Mike Rowe Diagnoses America’s Problem: We Have an ‘Epidemic of Fatherlessness’

On Tuesday, Mike Rowe posted a new episode of “Returning the Favor,” a series where he “travels the country in search of remarkable people making a difference in their communities.”

Rowe added a long caption to the post explaining that he was struck by an Angelina Jolie quote when she and Brad Pitt got divorced. “It never even crossed my mind that my son would need a father,” Jolie stated.

Rowe explained that he wondered how many other Americans might share her view and asked, “Can you imagine a celebrity — or anyone for that matter — saying such a thing just 20 years ago?”

He went on to explain how this episode of his show highlighted a man named Carlos, who experienced bullying. “It occurred to me, though, halfway through filming, that bullying — like so many other social ills in today’s headlines — isn’t really a problem at all; it’s a symptom,” he said.

He then presented facts on fatherless homes:

• 63 percent of youth suicides are from fatherless homes — five times the average. (US Dept. Of Health/Census)
• 90 percent of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes — 32 times the average.
• 85 percent of all children who show behavior disorders come from fatherless homes — 20 times the average. (Center for Disease Control)
• 80 percent of rapists with anger problems come from fatherless homes — 14 times the average. (Justice & Behavior, Vol 14, p. 403-26)
• 71 percent of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes — nine times the average. (National Principals Association Report)
• 43 percent of U.S. children live without their father [US Department of Census]

He then had three questions:

“Is it really so surprising to learn that a majority of bullies also come from fatherless homes?

As do a majority of school shooters?

As do a majority of older male shooters?”

He stated that “this thing we like to call ‘an epidemic of bullying,’ is really an ‘epidemic of fatherlessness.'”

“Think about it. On the one hand, we’re telling them to ‘man up’ whenever the going gets tough. On the other, we’re condemning a climate of ‘toxic masculinity’ at every turn. If that strikes you as confusing, imagine being a 14-year-old boy with no father figure to help you make sense of it.”

He concluded by saying that the “root cause has nothing to do with video games, or guns, or social media, or rock and roll, or sugary drinks, or any of the other boogymen currently in fashion,” but instead has everything to do with parents who have changed.

“It’s the parents who have put their own happiness above the best interests of their kids,” he said. “It’s the parents who actually believe ‘the village’ will raise their kids, when the village is profoundly incapable of doing anything of the sort.”

Watch the video below.

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