In a recent study done by the Pew Research Center, the amount of single fathers have increased substantially since 1960. Approximately eight percent of households with minor children in the U.S. were found to be headed by single fathers in 2011.
Single fathers live in a variety of circumstances. Over 50 percent of them are divorced, separated, widowed, or never married. About 41 percent are living with a non-marital partner while seven percent are married but not living with their spouse.
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What Does A Single Father Look Like?
Single fathers over the age of 15 are less educated than single mothers yet are more likely to be living above the poverty line and are less likely to be white. About 24 percent of single fathers are at or below the poverty line as compared to about 43 percent of single mothers. About 18 percent of single fathers are under the age of 30, younger than married fathers.
Actually, Latinos are the second ethnic group behind whites who are single fathers. While they may not be married, approximately 33 percent of Latinos live with a cohabiting partner and about 18 percent of single Latino dads live alone.
Why Are Single Dads On The Rise?
Aside from the extremely high divorce rate as compared to the ’60s, recent laws have given fathers more rights over their minor children. Additionally, many more children in recent years have been born outside of a marriage with parents who never thought to stay together.
According to a Pew Research survey, the public feels that it is the father’s duty to provide for his child along with lend emotional support, discipline and income support. Fathers have been narrowing in on time spent with their children as compared to a child’s mother.
The Cultural Cues
The modern-day, Latino father has found it pertinent to be held accountable in their child’s life. Whether it was because of a great father figure in their own life or the lack thereof, the reasoning for wanting to take a more active role within their child’s upbringing varies across the board.
While there has been a history within the Latino community of more single mothers than fathers, Latino men are taught that their family comes first and priority is to provide for their wife and children. In addition, men are to protect their families, and above all, their children. A father protects his daughter from any harm and teaching his son the things he needs to know to be a good man.
The need to be a good father may also stem from sub-par parenting from their own fathers. In a survey, approximately 47 percent of fathers believed they were doing a better job than their old man, while another 47 percent believed their were doing about the same.