MONDAY, 24 JUNE 2013

Less marriage, fewer fathers

comment   | print |

In this day and age, we are being told to come to terms with the fact that marriage is on the decline. What we don’t often hear about however is one huge consequence, as pointed out in an article by author and director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, Bradford Wilcox: and that’s the decrease of genuine and holistic fatherhood.

Why’s this? Wilcox points out that as society retreats from marriage, there’s a growth in fatherless families. With cohabitation, these couples are already more likely than married couples to end up on the rocks. But the institution of marriage is the only one that binds men to their children, the only one that can keep them under the same roof. Statistics make it clear that while the number of married middle-aged women in America fell from 82 per cent in 1970 to 62 per cent today, the share of children living in fatherless homes has doubled from 14 to 28 per cent.

I know what you’re thinking – just because their parents’ relationship is over, this doesn’t mean that the kids are fatherless. Not technically no, but emotionally. It’s not to say that unmarried or separated fathers do not love their kids or haven’t the best of intentions - however regular contact with their children depends a lot on how well they get along with their ex-partners, which would rarely be the friendliest situation.

When it comes down to it, kids deserve the best, and the ideal situation for this is in a stable home situation with their married parents. In these circumstances, fathers can enjoy day-to-day interaction with their kids, and given them the attention, discipline and affection that they need.

If we think that children deserve to benefit from their best potential quality of life, then we need to stop being so complacent about the decline of marriage. 

MORE ON THESE TOPICS | Brad Wilcox, fatherhood, marriage

This article is published by Tamara El-Rahi and under a Creative Commons licence. You may republish it or translate it free of charge with attribution for non-commercial purposes following these guidelines. If you teach at a university we ask that your department make a donation. Commercial media must contact us for permission and fees. Some articles on this site are published under different terms.

comments powered by Disqus

Family Edge looks at news and trends affecting the family in the light of human dignity. Our focus is the inspiring, creative, humorous, annoying, ridiculous, and dangerous ideas in the evening news. Send tips and brainwaves to the editor, Tamara Rajakariar, at tamara.rajakariar@

rss FamilyEdge RSS feed

Follow MercatorNet
subscribe to newsletter
Sections and Blogs
Family Edge
Sheila Reports
Reading Matters
Demography Is Destiny
Conniptions (the editorial)
contact us
our ideals
our People
Mercator who?
partner sites
audited accounts
advice for writers
New Media Foundation
Suite 12A, Level 2
5 George Street
North Strathfield NSW 2137
+61 2 8005 8605
skype: mercatornet
© New Media Foundation 2016 | powered by Encyclomedia | designed by Elleston