In April 1993, Family Scholar Barbara DaFoe Whitehead published an article in the ‘New Atlantic’ titled ‘Dan Quayle was Right’. The title was a reference to the ridiculing of Vice President Quayle after he criticised Murphy Brown, a character played by actress Candice Bergen in the 1980s sitcom ‘Murphy Brown’. The plot had Murphy falling pregnant and then electing to have the child out of wedlock which generated substantial viewer interest. VP Quayle then criticised the show’s producers for sending the wrong message to young women, which led to him being publicly rebuked by the character Murphy Brown in a subsequent episode. Dr Whitehead chose the title to illustrate how despite being the object of ridicule at the time, Mr Quayle’s view was supported by ample social science evidence. She describes the effects of marital breakdown, divorce, and single parenthood. She also describes how being raised by married biological parents give children an advantage
The article’s introduction sums it up quite well.
“The social-science evidence is in: though it may benefit the adults involved, the dissolution of intact two-parent families is harmful to large numbers of children. Moreover, the author argues, family diversity in the form of increasing numbers of single-parent and stepparent families does not strengthen the social fabric but, rather, dramatically weakens and undermines society”