Essay, Research Paper
Single Parenting is Becoming Increasingly Common-place
Parenting is a job that should be attended to with the utmost of care and affection. It has long been a job that has been managed by a Mother and a Father. Men have long been regarded by society as a fundamental tool in the rearing of a well-adapted child. It is, however, increasingly popular in society that men are being viewed as a mere accessory. This newly adapted view is prompting more and more women to take on the responsibility of child rearing without the presence, let alone assistance, of a male figure. Removing this component of parenting has had a detrimental affect on American society. Every year more families are being created with the absence of a father. These fatherless families can hardly be raised as sufficiently as their fathered counterparts.
Fatherless parenting is becoming ever more commonplace. The United States Census Bureau reports that 40% of never married women in their thirties are having a child. In the 1970 national census it is estimated that there were 3.4 million single mothers in the nation, in 1990 10 million (Eckel). These numbers are all indications of how American society is changing. In past decades there has been an upsurge in women s rights and the emphasis on education. In the last 10 years the number of college-educated women has more than doubled. This increase in the level of education of women has opened a new window of opportunity to them. Women are now making more money and enjoying more career opportunities than ever before. This newfound success is leaving women less dependant on men. Many new advances in technology of conception, such as in-vitro fertilization, have made it more feasible for women, even in their later years, to bear children (Drummond). Adoption has also become a much more acceptable option.
There are many controversies surrounding fatherless parenting. Many leading psychiatrists view fathers as being very important in the raising of a well-adjusted adult. Men offer many strengths that women simply are incapable of displaying. Women have always been marked by feminism, being soft and gentle. For a child it can be detrimental to be raised in an environment that offers only feminist emotions, it leaves the child out of balance. Men who have been raised without a father are often easy to recognize shortly after having met them. Boys who have been raised without fathers, in particular are often seen as lacking many fundamental male traits, which can be attributed to a lack of masculinity. Masculinity is a trait that is often taught to a young boy by way of his father. Masculinity is often blamed for the rambunctious behavior of young boys where their female counterparts are viewed as more docile. Growing up, my brother, and I, would often wrestle and fight with each other. Our fighting would always upset our mother because she couldn t understand why we did it. She always viewed it as just our beating up on each other. My father, however, never let our roughhousing bother him. He understood that our behavior was to be expected of two young boys and never gave it a second thought.
Women with their abundance of femininity have a difficult time to provide a harsh hand in discipline. Men are able to offer a type of strictness that women can t. Men have long been the predominant disciplinarians in many societies. Along with a rise in the absence of men in the family structure has come a lack in the discipline of children. This lack of discipline has slowly molded our society in one of unruly youth. America has the highest number of adults in prisons than any other country in the world. We are raising our children without discipline then leaving it to the prison system to handle them.
The primary results of a lack of paternity are a decline in children s well-being and a rise in violence (Blankenhorn 602).
There are certainly many single-mothers that would argue that their children are just as well off as anybody else s. They will argue that their children are doing well in school, which they very possibly may; however, the fact remains that the children of fatherless families are missing out on many opportunities that their classmates are getting. While their colleagues are enrolling in afternoon soccer and other sports these fatherless children are unable to partake in these activities due to a lack of one pertinent resource, the time needed by their mother to pick them up. In addition to this many children of single mothers have a hard time fitting in. Stephanie Coontz, a renowned author on the subject of family structures states, We are still finding that teachers and other students might have prejudices about the behavior of children of single mothers (Eckel).
Fatherless ness is the most harmful demographic trend of this generation. It is the leading cause of declining child well being in our society (Blankenhorn 598). The declination of fatherhood is a trend that must be curbed. It is in the best interest of our society to do our best to insure that every youth is raised with the presence of a father-figure or other male role model. The presence of which will have a drastic affect on the life of the youth.
1.) Blankenhorn, David. Fatherless America. The Sundance Reader. 2nd ed. Ed. Mark Connelly. Fort Worth: Harcourt Bace, 2000. 598-602.
2.) Drummond, Tammerlin. Mom On Her Own. Time 28 Aug. 2000: 54-55. Periodicals Abstracts. Galileo. Roswell High School Lib., Roswell, GA.. 28 Sep. 2000 .
3.) Eckel, Sara. Single Mothers. American Demographics. May. 1999: 62-66. Periodicals Abstracts. Galileo. Roswell High School Lib., Roswell, GA.. 28 Sep. 2000 .
note: The spacing is messed up in the Works Cited page. Look in a current edition of the “MLA Handbook” to find the correct spacing.