Absent, Part 1 – The Sexual Revolution

The crowd at Woodstock Music Festival (1969), Authors Derek Redmond and Paula Campbell (CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported)

The crowd at Woodstock Music Festival (1969), Authors Derek Redmond and Paula Campbell (CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported)

Our society seems increasingly to view fathers as sperm donors [1].  The very concept of fatherhood is being lost, replaced by the part-time dads of divorce and – worse still – the so called “baby daddies” who assume little or no responsibility for their offspring.

The men who might actually want to raise their children – to love and support them (and their mother); to teach them right from wrong; to protect them from harm; to stand by them faithfully, through thick and thin – are rapidly going extinct.

A Lifelong Bond

First and foremost, responsibility for a child rests with the man (and woman) who elected to conceive that child and/or failed to take measures to prevent conception.

Claiming “surprise” at a pregnancy that resulted from unprotected sex between healthy adults is disingenuous, to say the least.  Offering a partner the funds for an abortion is not sufficient to satisfy the parental burden.

Though it changes over time, the parent-child connection is a lifelong bond.  The children deprived of it – even if well cared for materially– are left with a great emptiness.

Contributing Factors

The major factors contributing to the problem of absent fathers include a change in sexual mores, which eliminated or greatly reduced the stigma of illegitimacy; the vanishing nuclear family; children having children; and certain aspects of culture unique to the inner city.

The Sexual Revolution

But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons” (Heb. 12: 8).

The sexual revolution of the 1960s made pre-marital sex and cohabitation acceptable, while removing the ignominy of children born outside marriage (much to the benefit of such children, thankfully).

At the same time, a radical shift took place in African-American culture.  From 1890 until the 1960s, African-Americans over the age of 35 were more likely to be married than whites.  However, during the 1960s, that statistic was reversed.

Between 1980 and 2010, the number of African-American adults never married increased by 150% [2].  In 2014, only 29% of black Americans were married, as compared with 48% of all Americans.

Some blame the decreased number of black marriages on the unavailability of well-paying jobs in the inner city [5].  That cannot, however, be the whole explanation.  The rate of black marriages is now less than it was during Reconstruction, when economic conditions were far worse [6].  Of course, every time period has multiple forces at play.

The Welfare System (Aid to Families with Dependent Children, and related programs) is another culprit often blamed for the nation’s shift away from marriage.  But that is still disputed [3][4A].

Means testing does “favor” single parent households (whatever their race, color, or ethnicity) as these are more often in dire financial straits than two-parent households [4B].  That can act as a disincentive to marriage [7][8].

Whatever the combination of reasons, 4 out of every 10 American children are born out of wedlock today [9].

[1]  This is ironic since the children conceived by artificial insemination are now seeking out the sperm donors who were guaranteed anonymity.

[2]  Black Demographics, “Marriage in Black America”,  http://blackdemographics.com/households/marriage-in-black-america/.

[3]  Centers for Disease Control, National Center for Health Statistics, “Report to Congress on Out-of-Wedlock Childbearing” by Dept. of Health and Human Services, 9/95, https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/misc/wedlock.pdf.

[4A][4B]  The Heritage Foundation, “How Welfare Undermines Marriage and What to Do About It” by Robert Rector, 11/17/14,  http://www.heritage.org/welfare/report/how-welfare-undermines-marriage-and-what-do-about-it.

[5]  Patheos, “What’s the Problem with Black Fathers?” by Rick Banks, 9/29/11, http://www.patheos.com/Resources/Additional-Resources/Problem-with-Black-Fathers-Rick-Banks-11-29-2011.

[6]  University of Dayton, “Becoming a Citizen:  Reconstruction Era Regulation of African American Marriages” (excerpt) by Katherine Franke, Summer 1999, https://academic.udayton.edu/race/04needs/family03.htm.

[7]  Washington Times, “Welfare discourages middle-class marriage, study finds” by Bradford Richardson, 8/3/16, http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/aug/3/welfare-discourages-middle-class-marriages-study-f/.

