An IWF panel recently debated the future of marriage: does it have one?
In a wide-ranging essay in In Character magazine, scholar James Q. Wilson makes important contributions to the debate on marriage. He also points out one segment of the population that suffers when the family collapses:
“Boys without married fathers populate our street gangs, and these gangs are responsible for an inordinately high level of violence. We rely on the police to control gangs, but the important, and often absent, control is that exercised by fathers. A boy growing up without a father has no personal conception of what it means to acquire skills, find a job, support a family, and be loyal to one’s wife and children. Research on the link between unemployment rates and crime has shown that the connection is very weak. The connection between crime and father absence is much higher. Boys in single-parent families are also more likely to be idle rather than in school or unemployed and to drop out of high school. These differences are as great for white families as for black and Hispanic ones and as large for advantaged children as for disadvantaged ones.”