Two factors have contributed more than any other—the sharp increase of divorce-on-demand and unwed births. Both thorny issues have a common root—the decline of the institution of marriage.

In the mid-century, the United States was probably the most marrying society globally. Marriage has been losing its social purpose. In place of commitment and obligation to others, especially children, marriage has become mainly a vehicle for the emotional fulfillment of the adult partners. Fewer than 50 percent of Americans today cite “being married” as part of their definition of “family values.” . . . This loss of social purpose is part of the broader cultural shift toward a radical form of individualism that accelerated rapidly in the 1960s.

Radical Feminism

While divorce and unwed pregnancies are still the leading causes of fatherlessness in America, poverty, violence, and disease are global root causes. Additionally, radical feminism has done much to render fathers superfluous in developed countries and challenge traditional interpretations of God’s Word. 

There is no doubt that many women get along very well without men in their lives and that having the wrong men in their lives can be unfortunate, even disastrous. But just as it seems to increase assaults on children, fatherlessness appears to generate more violence against women. Partly this is a matter of arithmetic. More than two-thirds of violence (assault, robbery, and rape) against women is committed by unrelated acquaintances or strangers.79 As the number of unattached males in the population goes up, so does the incidence of violence toward women. 

  In fact, marriage appears to be a strong safety factor for women. A satisfactory marriage between sexually faithful partners, especially when raising their own children, engenders fewer risks for violence than probably any other circumstance in which a woman could find herself. Recent surveys of violent-crime victimization have found that only 12.6 of every 1,000 married women fall victim to violence, compared with 43.9 of every 1,000 never-married women and 66.5 of every 1,000 divorced or separated women.’


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