Former “Dirty Jobs” host Mike Rowe sparked an important conversation on Tuesday, arguing that America is currently suffering from an “epidemic of fatherlessness.”
Rowe said so much attention is given to the issue of “bullying,” which is likely just a symptom of a bigger problem — a “symptom of a society that seems to value fatherhood less and less.”
He went on to list the sobering facts on fatherlessness in America:
The facts seem pretty clear.
• 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes – 5 times the average. (US Dept. Of Health/Census)
• 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes – 32 times the average.
• 85% of all children who show behavior disorders come from fatherless homes – 20 times the average. (Center for Disease Control)
• 80% of rapists with anger problems come from fatherless homes – 14 times the average. (Justice & Behavior, Vol 14, p. 403-26)
• 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes – 9 times the average. (National Principals Association Report)
• 43% of US children live without their father [US Department of Census]
That’s when he drew a connection between bullies, school shooters and fatherless homes:
Is it really so surprising to learn that a majority of bullies also come from fatherless homes? As do a majority of school shooters? As do a majority of older male shooters?
I know this is controversial, and I’m sorry to inject an uncomfortable element into a post about a “feel-good” show, but I think it’s important to consider the possibility that this thing we like to call “an epidemic of bullying,” is really an “epidemic of fatherlessness.” I also think it’s reasonable to conclude that our society is sending a message to men of all ages that is decidedly mixed.
Think about it. On the one hand, we’re telling them to “man-up” whenever the going gets tough. On the other, we’re condemning a climate of “toxic masculinity” at every turn. If that strikes you as confusing, imagine being a fourteen-year old boy with no father figure to help you make sense of it.
Check out his entire Facebook post below and watch the latest episode of “Returning the Favor,” Rowe’s new show on Facebook:
As Rowe is known to do, he conceded that there is a possibility that he could be wrong in his assumption. However, plenty of Americans likely agree with him on the issue.
Does America have an “epidemic of fatherlessness?”