Fatherless Children in Canada

Fatherlessness is one of the greatest social problems in Canada

Interesting Quote from Amy Alkon, The Advice Goddess, syndicated columnist in over 100 US and Canadian publications:

-While the law allows women to turn casual sex into cash flow sex, Penelope Leach, in her book Children First, poses an essential question: "Why is it socially reprehensible for a man to leave a baby fatherless, but courageous, even admirable, for a woman to have a baby whom she knows will be so?"

  • fathers commit a tiny minority of child abuse and about half the domestic violence.

  • The vast majority of child physical and sexual abuse is committed in single-parent homes, home usually where the father is not present. "Contrary to public perception, research shows that the most likely physical abuser of a young child will be that childs mother, not a male in the household." [Patrick Fagan and Dorothy Hanks, The Child Abuse Crisis: The Disintegration of Marriage, Family, and the American Community (Washington, DC: Heritage Foundation "Backgrounder," 3 June 1997), p. 16.]

  • The father is the parent most likely to be the protector of children. "The presence of the father . . . placed the child at lesser risk for child sexual abuse," according to David L. Rowland, Laurie S. Zabin, and Mark Emerson, in a study of low-income families. "The protective effect from the father's presence in most households was sufficiently strong to offset the risk incurred by the few paternal perpetrators." ["Household Risk and Child Sexual Abuse in a Low Income, Urban Sample of Women," Adolescent and Family Health, vol. 1, no. 1 (Winter 2000), pp. 29-39.]

  • A British study found children are up to 33 times more likely to be abused when a live-in boyfriend or stepfather is present than in an intact family. [Robert Whelan, Broken Homes and Battered Children: A Study of the Relationship between Child Abuse and Family Type (London: Family Education Trust, 1993), p. 29.]

Cornell University professor Urie Bronfenbrenner
One of the most eminent developmental psychologists of our time wrote:

"Controlling for factors such as low income, children growing up in [father absent] households are at a greater risk for experiencing a variety of behavioural and educational problems, including extremes of hyperactivity and withdrawal; lack of attentiveness in the classroom; difficulty in deferring gratification; impaired academic achievement; school misbehaviour; absenteeism; dropping out; involvement in socially alienated peer groups, and the so-called teenage syndrome of behaviours that tend to hang together smoking, drinking, early and frequent sexual experience, and in the more extreme cases, drugs, suicide, vandalism, violence, and criminal acts."

Paternal Abandonment

Research, mainly in the Unites States, published in refereed journals by respected scholars like Sanford Braver, Margaret Brinig, Douglas Allen, Ilene Wolcott, Jody Hughes, Judith Wallerstein, and Sandra Blakeslee, and corroborated by the professional experience of authors as ideologically diverse as Constance Ahrons, Shere Hite, David Chambers, Robert Seidenberg, and Rosalind Miles, indicates that paternal abandonment cannot account for widespread fatherlessness.

Father-deprivation is a more reliable predictor of criminal activity than race, environment or poverty.

Father-deprived children are:

  1. 72% of all teenage murderers.
  2. 60% of rapists.
  3. 70% of kids incarcerated.
  4. twice as likely to quit school.
  5. 11 times more likely to be violent.
  6. 3 of 4 teen suicides.
  7. 80% of the adolescents in psychiatric hospitals.
  8. 90% of runaways

Sources: National Fatherhood Initiative (U.S.A.), US Bureau of Census (U.S.A.), FBI (U.S.A.)

"Father-deprivation is a serious form of child abuse that is institutionalized and entrenched within our legal system. Powerful sexist people have a vested interest in diminishing the role of men, especially their role as fathers. Research proves that children thrive with the active and meaningful participation of both biological parents, and is true for post-divorce families." (Dick Feeman, Joseph Maiello, Mike Jebbet, "Child Custody or Child Abuse", Victoria Times-Colonist, Jan 8, 1998).

The Importance of Father Love: History and Contemporary Evidence

Published in Review of General Psychology of The American Psychological Association, Inc

This review contains such topics as:

  • Father Love Is as Important as Mother Love
  • Father Love Predicts Specific Outcomes Better Than Mother Love
  • Father Love Is the Sole Significant Predictor of Specific Outcomes
  • Father Love Moderates the Influence of Mother Love
  • Paternal Versus Maternal Parenting May Be Associated With Different Outcomes in Sons and Daughters

Read More ..

