‘Tonight, about 40 percent of children in the western world will go to sleep in homes in which their fathers do not live.
Before they reach the age of eighteen, more than half of our nation’s children are likely to spend at least a significant portion of their childhoods living apart from their fathers.
Never before in this country have so many children been voluntarily abandoned by their fathers.
Never before have so many children grown up without knowing what it means to have a father.
Fatherlessness is the most harmful demographic trend of this generation. It is the leading cause of declining child and adult wellbeing in our society. It is also the engine driving our most urgent social problems…. If this trend continues, fatherlessness is likely to change the shape of our society.’
These comments by David Blankenhorn highlight the terrible impact that father absence has on both individuals and society as a whole.
Since the end of Second World War there has been increasing interest by governments and social commentators in the effects of the absent father on the development of those within the remaining family unit.
As a result thousands of studies have since been conducted. These studies have repeatedly uncovered a staggering array of issues inflicted particularly on the children of father absent households.
Interestingly it has been shown that the affects of emotionally unavailable fathers were almost identical to those where the father was physically absent.
The affects covered everything from physical differences (i.e. the quickened development into and through puberty of children raised with no father present) through to many and varied social and physiological issues.
The summary of issues listed below, in no way covers every aspect of father absence however it is still a powerful indictment to the current social epidemic.
In reference to the general population individuals raised in a father absent environment demonstrate;
1. 5 times the average suicide rate:
2. Dramatically increased rates of depression and anxiety:
3. 32 time the average rate of incarceration:
4. Decreased education levels and increased drop-out rates:
5. Consistently lower average income levels:
6. Lower job security:
7. Increased rates of divorce and relationship issues:
8. Substantially increased rates of substance abuse: and
9. Increases in social and mental behavioural issues:
Whilst the list above outlines the devastating foundation that father absence sets it does not begin to address the subtle aspect of father absence.
How do you measure a sense of abandonment and betrayal, how do you measure the feeling of not fitting in and of being different.
Father absence in many ways steals our birthright; it takes from us our inherent and natural internal structures. These are the frameworks that we rely on every day in every aspect of our lives, whether it be in our relationships, our level of happiness, our health, our behaviour, our prosperity or level of success.
If these inherent frameworks are missing or not allowed to fully develop we really never have a chance to realise our full potential.