The London riots have simply reconfirmed and graphically illustrated what the social sciences have been telling us for a half century now: when we allow society to disregard the institution of marriage and in fact assault the institution of family, we are asking for – and will get – trouble.

The social science evidence on this is as overwhelming as it is clear: by every indicator, children will be worse off when not raised in a biological two-parent family. They will be more likely to do less well at school, to become involved in drugs, to commit suicide, to have a range of mental and psychological problems, and to get involved in gangs and criminal activity.

This has been documented so thoroughly now that only an ideologue who is pushing agendas can deny the evidence. Let me here just offer the smallest sampling of research data on this. These are just a few bits of the available evidence.

In an important book on the subject, Francis Ianni found that most gang members in America come from female-headed households. And a study of British communities in the American Journal of Sociology by Sampson and Groves found a direct statistical link between single parenthood and virtually every major type of crime, including mugging, violence against strangers, car theft and burglary.

One study tracked every child born on the Hawaiian island of Kauai in 1955 for 30 years. It found that five out of six delinquents with an adult criminal record came from families where a parent – almost always the father – was absent.

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