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1819: Alabama’s Boy Crisis

Nearly half of all babies born in Alabama are to unmarried women, a fact that one well known social scientist and best-selling author recently called a “crisis,” particularly when it comes to the outcomes of boys raised in dad-deprived homes.

“The boy crisis resides where dads do not reside,” said Warren Farrell, author of “The Boy Crisis” during a recent episode of the 1819 podcast hosted by Alabama Policy Institute senior fellow J. Pepper Bryars.

A little more than 35 percent of all babies born in Alabama in 2005 were to unmarried women, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health. By 2017, and despite a statewide initiative and many programs aimed at improving fatherhood across the state, that number had skyrocketed to more than 47 percent.

Farrell and Bryars discussed how fatherhood was the key predictor of performance across a number of areas – education, health, and income to name just a few.

According to Farrell’s research:

  • “Children who were born poor and raised by both married parents had an 80 percent chance of moving to the middle class or above; conversely, children who were born into the middle class and raised without a married dad were almost four times as likely to end up considerably poorer.”
  • “A study of boys from similar backgrounds revealed that by the third grade, the boy whose fathers were present scored higher on every achievement test and received higher grades.”
  • “71 percent of high school dropouts have minimal or no father involvement.”
  • “Around 90 percent of runaway and homeless youths are from fatherless homes.”
  • “Every 1 percent increase in fatherlessness in a neighborhood predicts a three-percent increase in adolescent violence.”

Farrell also offered many partial solutions, from increasing recess time during school to recruiting more male teachers to educating fathers and mothers about the uniquely helpful ways that dad-focused parenting helps children.

Listen to the entire discussion today on iTunes and Stitcher.

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