married women. I also know many happy single mothers.
    I have taught BOTH my daughters and son to be independent.
    I have BOTH male and female friends that I lean on. So do my children.
    So, yes! Every family is different!
  • Gun665 2010/05/07 22:34:49

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