That would have to be the so-called "sexual revolution." Given the abortion rate, and the divorce rate, and the adultery plague, and the ever-intensifying "war between the sexes," how could anyone evaluate it otherwise?
And then we have this:
Calling it “The Great Crossover,” a report by academics and social activists shows that for the first time in history the median age of American women having babies is lower than the median age of marriage – 25.7 and 26.5, respectively.
These “dramatic changes in childbearing,” the report states, results in dramatic statistics about American children. Among them, 48 percent of first births are by unwed mothers, and by age 30 two-thirds of American women have had a child, typically out of wedlock.
Kay Hymowitz, an author of the report and a William E. Simon Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, said at an event to release the report on Wednesday at the Brookings Institution, that it reflects how the view of what marriage is about has changed.
This includes young adults who say marriage and children “are two separate things,” Hymowitz said....
“Researchers now view family instability as one of the greatest risks to children’s well being,” the report states. “Yet unmarried adults, including single 20-somethings who make up about half of unmarried parents, are by definition unsettled.
Further, the report states: “Most researchers agree that on average, whether because of instability or absent fathers or both, children of unmarried mothers have poorer outcomes than children growing up with their married parents.”
"Poorer outcomes" is putting it mildly. Every available study and every bit of anecdotal evidence points to an inexorable conclusion -- that children born out of wedlock are at great risk, and produce comparable risks to society and stability -- and an overwhelming question:
The consensus appears to be "not much." But I'd like to note a rather important correlation that the cited report apparently doesn't explore: that between "traditional" marriage-and-childbearing practices and sincere Christian faith. Briefly stated: You don't find nearly as much bastardy in regions where Christianity remains an important force.
Parents: If you want your children to have stable marriages (and children of their own who'll grow up to be grandkids you can be proud of), raise them as churchgoers...even if you don't believe yourself.
That doesn't require you to be Puritanical bluenoses, nor to make your kids into such. It does require that you emphasize to them how natural law has intertwined marriage, child-bearing, and child-rearing. Indeed, if it weren't for the inherent vulnerability of pregnant women and minor children, the marriage contract might never have been invented.
Consider it part of your parental duties.