A recent Pew Research Center Report on the rise in children being born to single mothers is sobering, to put it mildly. From the report:
Another notable change during this period was the rise in births to unmarried women. In 2008, a record 41% of births in the United States were to unmarried women, up from 28% in 1990. The share of births that are non-marital is highest for black women (72%), followed by Hispanics (53%), whites (29%) and Asians (17%), but the increase over the past two decades has been greatest for whites—the share rose 69%.
Lest one think that these numbers are without consequence, the impact on a fatherless child’s life is all-too-often devastating. Consider the breakdown of fatherlessness by race from the pew report in light of these percentages of the American prison population in the graph below.
These numbers are being hailed in some quarters as representative of women’s strength and accomplishment. In truth, they represent the implosion of marriage and family as the numbers represent the number of women who have given up on family and marriage, choosing to go the single route. None suspects that her child will suffer for want of a father. The numbers suggest that those hopes may be whistling past the graveyard:
63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes (Source: U.S. D.H.H.S., Bureau of the Census)
90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes
85% of all children that exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes (Source: Center for Disease Control)
80% of rapists motivated with displaced anger come from fatherless homes (Source: Criminal Justice & Behavior, Vol 14, p. 403-26, 1978.)
71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes (Source: National Principals Association Report on the State of High Schools.)
75% of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers come from fatherless homes (Source: Rainbows for all God`s Children.)
49 percent of all child abuse cases are committed by single mothers.)Joan Ditson and Sharon Shay, “A Study of Child Abuse in Lansing, Michigan,” Child Abuse and Neglect, 8 (1984) )
70% of juveniles in state-operated institutions come from fatherless homes (Source: U.S. Dept. of Justice, Special Report, Sept 1988)
85% of all youths sitting in prisons grew up in a fatherless home (Source: Fulton Co. Georgia jail populations, Texas Dept. of Corrections 1992)
In 1988, a study of preschool children admitted to New Orleans hospitals as psychiatric patients over a 34-month period found that nearly 80 percent came from fatherless homes.(Jack Block, et al. “Parental Functioning and the Home Environment in Families of Divorce,” Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 27 (1988) )
Even controlling for variations across groups in parent education, race and other child and family factors, 18- to 22-year-olds from disrupted families were twice as likely to have poor relationships with their mothers and fathers, to show high levels of emotional distress or problem behavior, [and] to have received psychological help.(Nicholas Zill, Donna Morrison, and Mary Jo Coiro, “Long Term Effects of Parental Divorce on Parent-Child Relationships, Adjustment and Achievement in Young Adulthood.” Journal of Family Psychology 7 (1993).)
And those are just a few of the statistics from an appalling list found here.
A mother’s love is simply not enough. Children need a mother and a father. Men and women bring very different skill sets and perspectives to the table. Fathers nurture in a different way than mothers do, as we tend to have a different style of disciplining that comes with masculinity. That masculine presence is essential in reining in teenage excess and keeping the wolves at bay who would tear our children apart.
Fatherless children are easier marks.
This is the consequence of radical feminism which has shredded our families. Look at advertisements on TV, or listen on the radio. Better than 90% of the time if one party is buffoonish or clueless, it is the male. Look at sitcoms. Almost without exception men are portrayed as weak, stupid, gay, and clueless. Of course when men are not portrayed in these ways on TV and in movies, they are usually portrayed as testosterone-fueled homicidal, sex-crazed maniacs.
Within families where divorce rates have hovered around 50% for forty years, two full generations, the damage has been done. When not glued to mass media portraying men horribly, over half of our children, those missing a father as the counter-balance to that message about men, hear an endless litany from embittered mothers of the inadequacies and sins of men.
Is it any wonder that women are deciding in increasing numbers to forego husbands?
In the end, this is all about despair. Increasing numbers of men and women living without hope: in themselves or each other. But the data don’t lie, and tell the reason why God, throughout scripture, has identified Himself so strongly with the plight of widows, the fatherless, and orphans.