Public Attitudes in Canada Toward Unmarried Mothers, 1950-1996

Susan Crawford


Has the social stigma and shame once attached to unwed motherhood disappeared? A review of the Canadian popular press from 1950 to the present suggests that the stigma is now an economic one. This paper traces public attitudes toward unmarried mothers as viewed primarily through the pages of Maclean's and Chatelaine and concludes that, while the stigma now is mainly an economic one, the sense of shame surrounding unwed motherhood has not disappeared completely.

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