Hey, Dad. Scram. You're not needed here

Maris and Joe Lind dance during the Daddy Daughter Dance at the Michigan Shores Club Feb. 4, 2019. (Gina Grillo / Pioneer Press)

Maris and Joe Lind dance during the Daddy Daughter Dance at the Michigan Shores Club Feb. 4, 2019. (Gina Grillo / Pioneer Press)

So say today’s cultural norms.

Kids growing up without a father present just doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter if the father’s not around in the home. It especially doesn’t matter if the father and mother aren’t married.

So, on this Father’s Day, it is again necessary to review the science about the importance of fatherhood. as more  than one in four children or almost 20 million children live without a father in the home

So what? Here’s what. Children raised in a father-absent home are more likely to have behavioral problems, to commit a crime and be imprisoned, to face abuse and neglect, and to abuse drugs and alcohol.

And much more. They are:

  • Four times more likely to risk living in poverty.
  • Seven times more likely to become pregnant as  teen.
  • Twice as likely to drop out of high school.
  • Twice as likely to be obese.

Obviously, the presence of an involved father reduces mom’s stress.  Even if the parents no longer are together, an engaged father is important for both mother and children.

And we go on:

  • A father involved in child-related activities and other forms of engagement develops a positive father-child relationship that is associated with a child’s social and emotion well-being, behavioral adjustment and academic achievement.
  • Men who grew up with absent fathers were more likely to become absent fathers. And women who grew up with absent fathers are more likely to have children with absent fathers.
  • Father absence increased the risk of infant mortality. Mortality rates for infants within the first 28 days of life is four times higher for those with absent fathers than those with involved fathers.

Citations for these and others studies are found at the National Fatherhood Initiative. 

A separate but related issue is the number of children born to single mothers. According to the Brookings Institute:

Since 1970, out-of-wedlock birth rates have soared. In 1965, 24 percent of black infants and 3.1 percent of white infants were born to single mothers. By 1990 the rates had risen to 64 percent for black infants, 18 percent for whites. Every year about one million more children are born into fatherless families. If we have learned any policy lesson well over the past 25 years, it is that for children living in single-parent homes, the odds of living in poverty are great. The policy implications of the increase in out-of-wedlock births are staggering.

We have the radicalization of our culture and the politicalization of fatherhood to blame. The Black Lives Matter movement blames “structural racism” for the ills that African Americans suffer while ignoring the impact of fatherlessness. Completely ignoring, I should say, to the extent that it becomes more than a disservice but a indication that black lives don’t matter.

The link between father absence and community dissonance among black people was postulated almost 50 years ago in the U.S. Department of Labor’s Moynihan Report. Since then, the percentage of black children being raised in single-parent homes has grown from 20 percent to nearly 70 percent, according to data from the American Community Survey.

The late sociologist and New York Democratic Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan raised the alarm just as the ’60s craziness was about to destroy the family structure and the mores that addressed the very issues that are at the core of Black Lives Matter. While the liberal Moynihan first raised the issue, it became politicized with former vice president Dan Quayle raised the issue.

That came as the single motherhood by choice of a fictional television show woman to have a children by herself was being praised as the wise, au courant choice. Never mind that science debunked the popular but damaging proposition that a fatherless child is no big deal.

So, an issue first raised by a Democratic liberals has been disavowed by the extreme left that now dominates the once-rational party. So that what we have here is another example, it seems, of the political left being “anti-science.”


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  • "But in fact, the story of presidents being raised by single mothers is as old as America itself. George Washington's mother, Mary, became a widow when he was 11. Thomas Jefferson was raised by his mother, Jane Randolph Jefferson, after his father died when he was 14.And Andrew Jackson's father, like Bill Clinton's, died before he was born." [Washington Examiner]

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    And, of course, Barack Obama.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    Remember your logic. Individual cases, as moving and legitimate as they are, do not demonstrate a trend. Science, remember?

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