LONDON, May 23, 2013 ( – Half of all British children born this year will be living with only one parent by the time they reach their teens, a study has revealed.

The study, titled “The myth of long-term stable relationships outside of marriage” undertaken by the Marriage Foundation, found that 45 percent of British teenagers between the ages of 13-15 are not living with both parents and that 9 out of 10 children born to unmarried, cohabiting “partners” will be living in single-parent households by their teens.

The study examined the differing rates of “family breakdown” experienced by married and cohabiting couples using data from the Understanding Society national longitudinal survey of 40,000 British households.


The numbers indicate that half of all cohabiting couples will break up within a year of moving in together. Nearly one-fifth (17 percent) of babies under a year old do not live with both natural parents, and that number jumps to 47 percent by the time the child is 15.

Significantly, the numbers are radically different for the children born within marriage: 93 percent of parents who stayed together were married before they had a child.

“The relative scarcity of ‘long-term stable relationships’ outside of marriage confirms that it is disingenuous and untenable for government to keep airbrushing marriage from family policy papers,” the study’s author, Harry Benson, said. “This should be an important issue for government since the direct costs of family breakdown are estimated at £46 billion,” more than the entire budget for national defense.

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Benson, the founder and director of the relationship education charity Bristol Community Family Trust, takes the government to task for papering over the link between marital status and family breakdown, saying that in nearly all government reports “overlook, disregard, or dismiss [it] altogether whilst talking glowingly of so-called ‘long-term stable relationships.’”

“The key variable in calculating family stability over time becomes marital status at birth. Fewer married parents means fewer relatively stable couples,” he emphasized.

“A trend away from marriage, all other factors remaining constant, should therefore lead to an increase in family breakdown,” Benson said.

The study was released on the day that the House of Commons voted to approve the government’s “gay marriage” bill, which was promoted by Prime Minister David Cameron as a boon for marriage in general.

But research shows that creating a legal construct for same-sex partners does nothing to increase the longevity of their relationships.

In a submission on the bill, Dr. Patricia Morgan, a sociologist and researcher on government family policy, told the House Committee that the evidence has shown “a publicly professed, legal, partnership does not prevent homosexual couples from breaking up more frequently than married heterosexual couples.”

Dr. Morgan said that “across all countries analyzed” there has been no “causal link” found to “support the idea that same-sex marriage prevents marital decline.” On the contrary, legalized “gay marriage” reinforces the “idea that marriage is irrelevant to parenthood,” which is the “principle factor” behind the collapse of natural marriage, that between a man and a woman.

In these countries, the introduction of “gay marriage” has coincided with sharp increases in the rate of cohabitation and children born out of wedlock.

Dr. Morgan’s paper, presented to the Committee on behalf of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, said that “gay marriage” leads to the “casualization of heterosexual unions and separation of marriage and parenthood.”

The evidence that “gay marriage” harms natural marriage is borne out by statistics from Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Spain, Belgium, Canada, and some U.S. states where it has been implemented.