Creep: Mike Dey

Today’s creep, Mike Dey of Missoula, was an easy target. His letter:

Motherhood out of wedlock is dangerous Every day when I turn on the radio I hear this ad that says that the most dangerous thing we do is not putting our children in a booster seat.

After some thought I came to the conclusion that condoning out-of-wedlock births by society is far more dangerous. In the months of February and March, 109 children were born, 43 of whom were out of wedlock, according to statistics in the Missoulian. This is almost 50 percent. There are reasons for being a single mother, but out-of-wedlock births should not be one of them.

Statistically, these 43 children will have more trouble with the law and have a poorer education than the children of a two-parent family.

It is time to quit glorifying motherhood out of wedlock.

 First, nitpicking, 43 of 109 births make it 39%, not "nearly half." 

Second, his statistics don't cover unmarried, two-parent families. I have several friends involved in relationships like this. They seem to be doing fine. 

We’re glorifying single-parent families? Uh oh, looks like I missed that directive in the latest liberal newsletter. Or is this guy still dealing with Murphy Brown?

The irony here is that Mr. Dey is probably against abortion, too.

As a parent, I can testify that all parents wish they had more help. And you can bet your sweet *ss that every single mom wishes she had an additional, responsible adult in the house to help out, not only with child care, but with bills.

The problem is more likely that these mothers either don’t want the father in the picture, or the father doesn’t want to be in the picture himself. And would Mr. Dey prefer unhappy marriages? I wonder how the children of abusive or drug-addicted fathers score on his little statistical spreadsheet.

Mistakes happen. They always have. They always will, no matter if you outlaw out-of-marriage sex, ban sex toys, or hang purity lockets around your pre-pubescent daughters’ necks. Instead of demonizing single moms – which won’t make them any less “dangerous,” according to Dey’s criteria – maybe we should consider solving the institutional problems that challenge single moms – like affordable day care – that will allow their kids to prosper.

  1. Can’t we all agree: it’s time to reglorify Murphy Brown.

    Honestly, Candace Bergen. How hot is she?

  2. I have a real issue with the idea that the kids from single parents are destined to be in trouble with the law or get a bad education…

    I was a single father for the better part of 14 years. I raised both a son and daughter. It was hard, and there were times that were tight, but I think my kids turned out alright. You judge…

    My son has a high school diploma and current has 34 credits toward a teaching degree that he has earned while serving active duty in the Navy. His current grade point average is 3.85. He is a senior sonarman (at 24) and he has consistantly tested to be in the top 10% of the navy. He has had zero problems with the law, has perfect credit, and is looking to buy his first house. No real problems there….

    My daughter is currently in her second year in college with a double major – linguistics and anthropology – neither of which are easy subjects. She has maintained a 3.9 average or better while working full time to pay for her schooling. She has been a member of Phi Beta Kappa for over a year. She, also, has had zero problems with the law and has perfect credit.

    Mike Dey had better get his head out of his ass and wake up. Single parent families happen and it is a bitch when it does. This does not mean that the kids of single parent families are guarenteed a poorer education or trouble with the law.


  3. Um, moorcat…he said “statistically,” not “guaranteed.” I doubt anyone would claim there are no exceptions, even if they state it stronger than he did.

  4. Statistics, like any generalization, is fraught with error and misinformation. During my time as a single parent, I served as the Regional Vice President of “Parents without Partners” in Oregon. I was often present at the state legislature when issues pertaining to single parents were being discussed and I have also worked with many single parent support groups throughout Washington and Oregon.

    The misconception of a single parent being incapable of providing for, caring for or raising a child with the same benefits as a married couple is just that – a misconception. That misconception has changed a little over the past couple of decades, too and support groups like Parents without Partners are not as necessary as they once were. There has also been a lot of focus on the problems in two parent families (child abuse, child neglect, etc) so the “statistics” are also changing.

    It is a good idea to question generalizations like the ones made by Mike Day. I encourage you to do your own research. I certainly have and my kids are better for it…


  5. Let me give you an example of what I am talking about. In 1993, a study was done in the Portland metro area that concluded that children of single parent households were 400% more likely to end up addicted to drugs. On the surface, the study looked legit and was even being used to as evidence in the State legislature.

    When you actually looked at the study, though, a completely different picture emerged. The people conducting the survey studied single parent families in the North/Northeast Portland area. They did this because the price of housing is cheaper there and they concluded (correctly) that the density of single parent families would be higher there.

    The study selected two parent families from South and West Portland. Again, they concluded (correctly) that the density of married couples raising kids would be higher there.

    Now, the problem with that study is that North and Northeast Portland was (and to some extent still is) “Drug Central” for Portland, where West Portland and to a lesser extent, South Portland, tend to be much more middle class or upper middle class – and with much less availability to street drugs.

    When the inconsistancies in the study were pointed out, the study was redone and the statistics were taken from a single area. The results were MUCH different. While a child from a single parent family was still more likely to have done drugs, the percentage was in the neighborhood of 10 – 15%, not 400%.

    My point is simple. Be careful placing labels using statistics or generalizations. My kids are not “exceptions” (though I do like to think that they are exceptional…). They are the product of a loving parent, a hard working home environment and our determination to be more than a statistic. Many single parents are driven to provide a decent home for thier children BECAUSE they are single parents.


  6. Like any ideologue, I think Mike Dey sees in the numbers what he wants to see.

    Here’s my take: single parents are like anybody else. They, like all other parents, work their *sses off to raise their kids. The kids that fall out of the system, into drugs or criminal behavior, are the exceptions, not the rule.

  7. In general, criminals are the exception, not the rule. All Dey said was children of single-parents are more likely to turn to criminal behavior. I don’t know about his statistics, though the study mentioned backs him up, but it makes sense. Single parents are essentially shorthanded, so it’s harder. That will inevitably lead to more kids who do worse in life. That doesn’t denigrate single parents nor does it generalize about them as parents. It recognizes their situation as more difficult. It means we should admire single parents for their accomplishments.

    Dey’s letter is silly for what Touchstone mentioned in his post, but not for how he cites whatever statistics he’s referring to.

  8. Curiosity during research: How many of you are/ were once children from single parent households?

  9. Mike Dey

    Thanks for the compliment I love being a CREEP I wear that badge with pride, I ment every word I said

  10. Thanks, Mike! I’m actually glad you feel that way. Keep the letters coming!

  1. 1 4&20 blackbirds » Blog Archive » Reducing abortion

    […] The main premise of the report is that public assistance encouraged the endemic occurrence of “broken homes” in the African-American community, and that these single-parent families perpetuated poverty. But we’ve seen from a recent discussion on this blog, that this isn’t necessarily true, that single parents often can and do raise children successfully on their own. Of course most of these accounts were from white, middle class Montanans – and in this particular culture, single-parent families are hardly the norm. […]

  2. 2 4&20 blackbirds » Blog Archive » Creep: David L. Green

    […] Mike Dey: Claimed that raising children out of wedlock was “dangerous” to society. Are single parents the new terrorists? […]

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