FAITHFUL married men who love and take care of their families are some of the most invisible people in our culture.
They’re the ones who don’t have children with multiple girlfriends; don’t abuse their wives (or any women, for that matter); and don’t abandon their kids. Despite the inevitable difficulties and disappointments of life, they stay the course.
Although fathers’ enormous contribution to society is often overlooked, it’s felt most acutely in the negative: The vast majority of high school dropouts, youth suicides, juvenile delinquents and runaways come from fatherless homes.
Fatherless children generally do worse in school, and have higher rates of drug abuse and teen pregnancy than children who live with their biological fathers. They also have double the odds of winding up incarcerated, even after accounting for other factors such as race, income, parental educational level and place of residence.
In addition, they’re more likely to grow up in poverty.
Conversely, having a father in the house confers a huge economic advantage. According to 2017 data from the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey, married fathers living with children under 18 had the highest rate of labor force participation (93.5 percent), the lowest unemployment rate (2.3 percent) and were more likely to work full time than other men.
Social scientists have long known that loving, involved fathers provide their children with much more than financial support. They positively influence their kids’ cognitive, emotional, physical, moral and psychological development.
Their children are healthier, do better in school, are less prone to depression and have a more positive self-image than their fatherless peers. And these advantages last a lifetime.
Father’s Day is a good time to salute all these good guys who, quietly and without fanfare, are providing a strong and sturdy foundation for the next generation.