Fatherlessness Statistics

Children who grew up fatherless are:

  • Eight times more likely to go to prison.
  • Five times times more likely to commit suicide.
  • 20 times times more likely to have behavioural problems.
  • 20 times times more likely to become rapists.
  • 32 times times more likely to become runaways.
  • 10 times times more likely to abuse chemical substances.
  • Nine times times more likely to drop out of high school.
  • One-tenth as likely to get A's in school.

The Institute for the Study of Civil Society ( Civitas ) U.K.
Stunning statistics on the problems of fatherless homes

Experiments in Living: The Fatherless Family- Rebecca ONeill-CIVITAS-2002 PDF Click here

Delinquent Behavior, Future Divorce or Nonmarital Childbearing, and Externalizing Behavior Among Offspring: A 14-Year Prospective Study PDF

The American Psychological Association, Inc., The Journal of Family Psychology, December 1999 Vol. 13, No. 4, 568-579

by Robert E. Emery, Mary Waldron and Katherine M. Kitzmann.

This is another study showing that children are significantly disadvantaged in never-married sole maternal custody or divorced sole-maternal custody than in intact families. In fact, the study does indicate that the damage of divorce is about the same level as never having the children involved with their father. Certainly, raising children outside of the influence of both parents is clearly detrimental to the child. Read More .. PDF Click here

Custody and Couvade: The Importance of Paternal Bonding In the Law of Family Relations PDF

by Geoffrey P. Miller, from New York University School of Law, Public Law and Legal Theory Working Paper Series, Working Paper 5, 1999. The paper discusses the perceptions and reality of the involvement of fathers during pregnancy, childbirth, and early childhood. Read More ..PDF Click here

US CONGRESS - 2003 - S.657- Strengthening Families Act of 2003

34% of children in the United States live without their biological father

Violent criminals are overwhelmingly males who grew up without fathers.

Read the complete statistics Read More ..

Judicial passivism turning fathers into deadbeats

Judges refuse to enforce Divorce Act section that embraces equal access to child

The Edmonton Journal, Grant A. Brown, Freelance, Saturday, June 17, 2006

When mothers lose in court, they are not made to pay court costs -- again on the premise that this would only take money away from the children. But payment of penalties and costs is merely a transfer between parents, and only prejudice supports the proposition that fathers would be less generous toward their children than mothers, given the time and financial ability to do so.

Contrast the endless lame excuses judges use not to impose remedies for access denial with their attitude toward making and enforcing child-support orders. Read More ..

How "Daddy" affects your job: psychologist

Reuters, U.S.A., By Ellen Wulfhorst Fri May 12, 2006

NEW YORK, U.S.A. (Reuters) - Successes or failures of employees in the workplace can be traced to what kind of father they had, a psychologist argues in a new book.

In "The Father Factor," Stephan Poulter lists five styles of fathers -- super-achieving, time bomb, passive, absent and compassionate/mentor -- who have powerful influences on the careers of their sons and daughters. Read More ..

Put kids first, judge tells parents

His family court sees conflicts daily
Complex reasons why dads absent


Children pay a big price when they grow up without fathers, but it's unfair to blame it all on men who walk away, says a North York family court judge.

Harvey Brownstone says he welcomes recent public discussion about the risks faced by kids who don't have a father in their lives.

But Brownstone, who has seen thousands of support, custody and access cases during his 11 years on the bench, says there are many misperceptions about why it's happening. And most often it's because parents can't get along or want nothing to do with each other.

"You would be shocked how many men say, `I didn't know I had a child until I got these court papers,'" he says in an interview at his office in the provincial court building.

And, when they find out, almost all of them take steps to become involved in their child's life, even if it's years after the child was born, Brownstone says. Read More ..

Boys harmed by fathers' absence

The Age (Melbourne, Australia), By CHLOE SALTAU, Tuesday April 3, 2001

Boys are disadvantaged without the emotional presence of a man in their lives, according to a social researcher who is interviewing men about relationships with their fathers.

Patra Antonis, a psychologist, counsellor and Swinburne University masters student, says men should "be around the herd" and bond with their sons in an inherently male, "rough-and-tumble" way. Her theory is likely to reignite the debate about the impact of absent fathers on the development of their sons.

