An Argument for Fathers

This man gave another amazing talk at General Conference and I spent some time studying it today.  I loved everything he had to say.  Here is a link if you want to read it for yourself.

There was a part that caught my attention and made me do a little more research.  Elder Oaks said, 

"In many countries and cultures (1) the traditional family of a married mother and father and children is coming to be the exception rather than the rule, (2) the pursuit of a career instead of marriage and the bearing of children is an increasing choice of many young women, and 
(3) the role and perceived necessity of fathers is diminishing."

I googled "Statistics on children of single parent households" and a web site popped up called "FATHERHOOD. ORG." that had some really interesting statistics about children who live in single parent homes.

If you want to see for yourself, here is a link.

And before you think I am being judgmental, please know that part of my curiosity is aroused as a child that was raised in a single parent home.  

Did you know that...

24 million children in America (1 out of every 3) live in a a home where the biological father is absent?

Children in father-absent homes are almost four times more likely to be poor.  In 2011, 12 percent of children in married-couple families were living in poverty, compared to 44 percent of children in mother-only families. -

Even after controlling for income, youths in father-absent households still had significantly higher odds of incarceration than those in mother-father families. Youths who never had a father in the household experienced the highest odds. - 

Infant mortality rates are 1.8 times higher for infants of unmarried mothers than for married mothers. -

Being raised by a single mother raises the risk of teen pregnancy, marrying with less than a high school degree, and forming a marriage where both partners have less than a high school degree. - 

The absence of a biological father contributes to increased risk of child maltreatment. TheI results suggest that Child Protective Services (CPS) agencies have some justification in viewing the presence of a social father as increasing children’s risk of abuse and neglect. It is believed that in families with a non-biological (social) father figure, there is a higher risk of abuse and neglect to children, despite the social father living in the household or only dating the mother. -

Even after controlling for community context, there is significantly more drug use among children who do not live with their mother and father. -

Father involvement in schools is associated with the higher likelihood of a student getting mostly A's. This was true for fathers in biological parent families, for stepfathers, and for fathers heading single-parent families. -

In summary:

Children who live absent their biological fathers are, on average, at least two to three times more than their peers who live with their married, biological (or adoptive) parents to: 
Be poor 
Use drugs 
Experience educational problems 
Experience health problems 
Experience emotional problems 
Experience behavioral problems 
Be victims of child abuse 
Engage in criminal behavior - 

See more at:

So grateful for a father who worked hard to be a part of my life, even though he was not living in my home for most of my formative years.  He made visits with me and his weekends with me a priority over anything else and continues to be a positive influence in my life.  

And I am grateful for the father of my children who reminds me everyday through his interactions with our five children how important a father in the home is.


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