In the name of the father |  Journal

In the name of the father | Journal

Millions of boys and girls have no father: desertion, imprisonment, separation. It affects poorer communities more.

According to the 2006 census, there were 1.4 million single-parent families in Canada, 80% of which were mother-headed. Their children do worse, miss school more often, and drop out more often. In 2016, 29.5% of families with children in Quebec were single parents.

In the United States, the number of children being raised exclusively by their mothers has increased dramatically over the past 50 years. In 1970 the number of fatherless children was about 10%. In 2010, the number of children living with an absent father was 24%.

Absent fathers, delinquent sons

This is true of 85% of American youth who serve a prison sentence, 72% of youth who commit murder. Including the 18-year-old who killed nineteen children and two teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas on May 24, 2022. Year-old Adam Lanza, who was living with his estranged mother, killed her before shooting 20 students and six school staff.

Similarly, in the United States, 85% of children with behavioral problems come from fatherless families, as do 70% of youth in drug and alcohol treatment centers. 63 percent of teenagers who commit suicide have no father.

The syndrome of the fatherless daughter

Having a father also negatively impacts all aspects of a young girl’s life, from depression to academic prospects. What experts call “fatherless daughter syndrome” is characterized by issues of lack of confidence and self-esteem leading to troubled relationships with men: 71% of teenage pregnancies are associated with fatherless families. Fatherless women are the most likely to divorce.

“Dad is proud of me”

Paternal presence is a key indicator of the success of children of all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups. A dad improves school performance, the economic situation of the family and thus ensures better social mobility.

Will we someday return to the nuclear family of yore based on the notion of the couple? I doubt. The erosion of social values ​​and norms and the devaluation of the concepts of fatherhood and motherhood seem irreversible to me.

We will have to learn to live in a society marked by moral relativism and increasing violence.