Every day, we see firsthand many of the damaging consequences of not having a father. You see it too—on the nightly news, in the headlines, in statistics, perhaps even in your own community. In fact, the breakdown of the family structure is directly related to the eruption of violence in our cities. Over the past four years, we’ve seen 531 children under the age of 21 murdered here in Chicago alone. And many of these victims and perpetrators come from fatherless homes. When dad is not in the home to teach the value of human life, when he’s not there to affirm the purpose and identity of his children, far too often youth turn to the streets—to gangs, drugs, sex, and other destructive behaviors—all to fill the void.
Today, 40% of all children in the United States, including a staggering 72% of African American children are born out of wedlock. The reality is, fatherlessness is a growing epidemic, and its symptoms are evident throughout society. Fatherless boys and girls are:
• 2X as likely to drop out of high school
• 2X as likely to end up in jail
• 2X as likely to abuse alcohol or illegal drugs
• 4X as likely to have emotional or behavioral problems
Sources: The Chicago Reporter; The National Center for Health Statistics; The U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services
For more on how the epidemic of fatherlessness is plaguing this generation, just watch the video below.