Massachusetts Still Needs Fathers

Beginning this week and running for the month of June, MFI is sponsoring two billboards promoting the message that “Massachusetts Needs Fathers.” (See images below.) As we have in prior years, we are publishing an update to our report on Fatherlessness in Massachusetts just in time for the celebration of Father’s Day.

Documenting the critical role that father’s play in the lives of their children, and the communities where they live, is essential as our culture irresponsibly downplays the value of men in general and fathers in particular. Fathers are relentlessly portrayed by Hollywood as either comical buffoons or bitter tyrants. Since 2019, they’ve even been relegated on Massachusetts birth certificates to simply “Parent 2.” (Parent 1 is reserved for “the delivering parent.”) Our society’s current dismissal of the value of fathers comes despite the facts that consistently show, year after year, that children are put at a substantial disadvantage when they don’t have a father in the home.

That’s why we are highlighting these facts on two very public displays located on Route 1 in Peabody and I-90 in Brighton:

People who come to our website to learn more will be able to download the complete 2023 report. There we learn that about a third of MA children are growing up without married parents. For the overwhelming majority of those children, this means growing up without a father in the home.

This fatherlessness crisis has massive implications across a wide range of factors, but one of the clearest disparities is economic.  Massachusetts children whose fathers aren’t present live in households that average less than a fourth of the annual income of their neighbors with married intact families.

By contrast, communities where a majority of the children live with married parents have substantially higher household incomes, as is dramatically demonstrated in the graph below.

MFI’s Michael King will be presenting these and other highlights from the Fatherlessness Report as part of the “What Is A Man?” Men’s Breakfast the day before Father’s Day (Saturday, June 17th) from 9:30 to 11:30 at the Burlington Marriott. This event is sponsored by Refresh Ministry and you can register here.

We will have print copies of the report available soon. Please let us know if you would like one to share with your pastor or priest – there is plenty of sermon material in it! The report is also a great resource to share with our young people, so they understand the important role of marriage and fatherhood, and how it’s backed up by the latest social science and census data.

For our families,

Andrew Beckwith, President and General Counsel

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