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Abstract

Ryan, in Blaming the Victim, discusses welfare mothers in terms of an ideology of illegitimacy, and its impact on welfare policies. He then refuted the ideology. Since then several conditions have changed. This paper assesses how those changes may have affected Ryan's conclusions, and whether AFDC recipients most likely to fit the ideology differ from other unmarried, pregnant women. Hypotheses: AFDC and non-AFDC recipients will not differ significantly in (1) "promiscuity;" (2) contraceptive usage; (3) number of children being raised; and (4) solution to their problem pregnancy. The sample was 424 AFDC and 741 non-AFDC pregnant, unmarried women. While some significant exceptions were observed, the hypotheses generally were supported. Considering that the sample of AFDC recipients is biased toward support of the ideology of illegitimacy, changed conditions appear to have reinforced Ryan's refutations.

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