You may be wondering why father loss is special and what distinguishes it from other types of family dysfunction. More and more, contemporary sociologists are documenting what I experienced personally and see clinically. David Blankenhorn, founder and president of the Institute for American Values, wrote about the current trend of fatherlessness and the personal and societal nightmare it is creating. He stated:
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 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.
Further physiologists Moore and Gillette made this comment over 30 years ago:
We face a crisis in masculine identity of vast proportions. Increasingly, observers of the contemporary scene sociologists, anthropologists, and depth psychologists-are discovering the devastating dimensions of this phenomenon, which affects each of us personally as much as it affects our society as a whole.
We can look at family systems and see the breakdown of the traditional family. More and more families display the sorry fact of the disappearing father, whose disappearance, through either emotional or physical abandonment, or both, wreaks psychological devastation on the children of both sexes. The weak or absent father cripples both his daughters’ and his sons’ ability to achieve their own identity and to relate in positive ways.
In-fact UNICEF went on the describe father absence as the greatest social issue of our time