Feminists argue that efforts to control women's sexuality and enforce mothers' economic dependence upon men are part of a backlash designed to limit women's mobility and freedom Silva As described below and shown in the figure below, variations on monogamous relationships are increasingly prevalent i.
Women choosing to conceive children in this manner include lesbians, who may raise their children as a single parent or with a same-sex partner; and heterosexual women who are in their thirties, single, and want children before they are past childbearing age Burns and Scott Single mothers are likely to have mental health issues, financial hardships, live in a low income area, and receive low levels of social support.
There is racial variation in the proportion of families headed by a single parent: 22 percent for white, 57 percent for black, and 33 percent for Hispanic families. However, some of these problems may be attributed to a decrease in available resources and adult super-vision; many of the negative effects disappear when there is adequate supervision, income, and continuity in social networks McLanahan and Sandefur Demographic Trends Globally, one-quarter to one-third of all families are headed by single mothers, calling into question the normativeness of couple headed families.
Program regulations were developed in ways that reflected this distinction, along with racist assumptions about the role of immigrant and African-American women within both the family and the paid labor force.