—David Blankenhorn, Fatherless America
On pages 35-37 of my book, “The Power of Dadhood – How to Become the Father Your Child Needs” are ‘The Facts’ which support why I wrote the book and why I think it is important for every father to read, even the very good fathers.
I started writing Dadhood not knowing the facts. I just knew what I had seen as a child, father, and grandfather and realized that fathering was crucial to the quality of a child's life. Upon researching, I found that what my siblings and I had gone through as the children, of an inept and frequently absent father - and the resulting issues that arose, were not unusual.
The very sad facts regarding what can occur without a loving father in the home are indeed flabbergasting. In America, 24,350,000 children (33.5%) live absent their biological father. Certainly, most of us would not be surprised that it is not good to be raised without positive fatherly influence, but I doubt most people realize just how devastating it is!
Every year, the National Fatherhood Initiative (www.fatherhood.org) publishes a book called "Father Facts" in which they update the data, obtained from various sources, that summarizes the trends and consequences of father absence and positive effects of father presence. The facts below are all taken from Father Facts where you can find the original source of each data. When discussing single-parent homes, 83% of the time the single parent is the mother.
- Children in father-absent homes are five times more likely to be poor.
- In 2002, 5.3 percent of married couples were poor, compared to 26.5% of mother-only families.
- In large US cities, 45 percent of unmarried mothers are poor.
- Daughters of adolescent moms are 83% more likely to become teen mothers themselves.
- 88 percent of women who had children out-of-wedlock and did not finish high school are living in poverty.
- Teens without fathers were twice as likely to be involved in early sexual activity and seven times more likely to get pregnant as an adolescent.
- Women in fatherless homes are over six times more likely to become teenage mothers.
- Children from fatherless homes are 10.8 times more likely to commit rape.
- Almost half of jail inmates had a previously incarcerated family member. They typically grew up in a single parent home.
- 70 percent of juveniles in long-term, state-operated institutions come from single-parent homes.
- A 19-year study found that as a country’s out-of-wedlock pregnancies increased, the country’s murder rates increased as well.
- Compared to living with both parents, living in a single-parent home
- Doubles the risk that a child will suffer physical, emotional, or educational neglect.
- Increases the risk of being harmed by physical neglect by 87%
- Increases the chance of suffering from emotional neglect by 74%
- 90 percent of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes.
Drug and Alcohol Abuse
- Adolescents not living with both parents are 50% to 150% more likely to use or be dependent on substances.
- 75 percent of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers come from fatherless homes.
“One father is more than a hundred school masters.”
~ 17th Century English Proverb
- 71 percent of high school drop outs come from fatherless homes.
- Students living in father-absent homes are twice as likely to repeat a grade in school.
These stats just scratch the surface. They tell us that families, children, and society would be immensely better off if more fathers were in the home. When these fathers are also positively engaged the results are even better. We know that, but do we really understand the impacts? . We see boys staying away from violence, girls having much higher self-esteem, and families that can be supportive of each other and not dependent on social welfare. The social issues of the world would be minimized with this simple solution, find ways to educate young men and women on the values, importance, and responsibilities of parenting. The cycle can only end by caring, mentoring, and true attention to the real problem (fatherless homes), not pouring money into the results of the problem.