Home / Features / Columns/Opinions / More Fathers Needed
Tuesday, May 28, 2024

More Fathers Needed

Children have a better outcome in a two-parent household

There’s lots of talk in communities across our country about gun violence.

And juvenile crime. Incarceration rates.

The talk is all about calling for committees and commissions to be formed, for studies to be conducted, for more funding of social programs and for official government proclamations of “public health” emergencies because of the continued (and rising) unspeakable violence in one neighborhood after another.

But we ought to call for more fathers, not more meetings.

There are over 18 million fatherless children in our country. That represents 80% of single-parent homes, which, by the way, are four times more likely to live in poverty than married couples. Individuals from fatherless homes are 279% more likely to carry guns (and do drugs) than those whose fathers are present in their lives.

And it certainly shows that 70% of juveniles in state-operated institutions come from single-parent homes.

Unfortunately, the United States has the highest rate of children in single-parent households of any nation in the world. It wasn’t always that way. In 1960, 88% of children lived in a two-parent household. Today, only 60% of children in the U.S. live with married birth parents.

But we’re not just dealing with the loss of fathers here. It’s the loss of the ideal of fatherhood. According to J.R. Macnamara, in the book, “Media and the Male Identity: The Making and Remaking of Men,” less than 20% of television programming, movies, etc. reflect positive themes for men.

Sure, “Everybody Loves Raymond” (but he’s portrayed as an idiot). Then there is “The Simpsons” (where the father character, Homer, is lazy, chauvinistic and irresponsible). Even the father in the cartoon “Peppa Pig” is portrayed as an overconfident idiot and the butt of all jokes.

Macnamara also found that nearly one out of three storylines in the media depict masculinity as violent, aggressive and dominating. Men are frequently shown in TV shows and movies as cheating on women, as stupid buffoons, and as insensitive, while simultaneously, the women are depicted as strong, independent and intelligent.

No wonder the message in society today is that men, or fathers, aren’t needed. They are welcome but optional.

While Hilary Clinton says, “It takes a village,” to include uncles and aunts, grandparents, stepfathers, etc., in raising a child, the role of a father was never intended to be divvied up among surrogates – despite the sacrifices (and differences) they each may make in that child’s life.

That’s because children who feel closeness to their father are 80% less likely to spend time in jail or become addicted to drugs. They are less likely to commit suicide (63%), drop out of school (71%), live in poverty (66%), run away from home (90%), or have a teenage pregnancy (111%).

Again, 60-70 years ago, it wasn’t this way. Men were the heads of households, successful breadwinners and respected leaders. There was nothing that they couldn’t do. It was post-World War II, and the soldiers returning home were hailed as peacekeepers and nation-builders, both at home and around the world. America’s young men were, indeed, the envy of the world.

And now? It’s difficult even to know what it means to be a man — and even harder to feel good about being one.

You would think the woke culture warriors, which have been intent on feminizing men for so many years now, would realize it has not produced the well-rounded man they were hoping for, but a squishy, squashy, namby-pamby, non-committal, spineless wimp of a man, instead. Is it any wonder many women today are asking, “Where did all the real men go?”

Wherever those men may be, we need them back. “If present trends continue,” according to David Popenoe, a professor of sociology at Rutgers University, “the percentage of American children living apart from their biological fathers will reach 50% by the next century.”

And before we make more babies, let’s make sure that we have more fathers on hand who know both their role and their worth – not just to their children, but to society-at-large – if we’re going to reduce the number of children committing violent crimes, increase the number of students graduating high school, decrease the number of juveniles addicted to drugs, and reduce the poverty rate for families.

In Proverbs 22:6, the Bible teaches us to “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Even for those who are not especially spiritual, this is simply the old adage, “If you start out right, you’ll end right.”

And until we “start out right,” all the committees, commissions and government proclamations will make no difference in our lives.

But more fathers will.

Louis R. Avallone is a Shreveport businessman, attorney and author of “Bright Spots, Big Country, What Makes America Great.” He is also a former aide to U.S. Representative Jim McCrery and Trump elector. Follow him on Facebook, on Twitter @louisravallone or by e-mail at louisavallone@mac.com, and on American Ground Radio weeknights from 6 - 7 p.m. on 101.7FM/710AM KEEL in Shreveport, or weeknights from 9 - 10 p.m. on 96.5FM KPEL in Lafayette, or weeknights from 8 - 9 p.m. on 990 AM WGSO in New Orleans, or on Saturdays on 970 AM WNYM in New York City, and streaming live on iHeart.com, on iTunes, at americangroundradio.com and in over 40 markets across the country.


The Forum News