Single Motherhood Is Vviewed Differently from the 1950s to Now

592 Words3 Pages
In the 1950s the normal American family consisted of a breadwinner father, homemaker mother, and several children. The mother and father of the children were not just cohabitating, they were married. Today, it is a lot more common to see families that consist only of a mother. Society has somewhat shifted its view on single mothers since the 1950s. Instead of single motherhood being a total negative situation to be in, it can also be viewed as a positive. Single motherhood is viewed differently from the 1950s to now. First of all, women who gave birth out of wedlock in the 1950s were often shunned by members of the community. Such a situation also caused extreme embarrassment for the family of the unwed mother. For example, the families of an unwed mother would often send her to a far home for unwed mothers to be. There she would endure her pregnancy without much support from her family and after birth the child would be put up for private adoption. The unwed mother would then return home as if nothing ever happened. Often times the family would never speak of it again. In contrast, in more modern times, unwed mothers are more abundantly seen and accepted. In spite of what hardships it may bring, babies born to unwed mothers are now more often taken home to be raised by the mother and or extended family. Nevertheless, the most common reason for a mother to place her child up for adoption remains to be due to her being single. Secondly, in the 1950s society mainly concentrated on the negative views of being an unwed mother. The age of a person at the time of marriage was significantly lower than the age of today. Abstinence was expected of every unwed girl. Girls were taught that if they did not practice abstinence then their likelihood of marriage would be deminished. Being of a certain age and not married was almost as embarrassing as being an unwed mother.
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