CultureWatch 16 Feb 2010 (Bill Muehlenberg)
An article in yesterday’s press had this headline: “Boys lack role models”. The piece began with these words: “A decline in the number of male teachers is being blamed for rising youth violence. Just 28 per cent of state schoolteachers are men, down from 32 per cent 10 years ago. “Youth crime has soared in that time. Sex attacks, robberies, assaults and weapon offences have increased significantly, and psychologists and family groups told the Herald Sun the loss of male role models was an important factor.”
May I suggest that these experts have got things only partly right? Yes, kids suffer when there are no male role models around, and a lack of male teachers is indeed a worry. But this analysis simply does not go far enough. The real problem is more profound and of greater consequence. The real problem is boys lack fathers. The major cause of all of this is that increasingly children are growing up in broken homes or single parent families, where no father is present. It is not just the lack of male role models that is behind this rise in crime, anti-social behaviour, and out-of-control kids.