Ms Antonis is undertaking the research at a time when she says increases in the divorce rate and the rise of out-of-wedlock childbearing have changed families and the role of parents within them.  Read More ..

Calgary Herald

Calgary Herald, Charles W. Moore, July 29, 1999

Feminist "analysis" dismissive of fathers

Charles W. Moore goes after quack psychologists busy "deconstructing" fatherhood

I am beginning to wonder if being a card-carrying lunatic facilitates getting published in journals of the American Psychological Association (APA)

A report, recently published in the APA's Psychological Bulletin, by Bruce Rind, Philip Tromovitch and Robert Bauserman, asserted that the "negative potential" of child sexual abuse has "been overstated." The authors rationalized that while "child sexual abuse is harmful," supposedly consensual "child -adult sex" is not necessarily harmful and may, in some cases, even be "beneficial."  Read More ..

Research proves that fatherhood really matters

Tallahassee Democrat, KNIGHT RIDDER TRIBUNE, USA, By Roland C. Warren, April 20, 2002  Read More ..

Dad's 1m fight for his child

Coventry Evening Telegraph, City News, U.K. by Liz Hazelton, July 27, 2004 Read More ..

Landmark Ruling Grants Father Custody of Children

The Scotsman, PA News (U.K.),ead, July 3, 2004 Read More ..

Children who have contact with their fathers following a family break-up suffer fewer behavioural problems, academics said today.

The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, May 26, 2004, Manchester Online, U.K. Read More ..

Fathers 'have key role with children' after families split

The Telegraph, London, U.K., By Sarah Womack, Social Affairs Correspondent, May 26, 2004 Read More ..

New Canadian Study of Fathers

Study aims to salvage image of fatherhood. First of its kind in Canada: 'Fathers are often treated as buffoons in our public images'   Read More ..

Letter to the editor:

Generations lost to 'fatherlessness'

The StarPhoenix, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, David A. Giles, March 11, 2004, Read More ..

Fathers are not out of fashion

Don't believe the hype - we are facing a crisis of female fertility, not fatherhood, says Jack O'Sullivan
The Guardian U.K., January 28, 2004 Read More ..

Fathers no longer required: Fertility chief signals an IVF revolution

The Independent, UK, By Jeremy Laurance, Health Editor, January 21, 2004 Read More ..

Suzi Leather: 'It's the relationship's quality that counts, not people's sex'
Interview: Head of fertility watchdog says writing fathers out of the rules will extend the chance of treatment to all women

The Independent, UK, By Jeremy Laurance, Health Editor, January 21, 2004 Read More ..

Research proves that fatherhood really matters

Tallahassee Democrat, KNIGHT RIDDER TRIBUNE, By Roland C. Warren, April 20, 2002   Read More ..

Transforming the Culture of Fatherlessness

by Rev. Robert A. Sirico, Acton President, May 23, 2001, Acton Commentary   Read More ..

Reader's Digest Canada

The Truth About Deadbeat Dads

Reader's Digest Canada, April, 2001, BY GLADYS POLLACK

For decades, they have been pictured as living the high life -- driving their Porsches, vacationing in exotic places -- while their former wives and their children haunt food banks and live off welfare. Branded as "deadbeat dads," they are viewed as heartless men who have simply walked away from their family responsibilities. The fact is, sure, there are some dads who fall into this category -- men who have fathered children but don' t want to honour their obligations to them -- but a closer examination reveals another story.   Read More ..

Orlando Sentinel

Study denouncing fathers sends danger signals

By Kathleen Parker, The Orlando Sentinel, USA, on July 18, 1999

Now is the time for all good fathers to come to the aid of the family.

But you'd better hurry; your days are numbered. In fact, if you happen to be a heterosexual male (further doomed by Caucasian pigmentation), your days are already over, according to a cover article in the June issue of American Psychologist, published by the American Psychological Association.

In their article, "Deconstructing the Essential Father," researchers Louise B. Silverstein and Carl F. Auerbach challenge one of the core institutions of our culture -- fatherhood. More or less, fathers, as we've known and loved them, are obsolete.

The article makes numerous breathtaking assertions, but basically the researchers state that:

Fathers aren't essential to the well-being of children.  Read More ..

