The Civitas Institute is a UK institute for the study of civil society. On the basis of a 100 different underlying studies and sources researcher Rebecca O’Neill draws the following conclusions on the effects of fatherless families for our children:

– Young children (0-12) from fatherless families are at more risk to live their lives in poverty, at more risk to suffer mental, physical and sexual abuse, at more risk to become homeless children, at more risk of all sorts of health problems, at more risk to run into problems at school and have more problems in relating socially to others.

– Teenagers from fatherless families are at greater risk of teenage pregnancy, at greater risk to be involved in youth crime, at greater risk of smoking, drugabuse and alcoholabuse, at greater risk to be truant from school, at greater risk of leaving school early at a young age without a certificate, and at greater risk of suffering from adjustment- and behavioral problems.

– Young adults/adolescents from fatherless families have more trouble completing their education with success, have more trouble in finding jobs (at greater risk of joblessness), more often have lowpaid jobs, more often draw on social security benefits and allowances, are at greater risk of becoming homeless, are at greater risk of becoming involved in youth crime, are more vulnerable to chronic mental health and emotional problems, more often develop physical health complaints, are starting relations at an earlier age, more often start cohabitating instead of marrying relation, while they also separate and divorce more early and more often and more often have extramarital children.

Civitas-researcher Rebecca O’Neill further concludes in her meta-study that the absent father is also a severe problem for society at large as his absence results in more violence and crime, less social cohesion, the further advance of a divorce culture, while fatherlessness also proves to be cyclic and repetitive and leads to a greater dependance on social benefits and allowances.

Additional to that, the findings of the Civitas study are replicated and confirmed in a large scale Swedish population study on the health of children growing up fatherless in oneparent families over the extended period 1991-1998 (sample: 64.000 Sweden) published in the Lancet, Elsevier [2] finding that children growing up fatherless suffer more from depression disorders, are more involved in drugabuse and more often commit suicide.

To solve these sorts of fundamental problems in the lives of our children we need to redress its fundamental causes instead of restricting ourselves to the present peacemeal policies adressing its partial effects only in ever extending suicide, mental health, asocial behavior, poverty etc. etc. etc. policies on an everlasting road paved with good intentions but leading to nowhere, yes somewhere the totalitarian Nanny State of alienated disempowered “statecared for” civilians and oneparent families allways on the brink of suicide, poverty, youth crime, mental health problems, alienation problems propagated by Labour with its belief in the powers of molding society and its disbelief in the power of people and the units people organise themselves in, i.e. families.

Adressing its causes means bringing fathers back in children’s live and breaking the devastating cycle of isolation we put our children in by opening up their lives to their loved ones again, i.e. their fathers, and the extended families from their fathers side. Children should be allowed to love both their parents again, as they need both their parents in their live.

In the US new figures have shown that presently 40% of all US kids have to grow up fatherless. What adds to that is that in childcare 99% of peersonnel is female, while in primary education 80 % of personnel is female. Children don’t meet males till they are 12 years old and then it is to late.

Peter Tromp Phd
FatherCare Knowledge Centre Europe

[1] Experiments in Living: The Fatherless Family; Rebecca O’Neill; Civitas, The Institute for the Study of Civil Society; September 2002. Also see: Civitas Factsheets on the Family and Marriage
[2] Mortality, severe morbidity, and injury in children living with single parents in Sweden: a population-based study; Gunilla Ringbäck Weitoft, Anders Hjern, Bengt Haglund, Måns Rosén (The Lancet- Elsevier, Volume 361, Number 9354, 25 January 2003)

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