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Persuasive essay topics: Single parenthood is the worst style of upbringing

With the growth of female independence, the ratio of single-parent families is gradually increasing. Single parenthood prevails for several major reasons: divorce, non-marital sex, widowhood or the loss of spouse. Scholars have controversial attitudes towards such families: on the one hand, children living with single mothers or fathers, learn independence and individualism; whereas they are also more vulnerable to the negative influences of peer groups and subcultures. In 2005, the ratio of single-parent families was about 43 per cent, in addition, one-fifth of single parents are male.

Major thesis statements:
1) Single parenthood is unnatural, due to biological, historical and social significance of traditional nuclear family.
2) Single parenthood is an only solution in case of domestic violence: the removal of the child from cruel environment is most helpful in case of parental child abuse.
3) Daughters of single mothers are likely to choose subconsciously her mother's path and bring up children on her own.
4) Male teenagers, living with single mothers, are predisposed to delinquency and have lower academic achievements.
5) Single parenthood is cultivated through creating appropriate conditions for female employment, promotion of gender equality and government support.

Primary issues to discuss:
1) 'Shotgun marriage' vs. single parenthood. In which case the interests of child are met more appropriately?
2) It is known that single parents are extremely affected by poverty and concerned about breadwinning. Do they really neglect their children?
3) The three widespread family patterns are control, emotional support and democracy. Which ones are overlooked by single mothers? By single fathers?
4) Which additional duties should the child perform in single-parent families? Which duties are attributed to firstborns?
5) Which situation would be a 'minor evil' for a child: life with a single parent or in the nuclear family, where mother and father have no respect for each other?
6) Which impact might single parenthood make on the further generations?

Suggested readings:
1) Cherlin, A. and Fomby, P. A Closer Look at Children's Living Arrangements in Low-Income Families. Policy Brief 02-03, Welfare, Children, and Families Study. Sage Publications Inc, 2002.
2) Hsueh, C.T. Single-Parent Families Revisit. The Journal of Community Development 58,1992 :306-310.


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