Divorce can spoil children; often they become selfish little monsters, playing one affection-competing parent off against the other – being bought off with trips to Disneyland or the like. Those old enough to choose which parent will have custody are really in the driver’s seat. Many sell out to the highest bidder, which is usually Mom. Dad is forced to become a “Saturday Santa.” I have long referred to this heyday of a kid’s life as “Kawasaki time.” The great wisdom which accrues to those who have seen the leaves change 16 or 17 times begets attitudes strange enough without being further messed up in single-parent families.
It might appear that a parental (read paternal) responsibility law, such as enacted in several Michigan cities, is the answer to delinquency. Fifty years ago it would have been. Today it is so overdue that it may be too late, because it is based on the now false premise that parents (read fathers) still have authority. Because evisceration of his authority has left the married father with little control, and the divorced father with practically none, we are witnessing the advent of a chaotic reign of youth. We see it everywhere, from the “children’s rights” movement to the pushing, grabbing, sneering teenagers encountered in every city and town; hence, the Martian-like hippies slouching around conforming to a non-conformist image. There are more monkeys in juvenile court than in a zoo. For every one you see, you can bet there is an absent father. You will win far more bets than you will lose. Prof. Amneus aptly calls them “The Garbage Generation,” and so titled one of his books.
Every relevant study indicates that children raised in single parent homes are more likely to exhibit pathological behavior than those who are not. The direct, irrefutable correlation between mother-custody and personal problems is presented in a policy brief released in September 2005 by the Washington-based Institute for Marriage and Public Policy, and massively documented in Amneus Garbage Generation, especially in the Annex to Chapter One. Loss of paternal stability and discipline is catastrophic. Most social aberrations – namely higher levels of youth suicide, low intellectual and educational performance, greater mental illness, violence and drug abuse – are associated with father-deprived children. To these we can add, directly or indirectly, juvenile delinquency, dope addiction, prostitution, and a growing contempt for authority (poetic justice when directed toward the courts).
The police spend a good deal of time with adolescents who do not live with both of their biological parents. The more serious property offenses are committed significantly more often by adolescents in single-mother families than by peers in intact families. Seventy-five percent of delinquents and most adult criminals are from broken homes. Three quarters of prisoners in our jails come from female-headed families. The same pattern is found among drug users. More than two-thirds of the criminal minors handled by the Florida Division of Youth Services are from broken homes. Baltimore, Maryland, found 60 percent of their juvenile criminals from broken homes. More than one in three children of broken families drop out of school.
The distinctive criminality of teens from broken homes stands out clearly in a criminological study sponsored by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHHD), based on data collected from a nationally representative sample of more than 20,000 adolescents in grades 7 through 12. A 1990 survey from the National Center for Health Statistics found an ‘alarmingly high’ prevalence of emotional and behavioral problems among all children, with rates two to three times higher for single-parent and stepparent families than for intact families.
Female-headed households are a minority of households, but they generate over seventy percent of the criminal class. A study made by the Bureau of Justice Statistics showed that 72 percent of incarcerated juvenile delinquents grew up in broken homes, mostly female headed; yet such single-parent homes are only 24 percent of all homes. The ratios of delinquency between father-headed homes and mother-headed homes show that it takes eight hundred and fifteen intact homes to generate as much delinquency as is generated by one hundred broken homes, mostly female headed.
The foregoing studies confirm earlier ones. Doctors Sheldon and Eleanor Glueck; (Harvard University) found the delinquency ratio of children living with mother only compared to living with father only to be about 3 to 1. According to University of Minnesota Sociology Professor Emeritus, Starke Hathaway, Author of Adolescent Personality and Behavior, the delinquency rate of children living with mothers to those living with fathers is 28.67 to .42 for boys and 18.19 to 0 for girls. Professor Hathaway told this writer that the statistics he quotes are adjusted to allow for the fact that many more children in broken homes live with the mother rather than the father. For further corroboration, see the findings of Dr. Clyde Vedder; Dr. Richard Gordon, New Jersey psychiatrist: and any local juvenile authority reports. Knowing this, auto insurance companies charge far higher premiums for boys living with mothers than for those living with their fathers. In Social Problems magazine, James Skipper, Jr. and Charles McCaghy report that almost 60 percent of strip teasers they interviewed had no father in the home.
Fatherlessness and crime are linked not only due to a boy’s individual lack of a dad but also, more profoundly, due to his growing up in a neighborhood in which marriage is no longer a norm. The single best predictor of a community’s level of violence is the proportion of single-parent families. Remarkably, once family status is controlled for, neither race nor income has any effect on crime rate in a community.
