Katty Kay: Marriage Is 'Old Fashioned' If You Want to Have Kids

There's been a lot of discussion lately about women balancing their careers with marriage and family.

On the syndicated Chris Matthews Show this weekend, the BBC's Katty Kay said, "My advice would have been to younger women to focus more on when you have children rather than saying you have to find a husband when you're in university...The marriage component of it to me feels like a fairly old-fashioned piece of advice" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

KATTY KAY, BBC: I actually think the more important point for women is actually about when you have kids, that we are leaving it very late. The professional women are leaving it into their mid to late 30s. It becomes increasingly hard to have children. And that is the more…

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: When’s the clock, when’s the clock ring?

KAY: I think in the mid, I don't know what the latest science is. I mean, increasingly you can have children later and later, but I don't think it particularly increases your health chances later and later. And I think that, my advice would have been to younger women to focus more on when you have children rather than saying you have to find a husband when you're in university.

I mean, look, we live in the world - whether you like it or whether you don't like it - of a post-nuclear family. People are having children by themselves, they are having children with their gay partners, they are having children with their unmarried heterosexual partners, they are adopting children. The marriage component of it to me feels like a fairly old fashioned piece of advice.

Marriage is old fashioned if you want to have kids. Wow!

Although Kay wasn't necessarily advocating for single parents, the statistics concerning that are scary (via SingleParentSuccess.org):

  • In 1995, nearly six of 10 children living with mothers only were near the poverty line. About 45 percent of children raised by divorced mothers and 69 percent by never-married mothers lived in or near poverty, which was $13,003 for a family of three in 1998.
  • 75% of children/adolescents in chemical dependency hospitals are from single-parent families.
  • More than one half of all youths incarcerated for criminal acts lived in one-parent families when they were children.
  • 63% of suicides are individuals from single parent families.
  • 75% of teenage pregnancies are adolescents from single parent homes.

There's no question that children growing up with both of their parents fare far better in life than any other domestic arrangement.

With such statistics readily available, it's sad to see a member of the media call it old fashioned to marry before having kids.

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.