Thursday, December 27, 2012

Fathers Disappear from American Households

In every state, the portion of families where children have two parents, rather than one, has dropped significantly over the past decade. Even as the country added 160,000 families with children, the number of two-parent households decreased by 1.2 million. Fifteen million U.S. children, or 1 in 3, live without a father, and nearly 5 million live without a mother. In 1960, just 11 percent of American children lived in homes without fathers.

America is awash in poverty, crime, drugs and other problems, but more than perhaps anything else, it all comes down to this, said Vincent DiCaro, vice president of the National Fatherhood Initiative: Deal with absent fathers, and the rest follows.

People “look at a child in need, in poverty or failing in school, and ask, ‘What can we do to help?’ But what we do is ask, ‘Why does that child need help in the first place?’ And the answer is often it’s because [the child lacks] a responsible and involved father,” he said.

The spiral continues each year. Married couples with children have an average income of $80,000, compared with $24,000 for single mothers.

“We have one class that thinks marriage and fatherhood is important, and another which doesn’t, and it’s causing that gap, income inequality, to get wider,” Mr. DiCaro said.

The predilection among men to walk away from their babies is concentrated in the inner cities. In Baltimore, 38 percent of families have two parents, and in St. Louis the portion is 40 percent.

The near-total absence of male role models has ripped a hole the size of half the population in urban areas.
As I noted in a recent post, when it comes to gun violence in America, the elephant in the room is the crime rate among and by minorities. And most of this, I believe, is a direct result of the breakdown of the family, which is and has been most pronounced among blacks. This breakdown is a consequence of the liberal policies that have replaced husbands/fathers with welfare checks, and diminished the respect, authority and rights of husbands/fathers. It is simple economics--create disincentives to be husbands and fathers and--voila--you will end up with fewer fathers sticking around.

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