Fo thirty years we have been conducting a vast experiment with the family, and now the results are in: the decline of the two-parent, married-couple family has resulted in poverty, ill-health, educational failure, unhappiness, anti-social behaviour, isolation and social exclusion for thousands of women, men and children.

The Results: How does the Fatherless Family Affect Adults, Children and Society?

Lone mothers

  • Are poorer

  • Are more likely to suffer from stress, depression, and other emotional and psychological problems

  • May have more problems interacting with their children Non-resident biological fathers

  • Have more health problems

  • Are more likely to have health problems and engage in high-risk behaviour

  • Are at risk of losing contact with their children

Children living without their biological fathers

  • Are more likely to live in poverty and deprivation

  • Have more trouble in school

  • Tend to have more trouble getting along with others

  • Have higher risk of health problems

  • Are at greater risk of suffering physical, emotional, or sexual abuse.

  • Are more likely to run away from home

Teenagers living without their biological fathers

  • Are more likely to experience problems with sexual health

  • Are more likely to become teenage parents

  • Are more likely to offend

  • Are more likely to smoke

  • Are more likely to drink alcohol

  • Are more likely to take drugs

  • Are more likely to play truant from school

  • Are more likely to be excluded from school

  • Are more likely to have adjustment problems

  • Are more likely to leave school at 16

Young adults who grew up not living with their biological fathers

  • Are less likely to attain qualifications

  • Are more likely to experience unemployment

  • Are more likely to have low incomes

  • Are more likely be on income support

  • Are more likely to experience homelessness

  • Are more likely to be caught offending and go to jail

  • Are more likely to suffer from long term emotional and psychological problems

  • Are more likely to develop health problems

  • Tend to enter partnerships earlier and more often as a cohabitation

  • Are more likely to divorce or dissolve their cohabiting unions

  • Are more likely to have children outside marriage or outside any partnership

Effects on the Social Fabric

  • Increased crime and violence

  • Decreased community ties

  • A growing ‘divorce culture’

  • Cycle of fatherlessness

  • Dependence on state welfare

Why all these Effects?

  • Poverty

  • Reduced parental and paternal attention

  • Conditions before, during and after divorce

Evaluating the Results

The weight of evidence indicates that the traditional family based upon a married father and mother is still the best environment for raising children, and it forms the soundest basis for the wider society.