NCFM Adviser Warren Farrell and Are Christians the Progressives?

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The Christian church has long supported marriage, an intact family, and father involvement. Yet we have called it “progressive” to focus on women’s freedom to have children without being married, or to be the primary parent after divorce. And currently, 53% of women under 30 who have children, do so without being married.

In the past eleven years, as I have researched The Boy Crisis, I have found that children with minimal or no father involvement—and especially boys—are much more likely to suffer in more than seventy ways. Even if a mom has a child while living with a man, but is not married, 40% of these children rarely see their dad after the age of three. If “progressive” is defined as what benefits the children, then the Christian church has been the progressive force.

Dad-deprivation was the greatest predictor of a boy becoming addicted to drugs, or committing suicide. Dad-deprived boys are much more likely to drink excessively, be bullies, drop out of school, be alienated, and rudderless.  The result? Our prisons are centers for dad-deprived boys and men. In contrast, boys who are dad-enriched do better in school even when they come from poorer areas; they have less ADHD and more empathy.

Dad-deprived boys hurt. And boys who hurt, hurt us. Since 1948, 26 out of 28 of the deadliest mass shootings (between 8 and 58 killed) were marked by dad-deprivation. And, of course, dad-deprivation plagued Nikolas Cruz of the Parkland shooting. As it did Adam Lanza (Sandy Hook), Elliott Rodgers (UC Santa Barbara), and Dylan Roof (Charleston Church).

Dad-deprivation doesn’t just hurt us via mass shootings. ISIS recruits are almost all dad-deprived—not only the boys, but also the girls.

Exactly what do dads do that leads to children benefitting so much? Dad-style parenting differs from mom-style in about ten different ways.

Take roughhousing. Although many mothers just see a roughhousing dad as one more child she has to monitor, few dads know that roughhousing helps children distinguish between being assertive and aggressive. And rough-housing creates a father-child bond, which allows the dad to enforce boundaries (“OK, no more roughhousing until you’ve finished your homework”) without the children becoming resentful or rebellious.

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NCFM Adviser Warren Farrell and Are Christians the Progressives?

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