A new report from the National Center for Health Statistics with the dry title, "Changing Patterns of Nonmarital Childbearing in the United States," contains startling news: births to single mothers, which had leveled off in the early 2000s, have risen sharply in recent years. Some sociologists believe we have reached a tipping point: the link between marriage and parenthood is no longer the norm. Why is this happening, and what does it mean for women, children, and men? There are no simple answers, writes Contributing Editor Cathy Young, only difficult questions that we ignore at our peril.

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