Stay at Home Mothers Protect Against Teen Delinquency?

Stay at Home Mothers Protect Against Teen Delinquency? November 26, 2018

Lori Alexander of The Transformed Wife is grappling pretty far back to prove her points, and is out of original material. She’s added not one word, not even to editorialize, to a 2012 sermon by pastor John MacArthur to claim that working mothers make for poorly behaved  teenage juvenile delinquents. She claims that stay at home mothers protect against teen delinquency. Tall claim, and one that ultimately falls apart upon closer examination.

He’s showing some pretty extreme white upper class privilege there, no wonder Lori likes him. To say just get a cheaper house is pretty ridiculous considering there are many areas in America where there is not cheaper housing. Try that in the San Francisco Bay area, or even the Washington D.C. burbs. It’s not possible without uprooting Dad from his job, taking a job that does not pay as well in a cheaper area, leading to the same financial problems.

Reading through the many legitimate studies done on the issues of juvenile delinquency it seems to be two factors that keep cropping up as the main reasons.

  1. Permissive or neglectful parenting.
  2. Peer pressure.

Not mom not being home. Not living in too expensive of a home. Not lack of faith, or any other straw boogie man that these people can dream up with no basis in reality.

Did you know that families that spank or use harsh physical punishment are much more likely to turn out delinquents? Beatings like Lori advocates mixed with the abusive parenting of Michael and Debi Pearl puts a kid at risk more than mom working.

Another lesser known factor in childhood rebellion is economic. Families on the lower end of the economic scale tend to turn out kids more likely to commit petty crimes. Poverty is strongly linked to juvenile delinquency. Not having adequate food, housing or clothing sends some kids into crime to survive. Would it not be better for mom to hold a part time job while the children are at school to provide those things that they lack? It might reduce juvenile crime rates since most are not violent crimes, but crimes committed against property.

Wikipedia has a page that sums up most of the prevailing thought on juvenile crime with links to research, right down to the fact that rates have risen due to zero tolerance laws, and crackdowns on teen crime. The same statistics and answers that Yale and many other universities that study this issue.

What seems to work best with reducing teen crime is parents that are involved in their children’s lives, who know their friends, who make an effort to know where the child is and what they are doing. Not making wives stay home.

The only way that MacArthur has any traction is with the fact that the hours of 3 pm to 6 pm are legitimately the most dangerous times for teens. Because they are less likely to be supervised. But the stats indicate that having mom at home in that time frame does not seem to have any effect at all. Face it, if a child is determined to hang around with the wrong kids, smoke, drink, or do drugs, many of them will find a way to circumvent mom at home.


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About Suzanne Titkemeyer
Suzanne Titkemeyer went from a childhood in Louisiana to a life lived in the shadow of Washington D.C. For many years she worked in the field of social work, from national licensure to working hands on in a children's residential treatment center. Suzanne has been involved with helping the plights of women and children' in religious bondage. She is a ordained Stephen's Minister with many years of counseling experience. Now she's retired to be a full time beach bum in Tamarindo, Costa Rica with the monkeys and iguanas. She is also a thalassophile. She also left behind years in a Quiverfull church and loves to chronicle the worst abuses of that particular theology. She has been happily married to her best friend for the last 32 years. You can read more about the author here.

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