Tracking the Trends: Too Many Fatherless Boys

The Institute for Family Studies (IFS) conducted research on how the lack of an involved father impacts boys and made some sobering discoveries. The percentage of boys who do not live with their biological father has risen from 17 percent to 32 percent since 1960. That means about 12 million boys are growing up without their biological dad at home.

The percentage of boys who earn a college degree drops from 35 percent to 14 percent when a biological father doesn’t live at home. IFS Senior Fellow Brad Wilcox states, “Lacking the day-to-day involvement, guidance, and positive example of their father in the home, and the financial advantages associated with having him in the household, these boys are more likely to act up, lash out, flounder in school, and fail at work as they move into adolescence and adulthood.”

The report observes, “The daily life of these men is often marked by hours in front of a screen, vaping, smoking marijuana, or under the influence of some other kind of substance.” Rather than participants and contributors, they often function as bystanders.

The IFS brief goes on to say that young men growing up without a biological father are nearly twice as likely to be idle and show significant anger issues, which can both lead to legal problems. They are also two times as likely to have spent time in jail before age 30.

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