How do we fix this?

Homepage Forums Small Talk How do we fix this?

This topic contains 25 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Unseen 1 month, 1 week ago.

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  • #44198

    Unseen
    Participant

    Something is wrong with too many American “families.” Too many are headed by a single parent, who is usually a mother.

    While a common statistic, that 26 of the 27 recent mass shooters came from fatherless homes, appears to be false according to Snopes, the fact remains that the tendency is for mass shooters to come from single-mother homes rather than whole or single-father homes.

    There are all kinds of ways to attack this fact starting with the unicorn-like rarity of single-father homes. But the fact remains that boys from single-father homes are quite a bit less likely to end up as career criminals, drug addicts, or mass murderers than boys from single-mother homes.

    We need not blame mothers for this if we simply recognize the positive influence a good father can provide to a growing boy.

    Obviously, the important phrase there is good father. A lousy father can do irreparable damage, and women are doing the right thing when they dump such a dysfunctional and damaging partner in order to do single parenting.

    But that brings us to another truth: Girls benefit from the influence of a good father as well. A father who is kind and treats everyone—but especially his wife—with love and respect helps daughters determine which boys to see as worthy of their attention.

    Many daughters lost to abusive partners and drugs also come from single-mother homes, but is it the mother or the absence of a positive fatherly influence that is the real problem? The latter seems far more likely.

    We have a problem in our society, and a lot of it is due to the absence of whole families headed by good parents in a healthy relationship.

    How do we fix this?

    #44199

    Autumn
    Participant

    There are other variables that could be looked at. For example, earnings disparity where a parent either earns far less money (resulting in financial insecurity) or is forced to work far more hours to compensate (kids have less time with at least one parent). Or we could look at the reasons for single-parenthood such as divorce, being widowed, abandonment, custodial issues concerning abuse, incarceration, etc.

    Does paternal influence matter for the well-being of children? It may not matter much more than maternal influence. Children raised by same-gender couples tend to have the same well-being outcomes as those raised by opposite-gender parents.

    As for mass shooters, that’s a pretty exceptional class of people. Yes, it’s remarkable how many there are, but I’ve read in excess of 80% of single-parent homes in the US are single-mother producing a figure somewhere around 9-10 million homes. Even if all 27 of those recent mass shooters were from single-mother homes, that would account for 0.0003% of single-mother homes or less. We’d probably want a more complete picture before jumping to any conclusions.

    #44200

    Autumn
    Participant

    I suppose, ignoring the exact cause, one potential option may be a return to more community-focused living. The trick, I think, would be to structure it around the strengthening and supportive aspects of community, and less around the meddlesome, conformity aspects. It wouldn’t necessarily just be a matter of childcare, but anyone in need. Portions of the aging population who have become isolated or less able to manage certain tasks, people with certain disabilities, people with income/ food insecurity (etc.) Hell, maybe even a few incels in the making, might be steered clear if they had a better foundation and place where they could be accepted rather than isolated and convinced they are “betas” or whatever jargon is used these days.

    #44202

    _Robert_
    Participant

    Let’s ban abortion! That’ll fix it!

    #44209

    Unseen
    Participant

    @autumn

    So abandon the nuclear family and replace it with a bunch of unrelated people, many of them certainly dysfunctional, FOX-addicted conservative ideologs, and with no consistency in their views, and no real commitment toward bringing up the child? Sounds like a plan. For disaster and confusion.

    #44210

    Autumn
    Participant

    Not what I said at all.

    #44214

    Unseen
    Participant

    @autumn

    I was describing what actual American communities look like.

    #44215

    Autumn
    Participant

    a) bullshit

    b) my response, albeit vague, makes it pretty clear I am not talking about maintaining the status quo. 

    #44216

    Belle Rose
    Participant

    @unseen

    this hits the nail on the head

    #44219

    Unseen
    Participant

    my response, albeit vague, makes it pretty clear I am not talking about maintaining the status quo.

    The status quo doesn’t need maintenance. It maintains itself. That’s why we call it the status quo (that which is), you see. It would probably be easier, not to mention better, to strengthen the family unit. The status quo has an inertia that’s virtually impossible to change.

    #44220

    Autumn
    Participant

    my response, albeit vague, makes it pretty clear I am not talking about maintaining the status quo.

    The status quo doesn’t need maintenance. It maintains itself. That’s why we call it the status quo (that which is), you see.

    Incorrect. We call it the status quo only because it is the current state of affairs. It doesn’t mean more or less than that.

    It would probably be easier, not to mention better, to strengthen the family unit. The status quo has an inertia that’s virtually impossible to change.

