Your nurse walks calmly into your cozy private hospital room after giving birth to your precious child, the same child looking up at their new mom grinning, now if that nurse was to tell you that your newborn was at a 4x greater risk of poverty, 7x more likely to be a teenage parent, more likely to have behavioral problems, more likely to use drugs or alcohol, more likely to go to prison, more likely to commit crimes, 2 times more likely to drop out of high school, 2 times more likely to suffer obesity and god forbid two times more likely to suffer infant mortality. 63% of youth suicides come from fatherless homes 90% of all homeless and runaways are from fatherless homes and 85% of children who show behavior or mental disorders come from fatherless homes and we can’t forget the 71% of high school drop outs are from fatherless homes nine tomes the average, this is where I fit in. These facts come from 2017s U.S Census Bureau. The data shows us children living without biological, step or adoptive fathers. With all this laid out before you, is this something you would proactively pursue for your new born child who’s still innocently looking up at their new mom? I would hope not. So why is father absence so prevalent in the developed world and is actively encouraged? There is a crisis before us according to the U.S Census Bureau, 19.7 million children, more than 1 in 4 live without fathers in the home. Thus there is a father factor in nearly all societal ills facing us in today’s society. Research has shown when a child is raised in a fatherless home he or she is at a greater rick of poverty, teenage pregnancy, and incarceration. Firstly poverty should not be celebrated or encouraged under any circumstances. How is it that back in 2011, children living in a single mother dwelling with no spouse for support has a poverty rating of 47.6%. This was over four timed the rate for children living in a married-couple family, and this was over eight years ago. I could only imagine how fast these numbers have risen. In America, 23.6% of children lived in father-absent homes in 2014. Consequently, there is a “father factor” in nearly all of the societal issues facing our youth today. We must realize there is a father absence crisis in the developed world and begin to raise more involved, responsible, and committed fathers because these numbers are rising rapidly. To reiterate 2017s U.S Census Bureau concludes 19.7 million children live in a fatherless home. I could only imagine how much these numbers have increased from 2017 when this study was concluded to now as we’re nearing the end of 2019. Controlling factors such as low income, children growing up in fatherless households are at a greater risk of experiencing a variety of behavioral and educational problems, including extremes of hyperactivity and withdrawal, lack of attentiveness in the classroom, impaired academic achievement, school misbehavior, absenteeism, dropping out, involvement in socially alienated peer groups, and the so called teenage syndrome of behaviors that tend to hang together smoking, drinking, early and frequent sexual experience, and in the more extreme cases, drugs, suicide, vandalism, violence, and criminal acts. Poverty often contributes to the obstacles for youth pursuing high-paid employment which can result in increased stress and frustration. Children who grow up without their fathers may come to resent paternal figures due to perceived abandonment. These feelings may burgeon from a lack of trust and result in a heightened sense of anger. As a child grows into adolescence and adulthood, these problems may contribute to these youth coming into contact with the criminal justice system, use of illegal substances, as well as a variety of mental health problems. These consequences may result in interpersonal dilemmas including the inability to develop strong social bonds. For example, anger stemming from abandonment can make it difficult for juveniles to establish friendships and the pursuit of long term relationships. Secondly the daughters of fatherless homes are at a higher risk of teen pregnancy. Bruce Ellis, Ph.D, a professor of experimental psychology at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand, analyzed two groups of girls 520 in the U.S. and 242 in New Zealand throughout their entire childhood, approximately from the age of five to the age of eighteen. Consisting of several interviews over the years with both the parents and the children, examining family demographics, parenting styles, childhood behavior problems, and academic performance. As a result of father absence in the home of daughters many studies have shown this puts daughters at risk of premature sexual activity thus teen pregnancy. It’s suggested that approximately 10% of American girls and 7% of New Zealand girls between the ages of 15-19 become teenage mothers each year. Adolescent childbearing is often associated with lower educational achievements, and occupational inadequacies, often times more mental and physical health problems. We cannot forget the inadequate social and parental support networks this young teen mom would require. As a result this puts the innocent child of the teenaged mother at risk of neglect and would continue the cycle of poverty amongst fatherless homes. Pregnancy is a significant contributor to high school dropout rates among girls. Only about 50% of teen mothers receive a high school diploma by the age of 22 compared to their counter parts of which 90% of women who do not give birth during adolescence graduate from high school, But it’s not all negative,, between 1991 and 2015, the teen birth rate dropped 64%, which resulted in $4.4 billion in public savings in 2015 alone. Pregnant teens themselves are also at greater risk of health problems. For example anemia, hypertension, renal disease, eclampsia and depressive disorders. We cant leave out the fact that children from a fatherless home are at a greater risk of human trafficking. 