When the women’s movement resurfaced in the late 1960s, I fought for an expansion of opportunities for women and girls by serving on the Board of the National Organization for Women in NYC. A half-century later, I am proud of the progress women have made, but sad that we have ignored the “boy crisis” in both the U.S. and globally.
When I did the research for what became “The Boy Crisis,” I initially investigated 10 causes, which led me to discover that the boy crisis resides where dads do not reside. The boy crisis is, then, caused predominantly by a fatherhood crisis.
The good news is Florida is in the process of becoming the nation’s pioneer in the reversal of this crisis.
Its House and Senate are the first in the nation to address that underlying cause with two legislative solutions: first, funding programs to mitigate the “Fatherhood Crisis” through House Bill 7065; second, by addressing one of the primary causes of the fatherhood crisis — divorces leading to courts depriving children of equal access to their dad through House Bill 1395.
Dr. Richard Warshak asked more than 100 of the world’s most respected psychologists and researchers to assess what led children to do best after divorce; their answer was unanimous: equal-shared parenting. It came to be called, “The Consensus Report.”
My own research findings revealed “Four Must-Do’s” if children of divorce are to fare as well as children in an intact family.
— Equal time with both mom and dad (the most important)
— Parents living within 20 minutes’ drive time of each other
— No bad-mouthing of the absent parent;
— Consistent couples’ communication counseling.
Both girls and boys suffer from dad-deprivation in more than seventy ways. Without a same-sex role model, boys suffer more intensely. Some examples: Dad-deprivation is the single biggest predictor of suicide. When socio-economic variables are controlled for, it is also a leading predictor of obesity, addiction to video games, alcohol, death by opioid overdose; bullying, being bullied, dropping out of high school; being unemployed or street homeless; committing crimes and being imprisoned; joining ISIS; and becoming a mass shooter. Hitler Youth exploited the vulnerability of dad-deprived boys, as have Catholic priests (see the film “Spotlight”), gang leaders and drug dealers.
When I ran for Governor of California, I discovered the degree to which prisons are basically centers for dad-deprived men. Government doesn’t just pay for their crimes; it also funds the police to prevent the crimes and finances the prisons to house the criminals.
The more dad involvement, the less we need the involvement of government to pay for everything from the costs of mental health to the co-morbidities of obesity and addictions that contributed to increased COVID deaths. And the more dad involvement, the less need for Patriot Act-type limitations of freedoms that emanate from dad-deprived men joining ISIS or committing mass shootings. The fastest way to reduce the involvement of government is to increase the involvement of dads.
How do we get dads involved? When we tell men they are needed, they respond. Think: every generation had its war. When we told men that Uncle Sam needed them, men were willing to die so we could survive. When we presume that fathers have an equal – but different – ability to parent, we place value on their role, and they respond.
Furthermore, every mom needs to know that a dad sharing the burdens and joys of raising children can reduce her experience of being overwhelmed — as well as feeling guilty about not being her best self for either her children or her career. When a mom knows that children with fully involved dads benefit in more than seventy ways, she will care. And when a career-oriented mom knows she can be a “Have-it-All Woman” with a successful career, well-raised children and a happy marriage if she marries and respects a nurturer-connector type of man rather than a provider-protector, we can all benefit from her success and her well-raised children.
It is time to no longer limit men’s sense of purpose to killing and being killed. It is time to address the fatherhood crisis by encouraging a new sense of male purpose: loving and being loved.
We all live in the same family boat. When only one sex wins, both sexes lose.
Warren Farrell, Ph.D., is the author of books published in 19 languages, including “The Boy Crisis” and The New York Times bestseller, “Why Men Are the Way they Are.” He was elected three times to the Board of the National Organization for Women in NYC. He was chosen by The Financial Times of London as one of the world’s top 100 Thought Leaders. He appeared on Speaker Chris Sprowls’ podcast Read, White, & Blue this week to talk about The Boy Crisis.
March 31, 2022 at 12:08 pm
This article and the study its sites is right on the money. As a family lawyer I cannot understate how kids suffer from conflict between the parents. Equal timesharing between the parties is almost always beneficial to the children. The old argument that fathers want equal timesharing so their child support will be less just isn’t the case. Most parents have come to realize that children need a strong father figure.
The Real Blake Taylor
April 1, 2022 at 3:51 pm
If fathers NOW realize that children need a “strong father figure” what would you attribute to the fact that they don’t feel the need to financially support these children? The child support delinquency in Florida for the fiscal year of 2018/2019 is TWO BILLION DOLLARS. That doesn’t bode well with their sudden realization that children need a “strong father figure.”
The Real Blake Taylor
April 1, 2022 at 4:03 pm
Dr. Farrell’s book has some valid points. However, it doesn’t hold a candle to Dr. Deborah O. Day’s work. She has received the Legislative Award for her work during the 2021 legislative session. Dr. Deborah O. Day has also received an award for her work from the Child Protection Team for more than 30 years of service. This is an expert in divorce and custody issues. Not a doctor who makes money selling books and going on tv.
April 2, 2022 at 12:11 pm
Would women and feminists accept any research done by a man ? Degree or no degree , credentials or experienced , I mean why is it that men can’t speak on inequality to them ? Yet everyone else is a victim and their whining is exalted everywhere in mainstream?
March 31, 2022 at 12:36 pm
Dr. Farrell’s indisputable research demonstrates that quality is not only fair, but it’s good for parents and children of divorce. This is an excellent, well-reasoned article that shows why SB 1796 is good for Florida’s families. Thank you Dr. Farrell for putting politics aside and speaking out for what’s right.
The Real Blake Taylor
April 1, 2022 at 4:10 pm
While Dr. Farrell does have some good points in his book, feeling that children should reunite with deadbeat dads no matter what is a dangerous proposition for these kids who’ve already been abandoned once. Research shows that it’s likely the father will once again abandon the children.
