June 11, 2012

The image of the American family is changing and increasingly that means a family doesn’t include a father figure.

For example, in 1960, only 11 per cent of children lived apart from their fathers, but now that number is 27 per cent, according to a recent Pew study.

Expectations of the American father are changing, too.

A Gallup poll found 80 per cent of teens believe making enough time to spend with children is “very difficult” or “somewhat difficult” for fathers.

Another Pew study found that 78 per cent of fathers living apart from their children visit less than once a month.

Brian Caulfield, editor of the Knights of Columbus initiative Fathers for Good, says a man has a moral obligation to be a good father.

“A married man who has a child includes his family in that vocation,” Caulfield said.

The changes in the role of fathers are in many ways related to a cultural trend that says men are not needed in a family, he said.

“In vitro fertilization, abortion and divorce take the male actor out of the situation,” he said.