Opinion

Beyonce is a great role model for girls

Beyonce Knowles, the beautiful and incredibly talented pop superstar, is well-known for her song urging men to “put a ring on it” and famously took her own advice. She dated rap singer “Jay-Z” Carter, got married and is now pregnant with the couple’s first child. The public is so enthralled by the couple that when Beyonce showed up at a recent awards show, well, showing, Twitter almost crashed.

Upon hearing the news that Beyonce is expecting, Justin Combs, the son of rapper Sean “Diddy” Combs, tweeted: “Beyonce dated, married, THEN got pregnant … young ladies take note.”

Good for him.

Now, all those supposed women’s groups are up in arms because his comments supposedly shame and stigmatize single mothers and their offspring. The groups are mad at Combs for stating the obvious. They’re mad because he would dare to make a judgment about whether kids are better off with married parents.

Really? That’s foolish. Shouldn’t influential people use their influence to encourage kids to make good decisions?

Although Beyonce isn’t trying to make a political statement and is just living her life in a way that makes sense, God bless her for setting a great example for all the young women who idolize her.

When President Lyndon Johnson declared the War on Poverty in the mid-1960s, only six percent of children were born out of wedlock. By 2008, that number had risen to 40.6 percent. That year, a remarkable 72.3 percent of African-American children — nearly three out of four — were born out of wedlock. There is no way that all of these pregnancies were unplanned.

Hollywood isn’t helping young women by pretending that fathers are extraneous and that there are no drawbacks to being a single mom.

Numerous studies indicate that life is much more difficult for kids who grow up without a dad. They are at increased risk of everything from quitting school to drug and alcohol abuse, and they’re at high risk for poor social and cognitive development. Indeed, out-of-wedlock births are the largest indicator of poverty.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau:

— The poverty rate of single mothers with children is five times higher than for married couples with children;

— The poverty rate for single fathers is almost 2.5 times higher;

— Poor children in single-parent households constitute almost two-thirds of all poor children.

Being married gives couples a huge financial advantage. In 2008, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the poverty rate among black married couples was 6.9 percent, while the rate for non-married black families was seven times higher at 35.3 percent. That’s a huge difference. Those differences are echoed in the white community.

Certainly Beyonce’s and Jay-Z’s children won’t have to worry about poverty, given that their parents are superstars. Still, Beyonce and Jay-Z set a tremendous example by waiting until they were married to start a family.

Penny Nance is CEO and President of Concerned Women for America.