[8]  AEI, “Do welfare programs discourage marriage?” by Angela Rachidi, 7/27/16, https://www.aei.org/publication/do-welfare-programs-discourage-marriage/.
[9]  Single Mother Guide, Single Mother Statistics, https://singlemotherguide.com/single-mother-statistics/.

This series will continue next week with Absent, Part 2 – The Nuclear Family

FOR MORE OF MY ARTICLES ON POVERTY, POLITICS, AND MATTERS OF CONSCIENCE CHECK OUT MY BLOG A LAWYER’S PRAYERS AT: http://www.alawyersprayers.com

 

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11 Comments

Filed under Child Abuse, Christianity, Emotional Abuse, Neglect, Poverty, Religion

11 responses to “Absent, Part 1 – The Sexual Revolution

  1. Thank you Anna for highlighting the Truth about the problem of absent fathers and yes sadly it is increasing, some families I know have 6 children all to different fathers.

    As you know Anna, I was illegitimate, unwanted and unloved for most of my early life, I had little contact with my father until I was nearly 5 but even than he was never home or towards the end of his life mostly in Hospital. He did provide a place to live and food and clothes but I have only a few memories of affection from him, limited but still affection and yes I hold onto them closely.

    One was when he was dying and having just accepted Jesus as his Lord and Saviour he said to me “Be a Sunbeam for Jesus and keep shining” and before this was when he gave me a piggy back high on his shoulders. I found s beautiful song about God lifting us up high, I will Post it for you below Anna, if I have before I hope you enjoy it again and the Scripture too that assures me even though I have never really been Loved as others have, God has always Loved me and you too, He did not and does not plan evil for us but knew it would happen and gave us His Strength to endure and He heals and restores and as we know He works everything out for good too.

    Isaiah 43:1-3 – “Do not be afraid for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name you are mine. When you go through deep waters and great trouble I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression you will not be burned up the flames will not consume you. For I am The LORD your God, The Holy One of Israel your Saviour.”

    Jeremiah 29 :11-12 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you says the LORD thoughts of Peace and not of evil, to give you a Future and a Hope.”

    Lamentations 3: 33 “For God doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the Children of Men.”

    Christian Love and Blessings – Anne.

    • Thank you for commenting, Anne. Many, many carry such sorrow for a lifetime. You are an inspiration to others, and light pointing to Jesus — just as your father asked. ❤ ❤ ❤

  2. Very interessant as always, thank you so much dear for good sharing
    kisses

  3. Thank you, Anna.

    I have noticed that as the dead religious system has continued to break down, the mass exodus of people who left institutional church has swelled immensely.

    When many of us left institutional church, we threw the baby out with the bath, so to speak, and have, by in large, rejected the idea of discipleship and serving one another. We also have adopted an “Amish” approach to those who so badly need His touch in our lives.

    What I have seen over the past 2 decades is a decrease in the ability of those who walk with Christ to have a meaningful impact on this generation.

    We love our Savior… but often fail to be the light to those that need it. Our young men in this hour are suffering terribly as a result.

    Thank you so much for sharing this. It is another reminder and challenge to me to stay open to how He may choose to tap me on the shoulder to help my “neighbor.”

    Your brother,

    David

    • You are such a support, David. The complex problem of absent fathers is immense. But I truly believe it is not a problem too “large” for God. As Christians we have a vital role to play. We cannot simply turn our backs.

      Your sister,

      A.

      • Amen to that, Anna. You are as well… as the Church should operate with one another as we seek to allow God to minister His healing to others. Even as He is working out our own own wounds. Thank you.

        David

  4. It’s a sad situation, Anna. I think the answer is another Great Awakening – America needs revival!

  5. Its hard to be respected with this is the norm. I’m an active father and no societal boundaries can stop that. But time and time again, we (dads) are downplayed and are treated like objects. This seems to be the part timers as you said.

    • This series was not meant to discourage good Dads like yourself, whatever their status. Just the opposite. We need more men actively involved in their children’s lives. A father’s willingness to support his children is no small matter. May God bless you. You surely are a blessing to your children.

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