March 15, 2013
Fatherhood: The On-Going Crisis
Homer Simpson from The Simpsons, Peter Griffin from Family Guy, and Jerry from Wizards of Waverly Place, are just a few of the many youth television shows that present a dangerously distorted male figure. Or The Sweet Life of Zack and Cody, who run rampant throughout the hotel that they live in with their mother who was left to raise her children due to a dead beat father who left the family when the kids were young. Whether there is a Dad or there is not a Dad; they are presented as weak, childish, and brainless. These men are, at best, the whipping post for the strong-willed mothers who apparently have the real power and are the ones that essentially keep the home and the children from falling apart. It is clear that the role of Fatherhood has been distorted and watered down in the current century. Because of this, many modern day fathers fail to accomplish their duties towards their family, duties defined in Scripture, not because they do not want to but because they do not understand how crucial they are to their family, because society tells them that they are not really needed, and simply that they do not even know where to start.
The task of being a father is of critical importance, and it has never been more so than in this day and age. A child’s relationship with Dad is a decisive factor in that young man or woman’s health, development and happiness. Stephen K. Baskerville, an American scholar of political science as well as a leading authority on divorce, child custody and the family court system, wrote, “A generation of fatherhood advocates has emerged who insist that fatherlessness is the most critical social issue of our time. In Fatherless America, David Blankenhorn calls the crisis of fatherless children “the most destructive trend of our generation” (1995, 1). Their case is powerful. Virtually every major social pathology issue has been linked to fatherless children: violent crime, drug and alcohol abuse, truancy, unwed pregnancy, suicide, and psychological disorders—all correlating more strongly with fatherlessness than with any other single factor, surpassing even race and poverty. The majority of prisoners, juvenile detention inmates, high school dropouts, pregnant teenagers, adolescent murderers, and rapists come from fatherless homes (Daniels 1998, passim). Children from affluent but broken families are much more likely to get into trouble than children from poor but intact ones, and white children from separated families are at higher risk than black children in intact families (McLanahan 1998, 88). The connection between single-parent households and crime is so strong that controlling for this factor erases the relationship between race and crime as well as between low income and crime (Kamarck and Galston 1990, 14)” (Baskerville, independent.org). These statistics bring forth something vastly different than what is seen in pop culture’s most-watched TV shows. Despite these staggering statistics, no attempt is being made to change this very prominent issue that American society faces every day. Instead of the government focusing on getting rid of poverty through public school systems, go to the true source of the issue which would involve eliminating one-parent families and teaching every young man the importance of fatherhood and should be preparing them to step up when that day comes.
History also plays a key role in the downfall of Male leaders in the home. The Industrial Revolution came upon the world with great force. Women began entering the workforce and started becoming more and more independent. Feminists rose from this age and helped fuel the beginnings of what we see today: that being, more and more single family homes, often being run by the mother and not the father. Women think they can do it on their own but this is not always the case. There are some women out...