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Courageous Facts About Fatherhood

These statistics shared at Courageousthemovie.com are quite sobering:




He’s not here.  Some 24.7 million American children (36.3 percent) live without their biological fathers. Only 60 percent of these children have seen their fathers in the past year.


Side effects. Children living without their biological fathers, on average, are more likely to be poor and to have educational, health, emotional, and psychological problems, to suffer child abuse, and to engage in criminal behavior, than peers living with their married, biological mother and father.


Fatherless homes produce:

  • 63 percent of youth suicides (Bureau of the Census)
  • 90 percent of all homeless and runaway children (CDC)
  • 85 percent of all children with behavioral disorders (CDC)
  • 85 percent of all youths in prisons (Fulton Co. Georgia jail populations, TX Dept. of Corrections 1992)

(All Pro Dads, © 2010 Family First)

No substitute. As a male parent, a father brings unique contributions to the job of parenting that a mother cannot. There is no substitute for a father’s love, involvement and presence in the life of his children.  As noted sociologist David Popenoe explains, “Fathers are far more than just ‘second adults’ in the home. Involved fathers—especially biological fathers—bring positive benefits to their children that no other person is as likely to bring.” – Why Children Need Father Love and Mother Love and How Fathers Matter for Healthy Child Development, both by Glen P. Stanton, Focus on the Family.  (Original Source: David Popenoe, Life Without Father New York: The Free Press, 1996), p. 163.

American problem. In a recent survey 7 out of 10 participants agreed that the physical absence of fathers from the home is the most significant family or social problem facing America.  (FocusFamilyINSIGHT Global Strategic Development – Family Research, Glenn T. Stanton, June 19, 2009 – full sourcing included below)

Mothers only. “Nearly one-fourth of America’s children live in mother-only families.” (Arlene F. Saluter, Marital Status and Living Arrangements: March 1994)

Prime time TV. A National Fatherhood Initiative analysis found that of the 102 prime-time networks TV shows in 1998, only 15 featured a father as a central character.  Of these, the majority portrayed him as uninvolved, incompetent or both.  (From National Center for Public Policy Research. Specific source from NCPPR website:  “NFI Issues Report on Fatherhood and TV,” Fatherhood Today, Spring 1999, National Fatherhood Initiative, Gaithersburg, Maryland.)

Poverty predictor. “The likelihood that a family would fall below the poverty line doubled during the first four month period of the father’s absence, increasing from 18.5 percent to 37.6 percent.” (Duncan, Wayne Journal of Clinical and Child Psychology, 1994 Health)

Five Things You Didn’t Know Fathers Do

1.  Fathers Teach Empathy—A 26-year study published by the American Psychological Association found that children with actively involved fathers in their lives are more likely to be sensitive to the needs of others in adulthood compared to those who do not have involved fathers.

2.  Fathers Give Confidence—Fathers are more likely to challenge their children to try difficult things by taking safe and measured risks. Fathers’ more physical and active play style and slower response to help their children through frustrating situations creates greater problem-solving capacity and confidence in both boys and girls.

3.  Fathers Increase Vocabulary—Children who spend extended time with their dads during their childhoods are more likely to have larger and more complex vocabularies. A mother, being more attentive to the needs of her children, tends to talk more on the level of the child. Dads’ directions to their children tend to be longer than moms’, providing children with the opportunity to hear more words and then learn how they fit together to convey a thought.

4.  Fathers Protect Against Crime and Violence—Fathers are more likely to keep their sons out of gangs, but more importantly, fathers give boys the things that can make gang life attractive. Boys learn from their dads that they matter, and don’t feel they have to force their way into manhood. Likewise, girls with good fathers are not as likely to fall to the pressure of sexually enterprising young boys, because well-fathered girls are more confident, having already gained the love of a good man.

5.  Fathers Promote Better Treatment of Women—A good father demonstrates to both sons and daughters how a good man should treat women. This is shown by a father’s role modeling, as well as his less-than-good behavior. Research from the University of California looked at 90 different cultures to study how men’s participation in child care related to the status of women in these cultures. They found a very close connection, explaining, “Societies with significant paternal involvement in routine child care are more likely than father-absent societies to include women in public decisions and to allow women access to positions of authority.”

(Summary of Study Findings, 2009 National Fathering Survey, © 2009 National Center for Fathering)

President George Bush.  Over the past four decades, fatherlessness has emerged as one of our greatest social problems.  We know that children who grow up with absent fathers can suffer lasting damage.  They are more likely to end up in poverty or drop out of school, become addicted to drugs, have a child out of wedlock, or end up in prison.  Fatherlessness is not the only cause of these things but our nation but recognize it is an important factor.  June 2001

FocusFamilyINSIGHT Global Strategic Development – Family Research, Glenn T. Stanton, June 19, 2009


Richard Koestner, et al., “The Family Origins of Empathic Concern: A Twenty-Six Year Longitudinal Study,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 58 (1990): 709-717.

Kyle D. Pruett, Fatherneed: Why Father Care is as Essential as Mother Care for Your Child, (New York: The Free Press, 2000).

Eleanor E. Maccoby, The Two Sexes: Growing Up Apart; Coming Together, (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999).

Catherine Tamis-Lemonda, et al., “Fathers and Mothers Play with their 2- and 3-Year Olds: Contributions to Language and Cognitive Development” Child Development 75 (2004) 1806-1820.

Paul R. Amato and Fernando Rivera, “Paternal Involvement and Children’s Behavior Problems,” Journal of Marriage and the Family 61(1999): 375-384.

Henry B. Biller, Father and Families: Paternal Factors in Child Development (Westport, CT: Auburn House, 1993).

Frank Furstenberg and Kathleen Harris, “When and Why Fathers Matter: Impacts of Father Involvement on Children of Adolescent Mothers,” in Young Unwed Fathers: Changing Roles and Emerging Policies, R. Lerman and T. Ooms, eds. (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1993).

Scott Coltrane, “Father-Child Relationships and the Status of Women: A Cross-Cultural Study,” American Journal of Sociology, (1988) 93:1060-1095.


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