Generally, the female anti-sociality of one generation underlies the male anti-sociality of the next generation, the “vector” for it being the female-headed family. Hear Amneus , “Crime and delinquency are like hemophilia, manifested in males but carried and transmitted by females. The empirical data on juvenile delinquency caused by maternal custody just confirms common sense.”
According to Getting Men Involved: The Newsletter of the Bay Area Male Involvement Network, 63 percent of youth suicides come from father-deprived homes, 90 percent of all homeless and runaway children are from father-deprived homes, 85 percent of all children exhibiting behavioral disorders come from father-deprived homes, 80 percent of rapists motivated by displaced anger come from father-deprived homes, 71 percent of all high school dropouts come from father-deprived homes, 75 percent of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers come from father-deprived homes, 70 percent of juveniles in state-operated institutions come from father-deprived homes, and 85 percent of all youths in prisons grew up in father-deprived homes. Want recent examples? Serial killer Lee Boyd Malvo was father-deprived, as was Jeff Weise the Red Lake Indian Reservation killer of 9 fellow high school students in March of 2005, and several others.
Juveniles are the fastest growing segment of the criminal population in the United States. Between 1982 and 1991, the rate at which children were arrested for murder increased 93 percent; for aggravated assault, 72 percent; for rape, 24 percent; and for automobile theft, 97 percent. The teen population is expected to grow by 20 percent over the next decade, and this is precisely the generation most likely to be reared without fathers. The prospect has led many sociologists, criminologists, and law enforcement agencies to conclude that soon we will see an adolescent crime wave the likes of which has never been seen before in this country. These kids are like time bombs ticking away. We had better come out of our lethargy before our canoe goes over the waterfall. One would have to be comatose to ignore the danger.
Gangs have been described as groups of boys who don’t know any men. The Justice Department has estimated there are 21,400 gangs nationwide with 731,500 members. Gangs have become sort of a cancer in this country says FBI Special Agent David Bowdich. Becoming increasingly dangerous, gangs are into the drug trade and soon will be into terrorism. A new survey by the National Alliance of Gang Investigators Association finds there are now gangs in every state but Vermont. The Washington Times reports that now girl gangs are on the rise and becoming increasingly feral. Brenda Scott says “There are numerous reasons kids join gangs… Most young people who join gangs come from homes without fathers or any significant role models to enforce discipline.”
The phenomenon applies even to animals: in Africa when poachers killed off older bull elephants for their tusks, the young males went wild, ganging up like the kids in Lord of the Flies, and embarked on killing sprees targeting rhinos. When rangers discovered the problem they killed the young leader and flew in several bull elephants who soon restored order.
Philosopher James Q. Wilson recognizes fatherlessness as the proximate cause of social problems, but fails to understand the ultimate cause is misdirected chivalry and misandry. Former President Nixon blamed drug addiction among the young on defeatism. He was partly correct; the young men are defeated — by the “rape of the male.” The girls are naturally playing follow the leader; if the boys are defeated, so are they — becoming increasingly feral in the process. Regrettably, this element prejudices many people against all young persons, including the great many sincere, commendable ones.
Adults. Compounding the problems, juvenile delinquents grow to be adult criminals — because, as William Wordsworth wrote in 1807, “The child is father to the man.” Measured by the FBI’s index, the crime rate has increased 158% since 1960. This is almost precisely the results to be expected from correlating the divorce rate with broken home/delinquency rates, proving that the roots develop in childhood. Dr. Shervert H Frazier, in a study of convicted murderers in Texas prisons and mental institutions, has this to say “...They are males with an absence of a father symbol.”
According to Dr. Fred B. Charatan, all seven presidential assassins, including those who attempted assassinations, and the killers of Reverend Martin Luther King and Senator Robert Kennedy, were “lacking fathers through death, divorce, work schedule, or a very poor paternal relationship”: Richard Lawrence — would-be assassin of Andrew Jackson; John Wilkes Booth — assassin of Abraham Lincoln; Charles J. Guiteau — assassin of James Garfield; Leon F. Czolgosz — assassin of William McKinley; John N. Schrank — would-be assassin of Theodore Roosevelt; Giuseppe Zangara — would-be assassin of Franklin D. Roosevelt; Lee Harvey Oswald — assassin of John F. Kennedy; James Earl Ray — killer of Martin Luther King; Sirhan Sirhan — killer of Robert F. Kennedy; Dean Corn, the Houston mass-murderer; Lynette Fromme — would-be assassin of Gerald Ford.