What Is David Blankenhorn Fatherless America Thesis
Part of the blame for fatherlessness, of course, lies with the women's movement --although, interestingly, Blankenhorn does most of his arguing with Barbara Ehrenreich, Naomi Wolf, and others in his notes at the back of the book.
Blankenhorn describes five cultural models of inadequate modern fatherhood: the Deadbeat Dad, who ``belongs in jail''; the Visiting Father, who sees his kids on weekends; the Sperm Father, for whom fatherhood is no more than ``the biological act of ejaculation''; the Stepfather; and the Nearby Guy, usually Mom's boyfriend.
As Maggie Gallagher notes, in The Abolition of Marriage, one of the best books ever written on marriage, "In sharp contrast to children in intact families, children of divorce or non-marriage repeatedly undergo the experience of seeing family-like members enter and drop out of the picture. Adults in these post divorce, [and non-marital] romances seldom accurately assess the effects these relationships may have on their children."For the first year or so, many unwed fathers tend to make a special effort to see their children.
The initial experience of love's failure and the abandonment most children experience in the immediate aftermath of divorce is confirmed again and again and again in the years ahead . As life goes on, they may move, or they may acquire new emotional obligations to new girlfriends.
Although society often portrays men, male gender roles and masculinity as unnecessary, a danger to society, or even evil itself, the role of husbands and fathers as the family protector is significant.
Women and children are much safer from crime when there is a married father in the home.
But by the time the children reach the age of seven and a half, less than one quarter of all unwed fathers still see their children frequently.
Here is a brief collection of items and research findings upon which entire articles, lengthy policy papers and books have been written.
For the child, the result of being born outside of marriage is that they learn that love is a thing of failure both between adults and between adults and children.
For example, by the time they had reach fifteen, about 15 percent of all American children born in 1870 had experienced the death of their fathers.
(Incidentally, the death of mothers was more common then. In 1900 middle-aged, widowed men outnumbered middle-aged divorced men twenty to one.) Today, the principle cause of fatherless is paternal choice.