From "Should We Discourage Teen-age Marriage?" an article by P. Lindsay Chase-Lansdale and Maris A. Vinovskis in The Public Interest:
In the 1970s, teen-age pregnancy and childbearing became a matter of pressing concern to policy-makers and social scientists. As out-of-wedlock births were beginning to soar, lawmakers and experts chose to focus on the teen mother herself, the stigma of adolescent pregnancy and the detrimental impact of early childbearing on educational and occupational advancement. Marriage as a life course option for adolescent mothers was actively discouraged and consideration of the role of the father was practically nonexistent.
In the 1980s, as out-of-wedlock births have reached unprecedented levels, it is necessary to reexamine policies and research related to adolescent parenthood and marriage. New research findings indicate that some teen marriages are more resilient than previously believed. Recommendations that adolescent mothers remain with their own parents in order to maximize educational attainment are being brought into question by recent evidence suggesting adverse long-term outcomes of such an arrangement. Policies that promote single parenthood for teen mothers seem to prevail in the face of very little systematic information about the young fathers and their potential as providers, husbands or parents.
Government policies should be redirected toward helping young couples stay together rather than focusing almost exclusively on the young mother and her child. Furthermore, in a society that claims that children are the future, one must question why a young man's financial responsibility toward his children is open to debate. . . .