On Monday, in a Wichita Court, Miranda Miller testified that her boyfriend, Stephen Bodine, killed her son, 3-year-old son Evan Brewer, while she was in the house.
Apparently, Miller was punishing Evan for not eating. To make sure the boy got the message Bodine hit Evan so hard that he killed him. Bodine then bought a few bags of concrete, placed Evan’s body in the mix, and left the hardening mass in the laundry room of their rental home.
This case would be shocking were it not so commonplace. What follows are some sample headlines, all from the last three months.
From California: “Calif. Boy Allegedly Tortured and Killed by Mom and Her Boyfriend.”
From Michigan: “Feds join hunt for mother, boyfriend accused in torture death of 4-year-old.”
From Ohio: “Mom, boyfriend charged with aggravated murder in death of 4-year-old.”
From Missouri: “Mother charged with child abuse after boyfriend kills her 1-year-old son.”
From Pennsylvania: “Mom, Boyfriend Beat Boy to Death Over Spilled Cereal.”
What we don’t see are headlines like, “Congress investigates ‘boyfriend’ problem” or “Students walk out of class to protest epidemic of ‘boyfriend’ murders” or “Democrats promote marriage, call for end to co-habitation.” In Kansas, when dissecting the problem, the media chose to blame the Department for Children and Families and only then because it was headed by a Republican.
Social scientists have been studying the boyfriend phenomenon for at least 25 years. All studies have come to the same approximate conclusion. Boyfriends may well represent the most dangerous element in a child’s life.
A Missouri study, for instance, found the possibility of fatal maltreatment of a child was raised eight times if the child was living with unrelated adults, “primarily in households including biologically unrelated adult males and boyfriends of the child’s mother.” Studies done in Britain suggest the risk is even higher.
The media, however, tend to suppress these studies and to ignore the boyfriend phenomenon. A report in the liberal “Daily Beast” unwittingly describes the left’s conundrum.
“This research also lends itself to controversy,” writes Samantha Allen. “Conservative and family-focused groups like the Heritage Foundation can wield it to argue that marriage is ‘still the safest place for women and children’ and advocate for a return to traditional values.”
“The data can also be used to further stigmatize single mothers,” cautions Allen. Most social scientists are on the same page as the media. Allen cites one study that warned of the risk of stigmatization and recommended instead “greater support to mothers with live-in partners.”
In the real world supporting live-in partners only produces more live-in partners. And to describe a return to traditional values as “controversial,” even if to protect young lives, suggests just how deep a moral hole the left has dug for itself.