Violence will Increase as Fatherlessness Increases – says Family First
Family First NZ says that violence in our community and towards people of authority such as the police will increase as long as we downplay the significance and benefits of strong marriages and committed fathers.
“The response of governments, even today, has been more money and more laws. Yet this fails to deal with the root causes of what is happening. Fatherlessness is a major contributor to increasing rates of juvenile violence,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.
“Scientific research is unanimous on a number of conclusions regarding family structure — that strong marriages increases the likelihood that fathers have good relationships with their children and lowers the risk of alcohol and substance abuse, domestic violence and child abuse,”
“Conversely, parental divorce or non-marriage appears to increase children’s risk of delinquent and criminal behaviour, amongst other factors. One only needs to observe proceedings at the Youth Court to see the effect of fatherlessness.”
“According to The Heritage Foundation, an influential US research institute, an analysis of social science literature over 30 years shows that the rise in violent crime parallels the rise in families abandoned by fathers. A state-bystate analysis indicated that a 10% increase in the percentage of children living in single-parent homes lead typically to a 17% increase in juvenile crime. The research found that criminal behaviour has its roots in habitual deprivation of parental love and affection going back to early infancy.”
“Research has shown time after time that the father’s authority and involvement in raising his children are great buffers against a life of crime,” says Mr McCoskrie.
“There are other factors such as violence in the media, the ‘rights’ culture being fed to young people, and the undermining of parental authority which are contributors, but family structure is a crucial place to start.”
“Violent crime will continue to increase as long as we downplay the importance and significance of having two parents, a mum and a dad, committed to each other and to their children.”
Auckland Single Parents took part in a documentary the Japanese Government asked for on social issues in Western Countries. They were looking at several issues with one of them being single parenting. We were chosen because New Zealand was (just a few years ago) the highest rate per capital in the world. NZ still might be.
Things that may happen when Fathers are Absent:
- Children may feel unprotected. There is increased risk of abuse from new partners, strangers and the mother. (Farrel, 2001)
- Boys may lack the clear, more black and white boundaries that males tend to hold.
- Boys have more trouble with the police and law and anti-social behaviour. 90% of West Auckland police-involved youth are fatherless. (Interview Nov.2005)
- Boys are more inclined to suicide and have poor mental health.
- Fatherless males are 5 times more likely to suicide. 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes. ( McCann 1999)
- Boys will be more dependent on mothers. The intensified relationship can make adolescent separation more troublesome and adversarial.
- Boys are likely to transfer that dependency to a woman partner.
- Under-fathered men are more likely to be violent to their partners. (Man Alive 1996)
- Under-fathered girls are more likely to become pregnant. (N.Z. and U.S., 2 to 8 times Ellis, 2003)
- The under-fathered child is more likely to use drugs. Fatherless boys are 10 times more likely to abuse chemicals. (McCann1999)
- Fatherless boys may feel angry and cheated.
- Male authority figures may receive a lot of the projected anger felt for the absent father.
- Fatherless boys are 14 times more likely to rape. (McCann 1999)
- Fatherless boys are 20 times more likely to end up in prison. (McCann 1999)
- Some boys will feel the duty to be ‘the man’ and may become prematurely adultified.
- Truancy may increase. Fatherless boys are 9 times more likely to drop out of high school. They are 71% of high school dropouts. (US), (McCann 1999)
- Poverty is more common. Single parent families are about 3 times more likely to experience poverty than a 2 parent home.
- Educational achievements may be reduced. 90% of referrals to Resource Teachers of Learning and Behaviour are Boys. (Pudney 2000)
- 90% of all homeless and runaway children come from fatherless homes. (US), (McCann1999)
- There may be difficulty feeling confident with males in later life for both boys and girls.
- Physical health tends to be reduced.
Some Reasons why Fathers are Important:
- Fathers give experience of everything that is masculine: body, behaviour, manner, thinking, action, energy, play, voice, smell etc. this builds confidence and skill at coexisting with half the world’s population.
- Children and others put importance on ‘real’ fathers as those who are blood or genetic. This is an important part of establishing where I come from, my identity, and my whakapapa.
- Fathers are responsible for building positive self esteem in sons and daughters that originates from a man. Failure to do this can make the child and adult vulnerable to not feeling good when with men, or for a boy, as a man.
- For sons, affirmation by father is critical for a solid positive male identity. Hating father may end in hating self.
- Fathers need to touch children in affirming and nonsexual ways. For both sons and daughters sex and affection may become confused if they do not. Touching develops greater personal love and respect for children’s bodies and a sense of being loveable by men. Boys especially need hugging, holding, and wrestling.
- The father may develop a sense of adventure and confidence in the non domestic world. They encourage outward looking action in children.
- The father appears to have an important connection with the outdoors and wild places.
- The father’s positive presence and guidance imparts a sense of internal structure, discipline and rigor. Concentration and focus may become difficult in a world that lacks balance and boundary.
- Fathers often have a more rigid sense of boundary that especially helps boys find an order that engenders trust and security.
- For daughters it is important in teen years to learn how to relate to a man in a safe, confident, affirming and boundary-setting manner. Loving approval from a father may prevent dependence and vulnerability in male relationships.
- Fathers can teach daughters to deal strongly with men’s sexuality.
- For a son, a trusted and affirming father prevents unhealthy dependence on, and use of, women for approval, identity, companionship and support.
- For both boys and girls, love and dependency can become confused without a father.
- Fathers represent greater safety from an adverse world and build a sense of safety and purpose in the child that allows them to get on with other things like learning.
- Fathers tend to promote a sense of risk-taking and excitement in children.
- Fathers play and explore physical space.
- Fathers teach things about the world, especially in the realm of the rational and spatial relationships.
- Fathers have a powerful opportunity to demonstrate a respectful, loving and equal relationship with a woman.
- Fathers can back up mothers and show respect for women.
- Fathers support mothers and give two parents to interact with.
- Mothers and fathers demonstrate through their modelling how to have relationships.
- Father interrupts that intensity between the mother and the child, which builds the individuality of the person. He points to the world beyond the mother. Fathers double the extended family and teach families to work together in common cause.
- Fathers can teach that it is manly to feel.
- Fathers can teach respect for males and men.
- Fathers teach love from a man in a world that currently objectifies men as work, protection and power objects.
- Fathers show how to compartmentalise and separate from the surrounding world and think abstractly.
- Children want to be loved by their fathers. Sons particularly need the guidance and the strength of the father to direct their own strength.
- Fathers protect the family when needed and are generally prepared to die for their children and for the mother of their children.
- Fathers bring a physical strength, rigour and discipline.
- Fathers can model support of mothers.
- Fathers often give confidence that things can be fixed.
- Fathers affirm endeavour and physical achievement.
- Fathers hold aspiration for their children and so give a sense of future.
- Fathers, cross-culturally assume a role as a primary provider for the resourcing of their family.
- Fathers, as the most influential model of men in a child’s life, have the opportunity to change the next generation for the benefit of our society and the planet’s future.
- Children treat fathers differently from mothers.
- What ever a father does, whether it is the things above, or other things, — it is important that a child experiences a man doing it.