Tuesday, February 6, 2007

New York Times: Most Women Are Single?

According to a New York Times story, most women in America just don't get married. Shocking? Well, when you fudge the numbers and definitions at least. Dr. Thomas Sowell explains:

The latest in a long line of New York Times editorials disguised as "news" stories was a recent article suggesting that most American women today do not have husbands. Partly this was based on census data -- but much more so on creative definitions.

The Times defined "women" to include females as young as 16 and counted widows, who of course could not be widows unless they had once had a husband. Wives whose husbands were away in the military, or in prison, were also counted among women not living with a husband.

With such creative definitions, it turned out that 51 percent of "women" were not living with a husband. That made it "most" women and created a "news" story suggesting that these women were not married. In reality, only one fourth of women have never married, even when you count girls as young as 16.

Oh, alright, so most American women haven't rejected marriage. Family is a fading novelty, says Dr. Sowell:

Negative depictions of marriage and family are common not only in our newspapers but also wherever the left is concentrated, whether in our schools and colleges or on television or in the movies -- most famously, in the "Murphy Brown" TV program that Vice President Dan Quayle criticized, provoking a fierce counterattack from the left.

The New York Times was not the first outlet of the left to play fast and loose with statistics in order to depict marriage as a relic of the past. Innumerable sources have quoted a statistic that half of all marriages end in divorce -- another conclusion based on creative manipulation of words, rather than on hard facts.

Shocking! Oh, well, maybe not.

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