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The Impact of Absent Parents Gears More Towards Absent Fathers


There can be little doubt as to the fact that the very existence of incomplete families, as a socio-political phenomenon closely associated with the post-industrial era, undermines the inner integrity of Western societies, since individuals that had grown up in such families are more likely to be affected by different forms of psychological inadequateness. However, it is namely the parental absence on account of fathers, experienced by children during the course of their upbringing, which seems to be especially counter-productive, in the sociological sense of this word. The reason for this is simple – children who had never been instilled with the respect towards masculine values, as the result of them being deprived of fatherly care, appear to be less capable of adequately addressing life’s challenges, as compared to those who grew up in “motherless” families. In this paper, we will strive to substantiate the validity of this suggestion by analyzing data in regards to the subject matter, contained in the relevant literature.

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Statement of the problem

The hypothesis of this paper is best defined as follows: the parental absence, on the part of fathers, produces a much heavier negative impact on growing children, as opposed to the parental absence on the part of mothers. Moreover, given the fact that there are more physiologically objective preconditions for namely fathers to be absent in incomplete families, the statistical data as to how the number of “motherless” families relate to the number of “fatherless” ones, should reflect this fact. The implications of this thesis, if proven legitimate, could be described as rather extensive, because they would not only concern the issue of family relations but also the issue of interracial and social tensions in American (Western) society as a whole, since the rate of fatherly absence in “ethnically unique” families has long ago been proven as being significantly higher, when compared to the rate of such absence within White families, due to the less defined strength of gender differentiation among representatives of racial minorities.

Literature review

Alston, J. (2008). O father, where art thou?. Newsweek. 151 (20), 45

In his article, Joshua Alston brings about the subject that America’s mainstream Medias try their best to avoid discussing – namely, the fact that the notion of conventional fatherhood does quite not correspond to the existential mode of Black males: “The engaged black father is an elusive character in popular culture. The percentage of black children living in fatherless homes – roughly 50 percent – has perpetuated an orthodoxy that black men are irresponsible and indifferent to fatherhood” (Alston, 2008, p. 45). It is needless to say, of course, that author explains Black males’ inability to act as responsible fathers by the fact that they continue to be subjected to “poverty” and “racism”, which significantly undermines the validity of article’s conclusions. However, we believe that reading “O Father, Where Art Thou?” might come in handy for just about anyone who wants to gain a better understanding of the essence of many Blacks’ psychological anxieties. Also, the statistical data, contained in Alston’s, fully supports our thesis as to the bulk of incomplete families in America accounting for namely the fatherless ones.

Mandara, J., Murray, C. & Joyner, T. (2005)

The impact of fathers’ absence on African American adolescents’ gender role development. Sex Roles. 53 (3/4), 207-20. In their study of how the absence of fathers affects the mental well-being of children in Black households, authors have come to the conclusion that such absence undermines fatherless kids’ ability to adjust their behavior to the notion of rationale because these children never had a chance to be instilled with what authors refer to as “psychological masculinity”: “Results of this study show that the father-absent boys rate the father-present boys as significantly more masculine than the father-present boys rate the father-absent boys. On average, father-present boys likely had more traits associated with masculinity than did father-absent boys” (Mandara, Murray & Joyner, 2005, p. 208). This conclusion, of course, corresponds to what we have predicted in the introductory part of this paper. Also, authors had revealed that the ratio of fatherly absence in Black families is being even higher than suggested by Aston’s article while amounting to as high as 65%. Among Caucasians, such a rate amounts to 18%. However, according to the study, for as long as the issue of parental absenteeism is concerned, it is namely fathers that are being more strongly associated with such absenteeism, as compared to mothers, regardless of whether we discuss parenting dynamics within Black, White or Hispanic families.

Couser, T. (2005). Presenting Absent Fathers in Contemporary Memoir. Southwest Review. 90 (4), 634-48

In his article Thomas Couser points out the fact that the overwhelming majority of authors, whose memories contain autobiographical references to the experience of parental loss, discuss such loss as being solely concerned with the absence of fathers. Moreover, as it appears from these memories, authors who have been denied fatherly care due to a variety of different factors were still trying to mentally reconstruct the relationship with their absent fathers, even during the course of their adult years: “I suspect that one reason that memoirs of fathers greatly outnumber memoirs of mothers is that, for various reasons, fathers seem more remote and less accessible but also more authoritative than mothers” (Couser, 2005, p. 636). Therefore, the parental absence, for as long as fathers are being concerned, does not only have strongly defined quantitative, but also qualitative subtleties. This idea corresponds rather well to the paper’s hypothesis.

