Today, the overwhelming majority of black children are raised in single female-headed families. As early as the 1880s, three-quarters of black families were two-parent. In 1925, 75 percent of black families were two-parent. One study of 19th-century slave families found that in up to three-fourths of the families, all the children had the same mother and father.
Today’s black illegitimacy rate of nearly 75 percent is also entirely new. In 1940, black illegitimacy stood at 14 percent. It had risen to 25 percent by 1965. By 1980, the black illegitimacy rate had more than doubled, to 56 percent, and it has been growing since. Both during slavery and as late as 1920, a teenage girl raising a child without a man present was rare among blacks.
Much of today’s pathology seen among many blacks is an outgrowth of the welfare state that has made self-destructive behavior less costly for the individual. Having children without the benefit of marriage is less burdensome if the mother receives housing subsidies, welfare payments and food stamps.
Plus, the social stigma associated with unwed motherhood has vanished. Female-headed households, whether black or white, are a ticket for dependency and all of its associated problems. Ignored in all discussions is the fact that the poverty rate among black married couples has been in single digits since 1994.
Black youth unemployment in some cities is over 50 percent. But high black youth unemployment is also new. In 1948, the unemployment rate for black teens was slightly less than that of their white counterparts — 9.4 percent compared with 10.2.
During that same period, black youths were either just as active in the labor force or more so than white youths. Since the 1960s, both the labor force participation rate and the employment rate of black youths have fallen to what they are today. Why? Are employers more racially discriminatory today than yesteryear? Were black youths of yesteryear more skilled than whites of yesteryear?
The answer to both questions is a big fat no. Paternity fraud emphasizes the financial aspect of the phenomenon, but paternal discrepancy (PD) describes the anomaly itself–the disconnect between what men think is true and the genetic reality. And research shows that it’s a lot more common than we might believe.
After recently reviewing 67 studies on the subject, University of Oklahoma researchers found that PD rates tend to be much higher among men who have reason to believe there’s been more than one dog in the yard. No surprise there. But leave out these men and you end up with a number that can safely be assumed to represent the rest of us. According to a census report, there are 27,940,000 fathers nationwide with a child under 18. That means over a million guys out there are taking care of some other man’s kid.
Compared with this, infidelity by itself is a mere white lie, a misdemeanor, maybe even forgivable. But this . . . this lie unravels years of commitment in a single stroke. Does forgiveness even apply here?
We have seen that there is serious need for it because in many homes things are happening that are scary both to the lives of children and their parents. And for the general statistics that is now available, it is found that three out of every ten men are not the fathers of their babies.
Similarly, three out of every ten children are not fathered by men they have seen as their biological fathers. What we have found out is that, anytime we take ten men, at least three of them eventually found that they are not the fathers of the children they call their own. And these men would have taken care of the children for all their lives.
Now, the global statistics is 100, 000 out of every 300, 000 men. But what we have found that is that the situation is higher in Nigeria than other places. For example in our laboratory here, 50 per cent of the cases comes out negative. And we also realised that majority of the first-borns are affected. You only need to be here to see big men cry like little kids and watch children weep in agony. It has been that bad.
And I dare say it is becoming something every home must do and you may be quite surprised at the level of dastard revelation.
About thirty per cent of fathers are unknowingly bringing up children who are not biologically theirs. And it is suspected that this percentage may be on the increase due to sexual recklessness. According to recent trends in sexual health, especially in Nigeria, it was suggested that unprotected sex and multiple partners are comparatively common occurrences with a large proportion of conceptions still unplanned. So, more than half, that is, 50 per cent of all paternity tests carried out by our lab comes out negative and the most affected are first-borns, except in a few cases.
In both matrimony and casual affiliations! I tell you, we have had series of married men come here and go back home devastated. In one instance, a man came here with his wife. Out of the five children he thought were his own, he discovered that only two belonged to him. And they are both duly married, living together as husband and wife. You see, the major problem we have in our country is that most of these cases are not duly documented. So, people don’t know we have such issues among us. In fact, some even don’t know where to go for the test to determine their child or children’s paternity. And I tell you, if you go to ten homes as we speak, you will be amazed to find that in almost all of them the children there do not belong to the men. It is that rampant.
There are those who believe that biology shouldn’t make a difference, that fatherhood is just a social construct. Studies show that evolution has designed men to care deeply about who their children are. Subsequent testing showed that the women responded equally to photos of kids whose faces resembled theirs and those that resembled the faces of strangers. The men, on the other hand, reacted far more positively to children whose faces resembled their own.
It’s not reproductively beneficial to invest all your resources in a child who is not carrying on your genetic line,” says study author Rebecca Burch, Ph.D. Men throughout the history of the species who have invested all their time and energy in children who weren’t theirs no longer have genes in the population. They are, in other words, extinct.
When the stakes are this high, there is no greater deception than PD. It’s a lie that reaches right down to your chromosomes, and when the truth finally comes out, the revelation can be devastating.