51% of identifiable victims of human trafficking are woman, 28% are children and 21% are men over half come from fatherless homes.. The vast majority of child physical and sexual abuse is committed in single mother households, home of which the father is not present. Contrary to the publics perception, research shows time and time again that the most likely physical abuser of a young child will be that Childs mother, not a male in the household. A British study found children are up to 33 times more likely to be abused when a live in boyfriend or stepfather is present than in an intact family. [Robert Whelan, Broken Homes and Battered Children: A Study of the Relationship between Child Abuse and Family Type (London: Family Education Trust, 1993), p. 29). Daughters of single parents without a Father involved are 53% more likely to marry as teenagers, 711% more likely to have children as teenagers, 164% more likely to have a pre-marital birth and 92% more likely to get divorced themselves. Lastly incarceration effects more youth from fatherless homes than youths who have fathers in the home. Researchers used secondary data in a sample of 835 juvenile male inmates from the Inter-University Consortium got Political and Social Research to study gun carrying, drug trafficking in those young males linking father absence to the likeliness of youths engaging in such behaviors. They concluded that young males were 279% more likely to carry guns and deal drugs compared to their peers who live with fathers in the home. Fact, did you know 26 of the 27 mass shooters in the U.S came from fatherless homes, although no studies addressing the direct effect of fatherlessness on the use of gun violence were found. Neither government nor independent data on gun violence and mass shooters include information on family structure. 85% of all inmates are from fatherless homes. I believe there’s an epidemic on the rise, it’s called father absence and it’s alive and well. Violence among youths coming from fatherless homes is increasing, it’s the new plague it’s widespread negatively effecting all corners of our society. One has to think about it deeply to fully understand where it all stems from. A lack of family or parental structure result in juvenile delinquents. A large number of gang members come from fatherless homes possible due to the need of feeling a sense of belonging, filling in the male role models these youths are starving for. Studies show having a father in a child’s life greatly reduces the odds of that child engaging in criminal activity. Even after controlling income, youths in fatherless homes still had significantly higher odds of incarceration than those in mother father households. Youths who never had a father in the household experienced the highest odds. A 2002 Department of Justice survey of 7,000 inmates revealed that 39% of jail inmates lived in mother-only households. Approximately 46% percent of jail inmates in 2002 had a previously incarcerated family member. One-fifth experienced a father in prison or jail. A study of 109 juvenile offenders indicated that family structure significantly predicts delinquency. Adolescents, particularly boys, in single-mother families were at higher risk of status, property and person delinquencies, juxtaposed to their counter parts. A study of 13,986 women in prison showed that more than half grew up without their father. 42% percent grew up in a single-mother household and 16% lived with neither parent. Oh no this doesn’t just effect young males. As I keep saying there’s an epidemic over our society, it’s called father absence and it’s having negative effects putting youths at higher risks. My final thoughts, why is it socially reprehensible for a man to leave a baby fatherless, but courageous, strong and independent, even admirable, for a woman to have a baby whom she knows will be raised fatherless? This state of mind in our society is quite destructive I don’t care what anyone thinks to the contrary, I have lived and breathed it to this day I reap the consequences of the ubiquitous fatherless home becoming normal across the developed world. At what point is the family unit repaired and father absence isn’t the normal among millions of today’s youth. I’ve concluded until it is discouraged by law to force your innocent children to grow up fatherless this will not change. Again, growing up in such situations I understand why it’s not going to change, the financial strains keep these mothers linked to social assistance and food banks it becomes normal after several years. I want to see that change, I want to see it change for the sake of all the innocent youth who are suffering the same consequences of a fatherless home. I can see it in their eyes, I know what they’re going through.
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