One Teenage Girl in Two Would Gladly Be a Single Mother

Daily Mail (London), February 20, 1999 | Go to article overview
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One Teenage Girl in Two Would Gladly Be a Single Mother


Byline: STEVE DOUGHTY

HALF of all teenage girls are prepared to have a baby outside marriage, a survey has found.

Almost the same number of 15 and 16-year-old girls believe they will through a divorce at some stage their lives.

Others are abandoning the idea family life altogether, more confident about career prospects than motherhood.

The findings highlight the eroded belief in marriage and the family among young women at a time of record levels of teenage pregnancy, single motherhood and abortion.

They show that teenage boys have stronger belief than girls in the value wedding vows and raising children.

Ninety-three per cent of boys aged and 16 want to marry, the study found.

Among girls the figure has fallen to per cent, a finding that suggests one teenage girl in seven no longer sees marriage as part of her future. More boys than girls said they would choose having a family over their career, illustrating the way girls are being raised to expect to achieve more at work.

More than a third of girls, 41 per cent, said they would put their career before family considerations. Fewer than a third of boys, 32 per cent, were prepared

to sacrifice family for work satisfaction. The survey was carried out by ChildWise Monitor, a research group which regularly produces information on the thinking of children and teenagers for commercial companies.

Researchers interviewed 1,243 children aged five to 17. Their findings show that although most teenagers still want to marry and have children, their confidence in family life has been eroded. The advance of women in education and at work, along with the frequency of single parenthood and family break-ups, has contributed to their pessimism about their future.

Researchers said the finding that 50 per cent of girls aged 15 and 16 were willing to have a child outside marriage was 'sobering'.

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