Life Without Father: Compelling New Evidence that Fatherhood and Marriage are Indispensable for the Good of Children and Society

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Harvard University Press, 1999 - Family & Relationships - 275 pages
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The American family is changing. Divorce, single parents, and stepfamilies are redefining the way we live together and raise our children. Is this a change for the worse? David Popenoe sets out the case for fatherhood and the two-parent family as the best arrangement for ensuring the well-being and future development of children.

His argument has two critical assumptions, which he supports with evidence from a variety of disciplines, including anthropology, biology, and history. The first is that children flourish best when raised by a father and a mother with their differing psychological and behavioral traits. The second is that marriage, which serves to hold fathers to the mother-child bond, is an institution we must strengthen if the decline of fatherhood is to be reversed.

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Life without father: compelling new evidence that fatherhood and marriage are indispensable for the good of children and society

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Popenoe follows in the footsteps of David Blankenhorne's Fatherless America (LJ 1/95) with this second major study of American fatherhood. The author, a professor of sociology at Rutgers University ... Read full review

Contents

The Remarkable Decline of Fatherhood and Marriage
19
The Human Carnage of Fatherlessness
52
Victorian Fathers and the Rise of the Modern Nuclear Family
81
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About the author (1999)

David Popenoe is professor of sociology emeritus and was co-director of the National Marriage Project at Rutgers University. He is the author or editor of numerous books and articles and as co-chair of the Council on Families in America, he was the primary author of its pioneering 1995 report Marriage in America: A Report to the Nation. Some of his other works include Promises to Keep: Decline and Renewal of Marriage in America and War Over the Family.

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