SSN Commentary

The Myth of the Two-Parent Home

Policy field

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Originally published as: Christina Cross, "The Myth of the Two-Parent Home," The New York Times, December 9, 2019.

It is a near truism that the best family structure to raise a child in is a two-parent family.

We’re repeatedly told by policymakers, social commentators, religious leaders and a host of others that children raised by both biological parents stand the best chance of success in life. Society routinely blames family structures that deviate from this model for many of its problems. Just think about the last time you heard someone use the term “broken home” or “single-parent household” to explain the misbehavior or misfortune of a person in your social circle.