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Big News: Regarding The Safety Of Kiwi Kids

Big News with Dave Crampton

Kids Living With Sole Mums Are Safer Than Kids Living With Unmarried
Biological Parents

L Mylie, using research and commenting on Act MP Muriel Newman's media release promoting the benefits of two parent families, pointed out the fact in a Scoop reader opinion that, compared to married fathers, sole fathers are 20 times as likely to abuse their kids.

Muriel Newman commented that the rate of abuse is 14 times higher if the child is living with a biological mother who lives alone. So sole fathers are more abusive than sole mums.

Newman was responding to Steve Maharey's claim that sole parent families are just as good as two parent families.

The research used by L Mylie - which s/he claims that Muriel Newman sourced from - says, compared with married families, the chance of child abuse is 20 times higher when a child is living with both biological parents who are not married - and 33 times as high if a child is living with a mum and her boyfriend.

The research also shows that children living with their sole mum are less likely to be abused compared to those living with within unmarried biological parents. It also claims that the best environment for a child is one who lives with both parents who are married to each other.

The same research claims that children are just as likely to be abused by a sole father as they are if they live with their unmarried biological parents. So, in terms of child abuse, the study showed that sole mums are safer parents than unmarried biological parents, and child abuse is as equally likely in sole father households compared to unmarried parenting households where both a child's parents are biological.

That finding won`t sit down well for those promoting the benefits of the two parent unmarried family over sole parenting, and this is perhaps one reason why Muriel Newman didn't mention the rest of the figures in her media release.

But Newman did mention Swedish research - involving almost a million children - that found that children growing up in single-parent households are twice as likely to suffer mental illness, commit suicide or develop an alcohol-related disease than children who live with both parents.

I think her point was that sole parent families have less favourable outcomes then two parent families in terms of welfare. Steve Maharey's point was that sole parent families are doing just as fine as two parent families. And on that point, research shows that Newman is correct and Maharey is in cukoo-land.

And adding to the mix, an Australian study from the Institute of Child Health and Welfare in Canberra claimed that a child living with a mother in a de facto relationship with a man other than the child's father was at least five times more likely to be abused than one who lived with both married parents. Yet the research Newman supposedly refers to states that the rate of abuse is 33 times higher if the child is living with a mother who is cohabiting with another man.

Does that mean it is safer to live in Australia? Does it mean that de facto parents and non-biological parents in the are States more abusive?

What it does mean is that overall, children who live with their biological mum and her unmarried boyfriend, who is not the father of her children, are more likely to suffer child abuse. It also means that children have better outcomes when brought up by a married two -parent family who are biological parents to their kids -and many of whom are on two incomes - compared to those brought up by a sole parent. This is evident when about 80 percent of sole mothers in New Zealand are on the DPB.

The debate hasn't ended yet.

*** ends ***

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