The Challenge

The Importance of Fathers in Families

Fatherhood Today Magazine: 50M Dads Report Needing Help

  • Today there are approx 80M men in the US and Canada who are fathers or will be fathers in the next 5 years.
  • Over 80% of US dads feel they need help on Fatherhood issues; 75% of those do not know where to get quality fatherhood help.
  • There are dozens of fine US organizations (mostly very small non-profits) working in this area today, but most are local (such as churches) or strictly policy based.
  • None, by themselves, is big enough or connected enough to ‘move the cultural needle’ on fatherhood – or even get close – in the face of the cultural forces pushing in the other direction.
  • There is no over-arching cooperative strategy that might allow these organizations to multiply their impact through coordinated action.

 

Respect for Fatherhood in our Culture

  • Respect for Fatherhood and the percentage of men who are actively involved Dads has declined steadily in the US over the past 50 years.
  • Our society now constantly celebrates the rich, the powerful, the famous and the infamous… but never good fathers.
  • Much of popular media minimizes or actively puts down Fatherhood (for example, the preponderance of “Doofus Dads” on TV these days).
  • The importance of fathers, even the need for fathers, is now openly called into question in certain American sub-cultures.
  • As a direct result, many men now choose to skip fatherhood altogether, either by not marrying, not having kids or not parenting their kids.
  • As a direct result of that, over half of the American children born today will live some or most of their lives as minors without their fathers.
  • As a direct result of that, America is quickly becoming a two tier society, with over 1/3 of our children consigned to almost 3rd world status in terms of mental and physical health, academic attainment, and income.

The Social Decline of Strong Parenting :

Less than 20% of American households are now made up of biological parents and their children, down from 52% in 1960.

  • 41% of US births in 2010 were out of wedlock (In 1940 that number was 3.8%).
  • The percentage of children born to unmarried moms has more than doubled for each major racial group since 1960. Over 70% of African American kids will be born out of wedlock this year.
  • Children born out of wedlock in the US are two to three times more likely:
    • To be convicted of a felony
    • To suffer from severe emotional illness
    • To have children out of wedlock
    • To fail to graduate from High School
    • To ever hold down a long-term job
    • To live in poverty
    • To die a violent death
    • To be functionally illiterate
    • The list goes on and on…

 

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