- List All

  • Web   The Point


+ Theology/Religion + Culture + Marriage & Family + Politics + Academia + Human Rights
Christianity Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory
Religion Blogs - Blog Top Sites
Link With Us - Web Directory

« RE: Journey of Forgiveness | Main | Blog-a-book: Life out of death »

September 13, 2007

So Easy, Even an Australopithecine Can Get It

Over at Crunchy Con, Rod Dreher tells the sad  story of "six-year-old Hanna Mack, whose body was found hanging near her house the other day. . . . Her mother's live-in boyfriend has been arrested for possession of child pornography and has been named a suspect" in Hanna's murder.

After reminding himself about the presumption of innocence, Rod makes a point that can't be made too often because we never seem to learn this lesson:

[C]hildren who share a home with their mother and her live-in boyfriend are disproportionately subject to sexual and physical abuse. In some cases, sexual predators take advantage of lonely single mothers. In other cases, men with no biological or emotional connection to the child resent the child's demands on its mother's (that is, his sexual partner's) attention. Whatever the case, it's bad news when a mother with children takes in a man who has no interest in marrying her.

Dreher quotes at length from a 1998 Weekly Standard article by John Barnes, "The Boyfriend Problem," which is available in its entirety here. As Barnes writes,

Open virtually any big-city newspaper and you will find a depressingly large number of such stories. A young child, living with his mother in a cramped apartment, is beaten to within an inch of his life -- or, as in the cases cited above, meets death -- at the hands of Mom's boyfriend/ex-husband/live-in, often while Mom looks on.

What is remarkable about such cases, however, is that they draw almost no systematic attention (much less condemnation) from anyone in a position of authority. In a country that obsesses over the effect of secondhand smoke on its children, that worries incessantly about "at-risk" youngsters, and whose chief executive is wont to use children's welfare as a justification for virtually any policy prescription of the moment, this is a significant oversight.

Barnes draws on data like this . . .

These findings are consonant with those published a year earlier by Leslie Margolin of the University of Iowa in the journal Child Abuse and Neglect. Prof. Margolin found that boyfriends were 27 times more likely than natural parents to abuse a child. The next-riskiest group, siblings, were only twice as likely as parents to abuse a child.

. . . to make his point. But it's a point we insist on missing even though you don't have to be a Christian or even a social conservative to intuitively grasp. Being a moderately well-read Darwinist will do nicely: a woman's children do not pass on her boyfriend's selfish genes. In fact, their very existence is an impediment to the passing on of those genes through their mother. (Her parental investment in the children she already has makes having one with the boyfriend less likely.) That's why among many predator species, such as polar bears, the biggest threat to the survival of their young often comes from unrelated males, especially those looking to mate with the mother.

Of course, people aren't polar bears and many men do devote themselves to caring for children who are, biologically speaking, not theirs. But these men demonstrate their devotion to the children by marrying the mother.

That all of this isn't blindingly obvious to, well, everyone is best explained by Patrick Fagan, whom Barnes quotes in his article: "It is extremely politically incorrect to suggest that living together might not be the best living arrangement."

Not among polar bears, though.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference So Easy, Even an Australopithecine Can Get It:



Hmmm - while I completely agree, it would be easy to reach for the conclusion that had these women simply insisted that their boyfriends marry them before moving in, none of this would have happened.

That flies in the face of my (admittedly anecdotal) recollection of abusive stepfathers from yesteryear. I.e., does the act of marriage really eliminate - or at least drastically reduce - the problem? I'd prefer to see the data, both from today and from years past, showing that a rise in abusive boyfriends over time hasn't been compensated for by a drop in abusive stepfathers.

Because if genes are truly selfish, then simply getting married wouldn't necessarily mutate the polar bear into a teddy bear.


Lee's comment is right on. The problem existed when marriage was the socially acceptable route. In my opinion it all boils down to one cause, "There is no fear of God before their eyes." In our free for all culture, no one has any regard for what God has said is the right way to live. The blame here falls on men and women alike. A standard no longer exists to hold anyone accountable to. So EVERYONE is doing their own thing and the results are that children are being murdered and exploited in ways that are inconceivealby heinous. "The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life enabling one to avoid deadly traps." (Pr. 14:27) The fear of the Lord leads to life; one who has it is satisfied and rests untouched by evil." (Pr. 19:23)

I'm sadly aware that my comments sound like those of a mad woman which is proof of how far we've fallen in the black hole of flinging God's words behind us. Evil reigns in our land and people (our precious children) are caught in deadly traps.

The answer to the problems of all abuse and murder are quite simple, but "simple" is not possible in a culture where our fear and need of man is greater than our fear of need of God.

Dan Gill

According to a local news source, evidence led them to another man, not the live-in boyfriend in this case. DNA evidence is pointing to the new suspect, who has been charged.

The live-in boyfriend was charged with possession of child pornography, but he deserves to have his name cleared in the murder.

Here is the link to the article:

The comments to this entry are closed.