A Caring Biological Father: Critical Link to Improving the Health of Children PDF

Prepared from references in the United States of America:

  1. Whitehead BF. Facing the Challenges of Fragmented Families. The Philanthropy Roundtable 1995; 9: 21.
  2. Eberstadt N. America's Infant Mortality Puzzle. The Public Interest Fall, 1991.
  3. Kleinman JC, Kessel SS. Racial Differences in Low Birth Weight. New England Journal of Medicine 1987; 317: 749-753.
  4. Lester D. Infant Mortality and Illegitimacy. Social Science and Medicine 1992; 35: 739-740.
  5. Dawson DA. Family Structure and Children's Health and Well-Being. Journal of Marriage and the Family 1991; 53: 573-584.
  6. Johnson RA, Haffman JP, Gerstein DR. The Relationship between Family Structure and Adolescent Substance Use. Washington, DC: DHHS, 1996.
  7. Smith L. The New Wave of Illegitimacy. Fortune 1994; 18: 81-94. Chart: US Bureau of the Census, Marital Status and Living Arrangements: March 1990. Current Population Report, p. 20, Washington, DC, 1993

One of the great papers confirming that the inclusion of both parents under a joint parenting arrangement is in the best interests of children is the meta-analytic study summarised in "Child Adjustment in Joint-Custody Versus Sole-Custody Arrangements: A Meta-Analytic Review" by Robert Bauserman from the Journal of Family Psychology, 2002, Vol. 16, No. 1, p. 91102. This study was announced in the American Psychological Associations Monitor, a copy of which is at Read More ...

Civitas: the Institute for the Study of Civil Society was founded in the UK to "deepen public understanding of the legal, institutional and moral framework that makes a free and democratic society possible." They have done some excellent work about how families are being destroyed and the toll that is taking on children and society. They have produced an excellent study of the impact of the "failed experiment" of fatherless families in and excellent study, available in PDF format, entitled Experiments in Living: The Fatherless Family. This is a great, and true, read. I would suggest it to every one. The study, and Read More ..ry good material is available from Civitas's website at http://www.civitas.org.uk.

Prolific writer, professor and activist Stephen Baskerville wrote a great article for the Liberty journal, available in PDF format, entitled The Myth of Deadbeat Dads. I would highly recommend this to anyone who is interested in the astounding demonization of fathers in the US and the rest of the Western world.

Child Adjustment in Joint-Custody Versus Sole-Custody Arrangements: A Meta-Analytic Review PD

 by Robert Bauserman, Journal of Family Psychology (2002), Vol. 16, No. 1, 91102 is an important study. It shows that children who have meaningful contact with both parents are significantly (statistically speaking) better off due to the lack of the damage done to children who lose contact with their father through divorce and the actions and inactions of the courts. Although there is only small numbers of sole parental custody cases in the study, it does indicate that that joint custody is superior there too. Children do need both parents active and part of their lives. This is a journal of the American Psychological Association, so there is some soft-pedalling of the result although the anti-family groups will likely trot out the old myths again, although the study disproves them. The APA has been wonderful in this case and made the paper available to the public at http://www.apa.org/journals/fam/press_releases/march_2002/fam16191.pdf (which is where our link took you). The abstract is below, but I would note that in states were joint custody is really the default decision, conflict between parties has always been lower since there is no gain, and only loss, by a party creating conflict.

The author meta-analyzed studies comparing child adjustment in joint physical or joint legal custody with sole-custody settings, including comparisons with paternal custody and intact families where possible. Children in joint physical or legal custody were better adjusted than children in sole-custody settings, but no different from those in intact families. Read More ..sitive adjustment of joint-custody children held for separate comparisons of general adjustment, family relationships, self-esteem, emotional and behavioural adjustment, and divorce-specific adjustment. Joint-custody parents reported less current and past conflict than did sole-custody parents, but this did not explain the better adjustment of joint-custody children. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that joint custody can be advantageous for children in some cases, possibly by facilitating ongoing positive involvement with both parents.

