THE IMPORTANCE OF FATHERS
June 22, 2004
The presence of a father is critical to a child's health, safety and upbringing. If children are to have productive lives and play positive roles in society, fathers need to step up and be more active role in raising their children, says Pete du Pont, policy chairman at the National Center for Policy Analysis and former governor of Delaware.
Statistics tell the tale: Violent crime, drug abuse, teen pregnancy and suicide are often associated with being raised without an involved father, says du Pont:
- Nearly two-thirds of adolescent murderers are from fatherless homes.
- Seventy percent of juveniles in state reform institutions and 60 percent of America's rapists grew up without fathers in their homes.
- In fact, a boy raised by both parents is about half as likely by 30 to be incarcerated for committing a crime.
- And children raised by both parents are a third less likely to use illegal drugs, tobacco or alcohol than children in single-parent homes.
Children in two-parent families are less than half as likely to suffer from physical abuse or neglect, and less than half as likely to have emotional or behavioral problems than children raised in single-parent homes.
There are too many men who do not rise to their responsibilities as fathers. As the saying goes, "Any man can be a father... it takes a real man to be a dad," explains du Pont.
Source: Pete du Pont, "Fathers and families," Washington Times, June 20, 2004.
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