Bower, B. (2003). Absent dads linked to early sex by daughters. Science News. 164 (3), 35-6

In his article, Bruce Bower suggests that statistically speaking, the teenage girls that had been brought up in fatherless families, are much more likely to indulge in premature sex, as compared to those that grew up in motherless and also in normal families: “Teenage girls in the United States and New Zealand show a particularly strong tendency to engage in sexual activity and to get pregnant if they grew up in families without a father present, a new long-term study finds” (Bower, 2003, p. 35). The author explains this in the following manner: “Father’s absence early in life may trigger doubts in girls about male reliability that hasten sexual activity and reproduction, as well as promote a preference for brief relationships” (Bower, 2003, p. 36). However, we will dare to disagree with the author – the particularities of these girls’ sexual behavior simply reflect the fact that strong parental discipline (clearly masculine parental virtue) had never been applied to them, during the course of their formative years. Thus, Bower’s article indirectly supports our thesis that fathers’ absence is not only more common, as counter-productive social phenomenon, associated with realities of post-modern living, but also more damaging, in sociological context of this word.

Findings / discussion

The statistical data as to the rates of “fatherly absence” in incomplete families, contained in earlier reviewed literature, unmistakably points out to the following set of conclusions: 1). The probability for a particular incomplete family to be affected by father’s absence is at least three times as high, as compared to probability of incomplete family to be affected by the absence of mother. 2). When compared to the absence of mothers, the absence of fathers in incomplete families is potentially more damaging, for as long as psychological welfare of growing children is being concerned, because single mothers tend to treat children in emotional rather then rational manner, without understanding that by doing it, they cause kids more harm then good. The implication of these conclusions is quite evident – individuals that grew up in fatherless families will inevitably have much harder time, while trying to attain social prominence in the world, for which the masculine values of rationale and discipline serve as its metaphysical foundation.

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According to statistical information, available on the web site of LifeCoaches.Org: “72% of adolescent murderers grew up without fathers. 60% of America’s rapists grew up the same way” (LifeCoaches.Org, 1990). This substantiates the validity of our thesis even further – individuals that had never been subjected to masculine-oriented discipline, are much more likely to indulge in anti-social behavior, with their animalistic urges serving as ultimate motivation behind their act.


The conclusion of this paper corresponds to what is being suggested in its initial parts with utter exactness – it is not only that the impact of absent parents gears more towards absent fathers, but that many social and racial tensions, which nowadays affect Western societies, directly relate to the fact that, as time goes by, more and more people in Western countries end up growing up without fathers. In its turn, such situation came about as the result of:

  1. The policy of multiculturalism being given an official status in these countries (multiculturalism is the process of “ethnically unique” people with particularly weak sense of gender-identity being converged into traditionally White countries.
  2. The fact that many promoters of feminist cause, which hate just about anything they associate with masculine values, are now being put in position of designing socio-political policies in the West.


Alston, J. (2008). O father, where art thou?. Newsweek. 151 (20), 45.

Bower, B. (2003). Absent dads linked to early sex by daughters. Science News. 164 (3), 35-6.

Couser, T. (2005). Presenting absent fathers in contemporary memoir. Southwest Review. 90 (4), 634-48.

Father absence research. (1990). LifeCoaches.Org. Web.

Mandara, J., Murray, C. & Joyner, T. (2005). The impact of fathers’ absence on African-American adolescents’ gender role development. Sex Roles. 53 (3/4), 207-20.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, November 11). The Impact of Absent Parents Gears More Towards Absent Fathers. Retrieved from


StudyCorgi. (2021, November 11). The Impact of Absent Parents Gears More Towards Absent Fathers.

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"The Impact of Absent Parents Gears More Towards Absent Fathers." StudyCorgi, 11 Nov. 2021,

1. StudyCorgi. "The Impact of Absent Parents Gears More Towards Absent Fathers." November 11, 2021.


StudyCorgi. "The Impact of Absent Parents Gears More Towards Absent Fathers." November 11, 2021.


StudyCorgi. 2021. "The Impact of Absent Parents Gears More Towards Absent Fathers." November 11, 2021.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'The Impact of Absent Parents Gears More Towards Absent Fathers'. 11 November.

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