It is a common belief that "the decline of fatherhood is one of the most basic, unexpected, and extraordinary social trends of our time" (Tischler, 2001, p.19). However, the opposing view of this standpoint is that there is no decline in fatherhood. There are very few people saying that they doubt the fundamental importance of mothers, yet there are those that believe that the importance of a father figure is diminishing (Tischler, 2001). There are even those who see the father position in a family to be easily replaceable with another figure such as a stepfather, aunt, uncle, grandparent, or any other person (Tischler, 2001). My view on the topic of whether or not a father is needed in a family, and yes I mean the birth father, not a replacement, is based upon my own upbringing. Since I am a male and am in the position of being a potential father, it only makes sense that I see the position of the father as an instrumental one pertaining to the upbringing of a child. I am constantly surrounded by those who are in a family where either their parents are divorced and remarried, or those who live in single-parent household. I am biased on the issue of why a father figure is necessary due to the fact that I was raised, and am still being raised in a household where my parents remain married. I couldn’t possibly imagine being raised in a family that is "broken" because I’ve never experienced that situation. Therefore I find it a necessary that there be a father present in the lives of their children.
After deciding on the topic of fatherhood and why it is important, I gathered the necessary information pertaining to my topic out of the book: Marriage and the Family Issues by H.L. Tischler. After reading through the article written by David Popenoe entitled "A World Without Fathers" I was informed on the stance of why it is imperative to have a father in the house while a child is growing up. Then I was informed of the ideas and concepts that support the view that finds the father figure unnecessary by reading the article "Deconstructing the Essential Father" written by Louise B. Silverstein and Carl F. Auerbach. At the end of the chapter in the book there were related websites where I could find more information. I visited these sites, however I found them to be of little use in developing, and portraying my stance on this issue. They each seemed to be commercialized and I didn’t find any information that fit my position in this argument. From there I went to the search engine (ixquick.com) and searched for more information. I found the website (fatherhood.about.com) to be a very good site with which to research. Located at this address on the world wide web were different articles from newspapers and other publications containing information on fatherhood, fatherlessness, single fathers, and more. Under each of the previous mentioned topics, there were links to articles written with many different viewpoints, some pro, some con on the issues. The most convincing data, other then the two opposing viewpoints offered in Marriage and the Family Issues, came from one of these articles entitled, "Contributions of Dads Cover Many Fronts" written by Dr. Wade Horn. This article taken from the Washington Times gave the three different views on understanding why a son needs a father. Its answer to this dilemma is for the father to be around to do those "fatherly" duties such as;
A father needs to be a breadwinner and support the son
A father must be a "second pair of hands," ultimately coming down to two is better then one.
A father needs to sustain that unique combination of the mother-father relationship where the father takes care of the machismo acts and the mother offers the typical sensitive side (Dr. Wade Horn, 1999).
Another article that offered a great deal of information not only for my side of the argument, but for both, was the article entitled "Effects of Fatherlessness." This study of data collected by way of population surveys includes such data as: "Children from a fatherless home are 5 times