April 13, 2022 at 1:26 pm
His research? Like his research into incest? Or his claims that date rape is exciting? That research? Never mind his claim that parents must be in counseling together (contraindicated in abuse cases) that parents must live within 20 minutes of one another (to make it easier for the abuser to kill the victim?). His claims are so easily debunked by any layperson with common sense, let as lone someone who has studied relationships and abuse. This is nothing more than Farrell trying to remain relevant. I guess that incest vf research must not have panned out like he thought it would.
March 31, 2022 at 12:56 pm
It’s time for Fathers to have equal footing in Florida’s courtrooms, I believe our Governor Desantis will sign the SB 1796 into law. Great article thanks for standing up for our children.
March 31, 2022 at 1:18 pm
As a single father (I was awarded full custody at my divorce) I certainly understand the key role that a father plays in their child’s life.
50/50 is a preferred starting point in all custody decisions, but it is also important that the court retains discretion to do what is in the best interests of the child in the case of such issues as alcohol or drug abuse or severe mental illness of one of the parents.
SB1796 provides protection of the child by setting the starting point at 50/50 and maintaining the existing 20 points for the judge to consider.
It’s a win/win for everybody except the divorce attorneys who use children as money chips in divorces. That’s why they’re fighting the bill. smh.
March 31, 2022 at 4:32 pm
How did that work out? Not good apparently. Poor kid ended up being thrown out by good old Dad and the girlfriend before he graduated High school. You didn’t see the kid for years. Stop bragging.
March 31, 2022 at 6:53 pm
As a former court reporter, mother’s lose custody usually involves drinking sometimes even day drinking. Some even give up 1 million settlements..usually doesn’t bode well for the safety of their underage children.
March 31, 2022 at 7:36 pm
And your part was?? Let’s be a responsible adult here. You behaviour isn’t mocked in your children who hide in the background while you degrade the spouse. And you are still doing it!!
March 31, 2022 at 7:04 pm
My grandfather was a judge. As a rule, when one of the parents had a serious drinking problem he would always make sure that they never had custody.
Too much risk.
The Real Blake Taylor
April 1, 2022 at 3:44 pm
I did not write that ridiculous post about one parent having a drinking problem and losing custody. I’m flattered that Terry Power stole my identity to post since he’s aware that I know what I’m talking about. Unfortunately what you wrote is absurd. In my long career I rarely saw a mother lose custody of her children. What I did see on a daily basis is fathers who chose not to be in their children’s lives and not pay child support.
April 2, 2022 at 12:17 pm
But when women and political movements “celebrate “ a womens right to choose an abortion it’s all good – once a human is o it if the womb then so many seek to care so much about the child’s well being , the irony is ridiculous— womens rights is often about women being equal to men and like men and neglecting motherhood which is a treasure and sacred thing mostly “science “ and that genders innate design – so if that relationship gets severed and separated after mating and the man has to live alone and take care of himself just to have a home I mean why is it that he made out automatically to be the bad guy ? In every other area of politics welfare is justified / the govt pays women more to raise a kid alone therefore in essence making it easier for women to stay home and make more than staying in a married and her husband present but making less money – and issues develop just as much out of that / so one could argue equality isn’t a guaranteed better outcome –
March 31, 2022 at 7:06 pm
My son wanted to live with his father after the divorce, I agreed. It was not court ordered. I lived out of State and on his 16 birthday he was sent to live with me with all D’s and F’s. The girlfriend didn’t want him anymore. Within 2 weeks he was back on track with all A’s and B’s. Nothing like unconditional mothers love. We’re closer then ever.
The Real Blake Taylor
April 1, 2022 at 3:57 pm
The fact that Terry Power aka “The Fugitive” goes in and out of his children and grandchild’s life says all that you need to know about him as a parent and grandparent. I predict that there will be a day when none of his children nor his grandchild will want anything to do with him because they won’t be able to forgive his abusive behavior toward them. The karma bus is coming for you Fugy.
April 2, 2022 at 12:29 pm
Proof motherhood is a thing – we are talking about good dads and good men , are you serious ? And not a co habitation situation where a nuclear family is not involved – ideally marriage working is the best case scenario, the book is about balanced justice and equality and the hypocrisy—- no one argues there shouldn’t be a mother , ideally a mother is necessary and the most sacred calling but the left in America is against any patriarchy and the pendulum now is stacked against building stronger men who can lead stronger families – who is against motherhood and the traditional marriage and the nuclear family ultimately? I think it’s obvious who hates that most in post modernism and then to add insult to injury they just make men always look like the reason for the problem, it’s not always the case that men are the screw ups – and it’s of zero help when abortion is celebrated as womens liberty and made into a heroic thing but a dead beat weaker dad is such a demonic and even evil unethical thing – and then now gender and same sex rights and the break down of marriage ? Yeah that’s all celebrated and that maybe won’t have a pleasant outcome – so you got you kid to focus on good grades but when he gets older the system won’t support him anyway ,if the system is against dads and doesn’t build them up and exalt the best chance at keeping a marriage strong and healthy then the future will all suffer – I wish your son well that he can be wise and hold a job and take care of a wife someday and their children. All the data across the board for all races is that children in a nuclear family fair much better then any other case scenario, there’s exceptions to that always like in everything but you can’t ignore that data —
March 31, 2022 at 7:20 pm
This is great no more interference with children from a scorned ex. They will be too busy at work to cause any more hardship. Grooming children to hate either parent is abuse. These people who are verbally abusive, with erratic behaviours to the legislators and payers should be an indicator of WHY their spouse left. Sign this bill 1796 so the children have an option for a safe, nontoxic environment for them to go to when the recipient is out of control.
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