Times Online – Pregnancy is a male problem, by Michael Gove<br/> Blaming young single mothers is a diversion from one overlooked factor: irresponsible young males

But the queasiness many of us feel when we hear single mothers becoming the focus of attention and proposals for reform reflects our understanding of an underlying moral truth about where responsibility really lies in this debate. Not with single mothers — but with absent fathers.

Whatever their circumstances, almost all mothers strive to raise their children in an atmosphere of love and they devote whatever resources they have to their family. But the vital missing element in far too many poorer households is a man prepared to abide by his responsibilities.

The failure of fathers to stay with the mothers of their children not only contributes to material poverty, it also inhibits effective socialisation. Fathers can provide a model of male responsibility, and contribute to the creation of a household where civility and consideration govern relationships, in a way that no one else can.

But, as a society, our focus on young mothers such as the Williams sisters leaves the fathers out of the picture. We do not have a crisis of teenage mothers so much as a flight from responsibility on the part of young males…

It may be a cause for concern that we live in a country where girls are giving birth to children at an ever younger age, but we should not forget where the deeper problem lies — with all those men who want to behave like children all their adult lives.