The High Costs of Fatherlessness

The High Costs of Fatherlessness, by Augusto Zimmerman.

Contrary to social evidence, feminists think males raised without fathers will treat women better. And yet, most of the male perpetrators of domestic violence are the products of what once was called a “broken home”. They have been denied a meaningful contact with their biological fathers, and, as a result, denied experience of traditional fatherhood. …

It is always important to consider what the best empirical research available unquestionably reveals: the absence of the biological father is directly associated with the rise in juvenile violent crime, child depression, child eating disorders, and teen suicide and substance abuse. …

Arguably, the arrival of easily obtainable divorce led not only to the breakup of families but also to a pandemic of fatherless children. In the lives of most of these children, fathers are largely if not completely absent. And yet, hostility to traditional marriage is one of the hallmarks of modern feminism. …

The institution of marriage acts as a culture’s chief vehicle to bind men to their children and raise them with the mother in a stable family home. …

In today’s selfish world, people forget: Marriage isn’t for the parents, it’s for the kids. “And if you can’t handle that, then grow the hell up.”

Ironically, contrary to common perception (and the wild claims of the powerful feminist lobby), the most likely abuser of a young child is not the biological father. As noted by US sociologist David Popenoe, one of the greatest risk factors in child abuse, found by virtually every investigation that has ever been conducted, is children living in a “female-headed single-parent household”.

Although it is appalling that a child might grow up in a home terrorised by a violent father, according to US sociologists Murray Straus and Jan Stets “women not only engage in physical violence as often as men, but they also initiate violence about as often as men”.

If our political and intellectual elites were really concerned about the protection of children and breaking the cycle of violence, they should at least be able to recognise that child abuse by mothers is part of the story of violence in the home.

In the United States, statistics reveal that mothers are almost twice as likely as fathers to abuse their children. An official report released by the US Department of Justice found that mothers account for no less than 55 per cent of all child murders.

In a well-known study using a sample of 718,948 reported cases of child abuse, the US Administration for Children and Families concluded that biological mothers (58 per cent of the child abuse perpetrators) are 1.3 times more likely to abuse their children than biological fathers. …

The evidence that biological mothers can be more abusive to their children is undeniable. It is confirmed by the US Department of Health and Human Services in its comprehensive report Child Mistreatment (2006). While fathers (including stepfathers) were involved in 36 per cent of all the mistreatment cases, mothers were involved in 64 per cent of them. Further, while the father was the sole perpetrator in 18 per cent of these cases, in 40 per cent of them the mother was the sole perpetrator, with the mother acting with someone else besides the father in 6.2 per cent of those cases.[11] The Department concludes:

On average, fathers who live in a married household with their children are better able to create a family environment that is more conducive to the safety and necessary care of their children. Consequently, children who live with their biological father in a married household are significantly less likely to be physically abused, sexually abused, or neglected than children who do not live with their married biological parents. …

Data gathered in Western Australia by its Department of Child Protection reveals that the number of mothers who are responsible for “substantial maltreatment” of their children rose from 312 to 427 in less than a ten-year period. In that same period the number of fathers reported for child abuse dropped from 165 to 155. …

A comprehensive analysis of child abuse cases across forty-two nations of the Western world found that children raised in single-parenting houses are considerably more likely to become victims of physical violence and sexual abuse. By contrast, a father’s involvement in the life of a child has been proven beyond doubt to be directly associated with much lower levels of child abuse and neglect, even in families having to endure problems such as male unemployment and poverty, which could place the child at some risk of maltreatment. …

The undeniable fact remains that only a tiny proportion of sexual abuse is committed by biological fathers, although government statistics often lump in the statistics with stepfathers so as to make it appear that incest has become widespread. For instance, statistics from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) fail to distinguish between biological fathers and non-biological fathers. …

Although the media, government inquiries and pronouncements by influential public figures appear to suggest that domestic violence is perpetrated overwhelmingly by men, the disintegration of the traditional family (and the devaluation of fatherhood) is one of the leading causes of the growth of domestic violence. … Unfortunately our political class has hugely betrayed its constituency by utterly ignoring the massive role of state-sponsored initiatives in instigating family breakdown and fatherlessness, and how such factors directly contribute to the growth in domestic violence.