Delinquent Behavior, Future Divorce or Nonmarital Childbearing, and Externalizing Behavior Among Offspring: A 14-Year Prospective Study PDF

By Emery, Robert E.; Waldron, Mary; Kitzmann, Katherine M.; Aaron, Jeffrey
Journal of Family Psychology, Vol 13(4), Dec 1999, 568-579.
In a longitudinal study of a national sample, more internalizing behavior problems were found among 222 children from never-married and 142 children from divorced families than among 840 children from married families. However, delinquent behavior reported when future mothers were single, childless adolescents prospectively predicted their future marital status and behavior problems among their offspring 14 years later. Maternal history of delinquent behavior accounted for much, but not all, of the relationship between marital status and children's externalizing behavior. Divorce and nonmarital childbirth do not occur at random, and these findings demonstrate that marital status is predicted by individual characteristics as well as by demographic factors. These findings highlight the importance of cautiously interpreting the much-discussed correlation between marital status and children's behavior problems.

Family Structure and Youths' Outcomes: Which Correlations are Causual PDF

by Gary Painter, from the Institute of Industrial Relations Working Paper Series, No. 69, September 24, 1999 explores the fact that growing up in family that lacks a biological father is correlated with a number of poor outcomes — and that those correlations are casual.

Custody and Couvade: The Importance of Paternal Bonding In the Law of Family Relations PDF

by Geoffrey P. Miller, from New York University School of Law, Public Law and Legal Theory Working Paper Series, Working Paper 5, 1999 discusses the perceptions and reality of the involvement of fathers during pregnancy, childbirth, and early childhood.

Perspectives on Fathering: Issues Paper 4 PDF

Edited by Stuart Birks and Paul Callistert. Published by the Centre for Public Policy Evaluation, Massey University, New Zealand.
It has very good information about fathers, fatherhood and fathering-related topics. PDF Click here

The Relationship Between Fatherly Affirmation and a Woman's Self-Esteem, Fear of Intimacy, Comfort with Womanhood and Comfort with Sexuality

The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality, Vol. 8(1) Spring 1999, p. 39-45, by Tanya S. Scheffler and Peter J. Naus.
This paper describes how women grow up to be more comfortable with themselves if they have on-going and positive affirmation by their father. Read More ..

Deconstructing the Essential Father

This contentious article written by Louise B. Silverstein, Ph.D.and Carl F. Auerbach, Ph.D. was published in the American Psychological Association's publication, The American Psychologist, Volume 54, Number 6 (June 1999), p. 397-407.

The article defines "essential" as being something other than essential, but a rejection of the theories of Blankenhorn and Popenoe instead. It then uses "deconstruction" (a philosophical argument growing out of existentialism that basically says that words have no meaning so any study written down has no meaning except, presumably, this one) to dismiss the massive amounts of material on (1) men, and (2) men and children. It then goes on to use one of the author's small studies on certain ethnic males in a poor attempt to provide some validity to the preposterous, and admitted purely political arguments, of the authors -- which is most strongly anti-marriage. This particular article, along with a previous article supporting paedophilia show the new direction of the American Psychological Association, and goes even further to discrediting the basic fakery of the psychologists.

Neoconservative social scientists have claimed that fathers are essential to positive child development, and that responsible fathering is most likely to occur within the context of heterosexual marriage. This perspective is generating a range of governmental initiatives designed to provide social support preferences to fathers over mothers; and to heterosexual married couples, rather than to alternative family forms. Read More ..

Other articles written about the above APA article.

Lunacy 101: Questioning the Need for Fathers

Jewish World Review, by Dr. Wade F. Horn, Sunday, July 18, 1999, Straight to the points debunking. Clearly illustrates the lack of proper statistical values of this APA article. Read More ..

They can't put a happy face on fatherlessness

Lancaster New Era, by Maggie Gallagher, Sunday, July 25, 1999.
This article talks about the goal of the article: "to torpedo the emerging new consensus that intact marriages are important for kids." Read More ..

The 'deconstructing' of a controversy

Jewish World Review, by Binyamin L. Jolkovsky, Tuesday, July 27, 1999.
Louise Silverstein and Carl Auerbach comments about how they are upset that others have so negatively reviewed their article which is blatantly biased. Read More ..

Feminist "analysis" dismissive of fathers

Calgary Herald, Calgary, AB, Canada, by Charles W. Moore, Thursday, July 29, 1999
"I am beginning to wonder if being a card-carrying lunatic facilitates getting published in journals of the American Psychological Association (APA)."Read More ..

