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In case you didn’t notice, the face of motherhood is changing.

Last spring I wrote about a Pew Research Center study that found that compared to mothers of newborns twenty years ago, mothers today are older and more educated. One of the most striking findings from the study was that today 41 percent of mothers are unmarried – and the increase has been greatest among whites, whose out-of-wedlock births increased by 69 percent since 1990.

Today there’s a new report by Pew addressing the changing American family that reveals the country remains sharply divided over how it feels about “the sweeping changes in the structure of the American family.”  31 percent are accepters, 37 percent are skeptics, and 32 percent are rejecters of the changes that include more unmarried couples raising children, more gay and lesbian couples raising children, more single women having children, more people co-habitating, more inter-racial marriages, and more women choosing to sit out motherhood.    

Despite the rise in single-motherhood Pew found last spring, it appears the public is particularly down on this change. Nearly all the “Skeptics” (9%) view an increase in single-motherhood as bad for society. Almost 90 percent of “Accepters” view the increase as having made no difference (74%) or as being a “good thing for society” (13%).  In fact (emphasis added), “so sizable is the difference between Accepters and Skeptics on this single trend that the division of the Accepters and the Skeptics is driven primarily – though not solely – by views on single motherhood.”