In this exploration of cause and effect I will be focusing on the role fathers play in the development of a family, more directly about the damaging effects of their absence.
The role played by a father in the household is extremely important. Though men and women are equal on many levels, there are differences that cannot be ignored. A man’s voice for instance is naturally lower and he has a different way of thinking than a woman. These differences, among many others, offer the child balance. As a female she sees a man in a loving role that treats her the way she will always expect to be treated. For the male child a father offers an example of what he is to become, both physically and in the sense of his role in society.
When this balance is disturbed there are many adverse effects. According to a survey conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics “a substantial number of jail inmates.... grew up in single-parent homes....”1. Though the bureau does not delve into this issue in the cited survey, we can gather from other entities’ research the steps between their single parent home and their prison cell.
The following list of some of the negative statics of an absent father is staggering:
• lower levels of educational achievement 2
• twice as likely to drop out of school 2
• more likely to become teen parents 2
• more frequently abuse drugs and alcohol 2
• more high-risk sexual behavior 2
• more likely to join a gang 2
• twice as likely to go to jail 2
• four times as likely to need help for emotional and behavioral problems2
• more likely to participate in violent crime2
• more likely to commit suicide2
• twice as likely to get divorced in adulthood 2
The real effects of these statistics are far reaching. All of the things listed are triggers for low self-esteem, depression and anxiety both for the caregiving parent and the child. The parent begins to question their adequacy and the child struggles with the roles males will play in their...