Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Unmarried or divorced father stats
Fathers who have never made the commitment of marriage or even of sticking around.
There was a time when fatherlessness was high on account of death. But: "A surprising suggestion emerging from recent social-science research," Popenoe points out, "is that it is decidedly worse to a child to lose a father in the modern, voluntary way than through death. The children of divorced and never-married mothers are less successful by almost every measure than the children of widowed mothers ... . And there is reason to believe that having an unmarried father is even worse for a child than having a divorced father."
And the statistical analyses of the US data are showing that children from a fatherless home are:
20 times more likely to end up in prison;
32 times more likely to run away.
20 times more likely to have behavioral disorders.
14 times more likely to commit rape;
Nine times more likely to drop out of high school;
10 times more likely to abuse drugs;
Five times more likely to commit suicide;
Nine times more likely to end up in a state-operated institution;
Two times more likely to have children during their teenage years;
The litany of disaster continues in the US statistics:
85% of all children that exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes;
90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes;
71% of all high-school dropouts come from fatherless homes;
71% of teenage pregnancies are to children of single parents, so the cycle continues;
75% of all adolescent patients in chemical-abuse centers come from fatherless homes;
63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes;
80% of rapists come from fatherless homes;
70% of juveniles in state facilities come from fatherless homes;
85% of all incarcerated youths grew up in a fatherless home.
We ignore the problem of father absence to our peril. Of perhaps greatest concern is the lack of response from our lawmakers and policymakers, who pay lip service to the paramount importance of the "best interests of the child," yet turn a blind eye to father absence, ignoring the vast body of research on the dire consequences to children's well-being.
How appropriate that Justice Alito brought up cellphones in the recent Supreme Court hearings on the marriage cases. Because these days it seems like it is easier to get out of a marriage than it is to get out of a cellphone contract.
It is no secret that marriage is in a state of severe crisis in America. And while academics, statisticians, and pundits may quarrel about the exact divorce rate or its causes, no one would deny that the widespread legalization of no-fault divorce beginning in the early 1970s saw an explosion of divorce in this country.
Yet as social conservatives, and even many liberals, wring their hands about marital and familial breakdown, few seem to question whether our experiment with treating marriage like a restaurant experience-order what you like and send it back if you change your mind-is worth reconsidering.
Instead, no-fault divorce has become an assumed feature of the landscape of unbridled American freedom. Whereas once freedom in this country meant the right to live a good life, the ability to be a moral agent in the human enterprise, the chance to chase happiness, it now increasingly appears to mean the right to do whatever you want whenever you feel like it, regardless of whom you destroy in the process.
No-fault divorce is destroying women, children, and men. More precisely, divorce destroys marriage, and the destruction of marriage harms every party involved. The legality of no-fault divorce just makes it infinitely easier to hurt people. There are no two ways about it. No one comes out of a divorce a happier and more whole person.
Particularly offensive no-fault divorces are those where one spouse is protesting. In these cases, one spouse is literally abandoning the other (and frequently the children as well), despite having made public vows and having signed a contract before civil and religious officials stating their lifelong commitment to his or her spouse.
In this country you can come home from work and tell your spouse the marriage is over and he or she can do nothing but cry, and fight for the best financial payout possible. Try doing that with Verizon. Or while under contract to buy a home. Or with your gym membership. You'll get laughed at.
Eighty percent of divorces are unilateral. The legal sanctioning of human abandonment must end.
The family court system needs to do a much better job of keeping families together and combating the Evils of Parental Alienation.