Essentially wrong?

Jewish World Review, by Cathy Young, Friday, July 30, 1999.
Another look at the article, which figures that its political agenda is more anti-marriage than necessarily anti-father. Read More ..

Sydney Morning Herald

Children seeing more of their fathers after divorce

The Sydney Morning Herald
February 3, 2005

Divorced fathers are Read More ..volved in their children's lives than conventional wisdom would have it, a new study shows.

It shows surprisingly varied and flexible care patterns among separated families, with "every other Saturday" contact giving way to Read More ..ild-focused arrangements.

Australian Institute of Family Studies research fellow Bruce Smyth has produced the first detailed snapshot of parent-child contact after divorce anywhere in the world. Published today in the institute's journal Family Matters, the analysis has implications for children's emotional and financial wellbeing.

Other research indicates children of separated families do best when they have multifaceted relationships, including sleepovers, sharing meals and doing schoolwork, with both parents.


Fathers 'have key role with children' after families split

The Telegraph, London, U.K.

Researchers say they found a direct relationship between children's behavioural problems and the amount of contact they had with their natural father.

The effect was more pronounced in single-parent families, particularly where the mother was a teenager. In such cases, children were especially vulnerable emotionally if they had no contact with their father.

Where's Daddy?

The Mythologies behind Custody-Access-Support


When 50 percent of marriages end in divorce and 43 percent of children are left with one parent, everyone is affected: uncles, aunts, grandparents, and friends, but mostly, the children. The devastation from our divorce practices is our most public secret scandal. Everyone whispers it, the whispers never acknowledged. It seems that as long as a villain can be created, society is content.

After three decades of research universally pointing to more productive options, why does Custody-Access-Support remain?

Tallahasse Democrat

Research proves that fatherhood really matters

USA_Today logo

Hammering it home: Daughters need dads

USA TODAY, June 10, 2003

It's widely recognized that boys benefit from having dads around as role models and teachers about manhood.

But does having a father at home make much difference for girls?

But even in affluent families, girls become sexually active and pregnant earlier if they don't live with fathers, according to the largest and longest-term study on the problem. It was released in May.

Compared with daughters from two-parent homes, a girl is about five times more likely to have had sex by age 16 if her dad left before she was 6 and twice as likely if she stops living with her dad at 6 or older.

The study of 762 girls for 13 years took into account many factors that could lead to early sex, says Duke University psychologist Kenneth Dodge, the study's co-author. Still, there was an independent link between teenage sex and girls not living with their biological fathers.

Divorced Dads:
Shattering the Myths

Dr. Sandford L. Braver and Diane O'Connell

picture book Divorced dads: Shattering the Myths

This is the result of the largest federally funded 8 year study of the issues confronting parents and their children in the United States.

Shattering the Myths. The surprising truth about fathers, children and divorce.

Fatherless America: Confronting Our Most Urgent Social Problem

Fatherlessness in America

by David Blackenhorn

Nearly one in 10 girls and one in 20 boys say they have been raped or experienced some other form of abusive violence on a date, according to a study released Sunday at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association.

REPORT: Children Need Dads Too: Children with fathers in prison

Quakers United Nations Office
July 2009

Children are heavily impacted by parental imprisonment and greater attention should be given to their rights, needs and welfare in criminal justice policy and practice. Due to a variety of reasons such as mothers often being the primary or sole carer of children, complicated care arrangements, the likelihood of women prisoners being greater distances from home and a host of factors explored in detail in other QUNO publications, maternal imprisonment can be more damaging for children than paternal imprisonment. However, it is important not to underestimate the damage that paternal imprisonment can have on children.

Children with incarcerated fathers experience many of the same problems as those with incarcerated mothers, including coping with loss, environmental disruption, poverty, stigmatisation, health problems and all of the difficulties involved in visiting a parent in prison. It appears that there are also some difficulties specifically associated with paternal imprisonment, such as a higher risk of juvenile delinquency and strained relationships between the mother and child.

The numbers of children separated from their fathers due to imprisonment is far higher than those separated from their mothers due to the vast majority of prisoners being men (globally over 90 per cent of prisoners are male. To ignore this group would, therefore, be to neglect the vast majority of children affected by parental imprisonment.    Read More ..