Failed marriages create a female underclass: The British Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting - UK - News - The Independent

Failed marriages create a female underclass: The British Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting

MARITAL breakdown is creating a new female underclass, according to a survey by British social science researchers.

By the time they reached the age of 33, a quarter of the women in the survey had been lone parents, and at the time of the survey 12 per cent of them were bringing up children alone.

But few had made a deliberate decision to do so, according to Dr Angela Dale, deputy director of the Social Science Research Unit at the City University, London, who led the research.

These single mothers were revealed to be hard-up, having lost their foothold on the job market, and faced every prospect of an impoverished old age dependent solely on state pensions.

They were trapped in a downward economic spiral in which the demands of bringing up a child single-handedly cut income. Lone mothers had jobs with lower hourly rates than anyone else. Those in full-time employment earned pounds 4.40 per hour on average, while married mothers took home pounds 5.40 and married fathers pounds 7.40.

The study of 11,500 men and women aged 33 in 1991 was part of a major piece of continuing research by the Economic and Social Research Council which has been following three groups, born in 1946, 1958 and 1970.

The latest element was released yesterday on the first day of the annual meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science at Keele University, Staffordshire. It indicated that the 'thirty-something' generation was in a mess, and that just when these men and women should have achieved stability in their lives they were in a state of flux.

All that the 33-year-old members of Margaret Thatcher's 'yuppie' generation had to show was a high proportion - 80 per cent - of home ownership. Professor Howard Newby, chairman of the ESRC, said the group viewed home as a haven.

The 33-year-olds were cynical and disillusioned with politics. The survey found: 'Four out of ten think politicians are in politics for their own benefit; and one in five feels that no matter who is in power, there is little direct benefit to them.'

Neither men nor women, the survey showed, had clear beliefs about their motivations, and one finding was that 'support for the work ethic was not overriding'. Fewer than half of them thought that having a job was better than being unemployed.

Ten per cent of those surveyed were cohabiting at the time of the survey; about a third who were living with their first spouse had cohabited with their partner before marriage and about 80 per cent had done so before subsequent marriages.

There was a substantial amount of step-parenting; 19 per cent of the women and 6 per cent of the men had a partner who was not the biological parent of children in the family.

News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Sport
FootballFull debuts don't come much more stylish than those on show here
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Travel
travel
News
The ecological reconstruction of Ikrandraco avatar is shown in this illustration courtesy of Chuang Zhao. Scientists on September 11, 2014 announced the discovery of fossils in China of a type of flying reptile called a pterosaur that lived 120 millions years ago and so closely resembled those creatures from the 2009 film, Avatar that they named it after them.
SCIENCE
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Matisse: The Cut-Outs exhibition attracted 562,000 visitors to the Tate Modern from April to September
art
Life and Style
Models walk the runway at the Tom Ford show during London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2015
fashionLondon Fashion Week 2014
News
Kenny G
news
News
peopleThe black actress has claimed police mistook her for a prostitute when she kissed her white husband
Life and Style
techIndian model comes with cricket scores baked in
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Energy Markets Analyst

£400000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Energy Markets An...

Junior Web Analyst – West Sussex – Up to £35k DOE

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...

Nursery Manager

£22000 - £23000 per annum: Randstad Education Bristol: We are currently recrui...

Web Analyst – Permanent – Up to £40k - London

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently r...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week