A controversial new study from Ohio University finds that single moms may be behind the curve in brain power. The study, titled "Intelligence and Decision Making Among Single Mothers," explores the relationship between intelligence and single motherhood, and its results may be a shock to some.
"In our study, we surveyed over 1000 mothers of varying education and socioeconomic background, composed of both single mothers and mothers in stable relationships with the fathers of their children," says Dr. Ron Patel.
"When controlling for economic background, education, and other factors, single mothers scored lower in IQ tests, ethical decision-making, emotional control, and reading comprehension. We theorize that these single mothers may have had unwanted pregnancies by not understanding the risks of having unprotected sex, or may suffer from impulsive behavior."
"These women are frequently getting into relationships with men who outsmart them and leave them once they become pregnant," says Dr. Patel. "Often times, boyfriends leave their girlfriends after realizing that they may be of low intelligence."
Single motherhood is very costly to society. The children of single mothers are at higher rates of child abuse and generally have poorer outcomes than their counterparts raised in nuclear families.
"As single motherhood remains an issue in the United States, we must create public policy to ensure that there are fewer single mothers," says Patel. Patel lists several opportunities for lawmakers to ensure that children are protected. "Single mothers need to be punished for their irresponsible behavior. We can start looking at fining single mothers for having children without a father, or educating women who aren't as bright as their peers on how pregnancy occurs."