Father's Day Crisis, as the US Leads World in ‘Fatherlessness’

"Got one!" Credit: Bob Hoge, used with permission

As we head into Father’s Day, it’s important to remember the millions of young Americans who don’t have dads in the house and who never had a male role model to look up to. According to Fox News, more than 18.5 million children are “fatherless,” and the United States leads the entire world in that category.


This is a record we surely do not aspire to and is clearly–at least partly–to blame for the dysfunction among today’s youth.

Think not having a father isn’t that big a deal? You’d be mistaken. Eighty-five percent of children and teens with behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes, according to the Fox News piece, as do over 70 percent of all adolescent patients in drug and alcohol treatment centers.

If you’re lucky enough to have grown up with a father who taught you how to behave, how to put a worm on a hook, how to ride a bike—how to be a good person—you know how important he was to you and your life. Take this beautiful Father’s Day tweet from Coach Kurt Hines:

Imagine having none of that, and no male role model in your life. Actually, we don’t have to imagine it: just look to our inner cities, where young men are shooting each other in astronomical numbers every single weekend. Inner cities are largely populated by minorities, and in 2020, 80 percent of black children were being raised by a single parent, while more than half of Hispanic births were out of wedlock.


How did we get here? Many people feel former President Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” programs contributed to the crisis by making it more beneficial to be an unwed mother than to be a married one.

From a 2017 analysis by the Houston Baptist University University:

Instead, by incentivizing government funding of single mothers who did not marry the fathers of their children, and by expanding the panoply of welfare state programs to Americans who were already experiencing serious stress and hardship, a series of significant problems became an unstoppable conflagration often referred to as a tangle of pathologies.

Millions of Americans were soon engulfed in permanent chaos and dysfunction.  Major metropolitan areas were comprised of block upon block of victimized children, broken families, and shattered lives.

A plague of fatherlessness ensued, leading to nearly 72 percent of all American black children being born without married parents by 2015.  Marriage had become a rare and distant thing.

Others blame popular culture, which often glorifies single mothers, while glamorizing absent fathers who get to do whatever they want without consequences. Ask yourself a question: when was the last time you saw a movie or series about a male detective? Was the detective a family man? Probably not—almost always, such detectives are boozy loners with multiple ex-wives and strained relationships with their children.


Our sports and entertainment stars with multiple children by multiple women—none of them their wives—also give young people the impression that this is a glamorous way to live. Rarely mentioned are the often shattered lives of the fatherless babies who result from these behaviors.

Another cause of the decline of the American family is the anti-nuclear family message from Hollywood. There are many examples, but here’s just one: In this Buzzfeed article, the author describes how the days of “Leave It to Beaver” are gone, and most sitcoms and streaming shows now just stress how screwed up family life is. The writer concludes:

I wonder what our society might look like if we saw all the familial humiliation and trauma playing out across our television screens — and perhaps in our own homes — and decided that enough is enough. There are more equitable, expansive, loving ways to live beyond the confines of the nuclear family.

No, Buzzfeed, there are not. The nuclear family has been the single most successful societal construct in the history of the world. Even the left-wing Atlantic admits it, begrudgingly writing: “a nuclear family headed by two loving married parents remains the most stable and safest environment for raising children.” No duh.

Consider this statistic:

Beyond the enormous benefits to our children, there are numerous advantages in a society that result from a strong nuclear family. For example, regarding poverty, data shows that children without a father in the home are five times for likely to live in poverty than a child in a two-parent household.


I hope you, dear reader, have been lucky enough to have a father (or a step-father, let’s not forget them) who has helped guide you through life and provided a role model for you to look up to. For the many who were not so fortunate, I hope you found somebody in your life to fulfill that need. Fathers are essential to a healthy society, and I hope our culture continues to honor them and promote the need for their role.

Because as you can see, the slow disappearance of fathers from U.S. life has exacted a painful price.


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