The most significant negative consequence of father absence is juvenile delinquency, violence, and early sexual activity. Marriage and childrearing act as fundamental civilizing forces for men. When there are large numbers of young, unattached males concentrated in one place, there are increases in social disorder.
It is necessary to undo the cultural shift toward radical individualism to restore marriage and reinstate fathers in their children’s lives. Changes in employers’ attitudes and actions, religious leaders, family scholars, marriage counselors, legislators, and the entertainment industry could strengthen the institution of marriage. Having said that, we must redefine fathers’ roles to involve full engagement in their children’s development from the beginning.
Broken family data
Popenoe’s research reveals that in just three decades—between 1960 and 1990—the percentage of children living apart from their biological fathers increased dramatically. Data showed it’s from seventeen to thirty-six percent. Along with this statistic came a sharp increase in poverty, crime, abortion, teen pregnancy, high school dropouts, teenage suicide, child abuse, and child molestation.
Before they reach the age of eighteen, more than half of our nation’s children are likely to spend a significant portion of their childhoods living apart from their fathers. As a result, never in this country have so many children been voluntarily abandoned by their fathers. Moreover, never have so many children grown up without knowing what it means to have a father. According to David Blankenhorn, fatherlessness is the most harmful demographic trend of this generation.
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