Father's are critically important to normal development of children.

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Single parent families headed by women are an engine for social decay.

Dads are very important for a healthy family!

A. When our country's welfare system was being developed, a rule was issued that if the father resided with the mother, benefits would be reduced or cut off.

1. The impact was predictable, the number of children living in fatherless homes rose from 5.1 million in 1960 to 16.5 million in 1995.

B. Articles were published in the 1990's attacking the notion of fatherhood. Myths developed

1. Men batter their wives (truth is that half of abusers are men and half are women - the only difference is that women are more likely to be injured.)

2. Men break up marriages (actually two-thirds of divorces are initiated by women - most common reason cited: they were growing apart or she didn't feel loved anymore.)

3. Fathers abuse their children (the majority of maltreated children were abused by their mother 58% verses 42% for fathers in a 2003 government study)

C. Older television shows had titles like "Father Knows Best," but current televison portray fathers as bumbling idiots.

D. What is interesting is that people didn't always have this view

1. In 1965 Patrick Moynihan made this conclusion: "From the wild Irish slums of the 19^th century eastern seaboard, to the riot-torn suburbs of Los Angles, there is one unmistakable lesson in American history: A community that allows a large number of young men to grow up in broken families, dominated by women, never acquiring any stable relationship to male authority, never acquiring any rational expectations about the future - that community asks for and gets chaos."

2. Real studies, not empty claims, show that fathers play an important role in cognitive abilities in their children

a. "When fathers are involved in their children's education, the kids were more likely to get A's, enjoy school, and participate in extracurricular activities."

b. Children with involved fathers tend to attain higher levels of education.

c. A study of 17,000 children, published in /Adolescence/, found that children living apart from their biological father were more likely to repeat a grade in school and 70% more likely to be expelled.

3. Fathers play an important role in moral behavior

a. Without involved fathers, teenagers are more likely to use alcohol, tobacco, illicit drugs. They are more likely to commit suicide.

(1) A 1988 study, published in the /Journal of Research on Crime and Delinquency/ found that the best predictor of violent crime and burglary in a community was the proportion of households without fathers.

(2) US Department of Health and Human Services/ found that 70% of all juveniles in long-term correctional facilities did not live with their father while growing up.

b. Fathers strongly influence their children's sex-role identities.

(1) Good male role models help adolescent boys develop their gender characteristics.

(2) David Bankenhorn, /Fatherless America/, "A biological father has no equal when it comes to socializing a male child, especially in teaching respectful attitudes toward females."

(3) They help adolescent girls form their opinions of men and help them relate with men.

c. Adolescent girls are three times more likely to engage in sex before 15. They are five times more likely to become a teenage mother.

d. Boys tend to respond more readily to systems of rewards and punishments that fathers use than those used by mothers.

4. It follows that the influence of dads also affects the general health and well-being of their children, since they hinder poor moral choices, but also

a. Without fathers, children tend to have higher rates of asthma, headaches, anxieties, depression and behavioral problems

b. Children with engaged fathers show greater initiative and demonstrate self-control. They also tend to be economically self-sufficient.

c. Boys with engaged fathers tend to be good fathers as well. After all, they had someone to model their behavior after.



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