    I don’t really get why you insist in speaking in such nonsensical generalities. Societies frequently evolve and adapt social structures. Things have changed multiple times even in my lifetime including an increase in single-parent homes. Strengthening the family unit is no less changing the status quo than building up community. It’s also probably a more difficult proposition as its less flexible and concerns a much more intimate aspect of people’s individual lives. Marriages and families are much more personal than community, generally involve a more emotionally intense bond, and involve a much more specific set of people.

    #44233

    PopeBeanie
    Moderator

    But the fact remains that boys from single-father homes are quite a bit less likely to end up as career criminals, drug addicts, or mass murderers than boys from single-mother homes.

    Can you point us to the best study that you know of to support this claim? It might also help me assess possible “fixes”. E.g., what percentage of fatherless homes are fatherless because the father was violent and present when the boy was younger? How many fatherless homes became fatherless because the mother chose to live without the father’s violence? Or perhaps there are other negative male influences that the mother brings home?

    It makes some sense of course that some boys in some fatherless homes would be more likely to act out, not having a positive male role model at home to identify themselves with. The fact that males are more violent by nature is a bigger question in my mind that begs a solution. Just finding/selecting the best male role models to begin with could be the biggest cultural challenge? Maybe AI could be made to help fill positive gender roles?

    #44241

    Unseen
    Participant

    @Popie

    The best study? I can’t claim to have read many and compared them. For one thing, I’m not a sociologist. I don’t even play one on TV. I can point to this study: Fathers and Youth’s Delinquent Behavior

    From there, you can download the full study as a PDF.

    I’m no more qualified to understand and critique a sociological study than I would be to understand and critique a paper on quantum physics. Not my area of expertise. So, like most of us, I have to place some degree of faith in those who are far more up to speed.

    From the linked article:

    Finally, the strong link between adolescent family structure and delinquent behavior is not accounted for by the income differentials associated with fathers’ absence. Our results suggest that the presence of a father figure during adolescence is likely to have protective effects, particularly for males, in both adolescence and young adulthood.

    Over the years, I’ve heard or read experts point out that boys from single father-headed homes are on the whole less likely to be violent, drug addicted, or abusive. Often, they speculate that economics is a factor since the mothers may be working two jobs and spending less time supervising their charges or that men are more discipline-oriented. However, this study seems to discount income differentials.

    #44247

    PopeBeanie
    Moderator

    However, this study seems to discount income differentials.

    That’s also been my take for years, as young school shooters have been mostly white and middle class, with one or two parents often clueless that there’s a problem lurking. My impression, sans sociological studies. But if fatherless families correlate with higher risk kids, there could also be a link to black/latino/other minority violence, e.g. gang violence which I’ll bet causes even more deaths than school shootings, but doesn’t get the headlines.

    So I ran a search: https://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C5&as_ylo=2015&q=fatherless+family+school+gang+shootings&btnG=

    Not having time to look deeper into this, one study kept popping up at the top of the page in other searches too. We peons don’t have free access to the study, but here’s a quote from the Abstract:

    This chapter examines the role of the family so thoroughly because of an interesting relationship that appears to exist between mass shootings and each shooter’s family situation. That is, if one examines CNN’s list the 27 deadliest shootings in modern American history, from 1949 to present, 26 were committed by a male from a fatherless- or dysfunctional- home.

    I dunno their definition of “dysfunctional”. And it’s important to note that this search is “selective”, i.e. the search terms are biased toward finding studies with the word “fatherless” in them, so other causes may not be getting addressed here. (But I’d definitely start with that first study if I could, and your citing.)

    #44248

    _Robert_
    Participant

    However, this study seems to discount income differentials.

    That’s also been my take for years, as young school shooters have been mostly white and middle class, with one or two parents often clueless that there’s a problem lurking. My impression, sans sociological studies. But if fatherless families correlate with higher risk kids, there could also be a link to black/latino/other minority violence, e.g. gang violence which I’ll bet causes even more deaths than school shootings, but doesn’t get the headlines. So I ran a search: https://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C5&as_ylo=2015&q=fatherless+family+school+gang+shootings&btnG= Not having time to look deeper into this, one study kept popping up at the top of the page in other searches too. We peons don’t have free access to the study, but here’s a quote from the Abstract:

    This chapter examines the role of the family so thoroughly because of an interesting relationship that appears to exist between mass shootings and each shooter’s family situation. That is, if one examines CNN’s list the 27 deadliest shootings in modern American history, from 1949 to present, 26 were committed by a male from a fatherless- or dysfunctional- home.

    I always take these kinds of studies with a grain of salt. How can one assume child rearing is a bigger factor than genetic predisposition? Dysfunctional parents are not only bad parents but probably bad seed suppliers as well. It’s not like if you took 1,000 kids, raised them the same exact way, they would all turn out exactly the same.

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