Are fathers necessary? In the latest 5-minute video for PragerU, founder Dennis Prager explains what, for all of recorded history before now, never needed to be explained at all.
Prager points to the rise of “prestigious journals denying the importance of fathers” as his reason for coming out and clarifying the importance of fatherhood. For example, he points to multiple articles, including one article in the Huffington Post that flat-out rejects the importance of fathers with its headline: “Fathers Are Not Needed.”
“Fortunately, this dismissal of the importance of fathers is not universal,” says Prager, who notes that back in 2008, Senator Barack Obama, who grew up without a father, called fathers “critical” to the foundation of the family.
But why, exactly, do boys and girls need to be raised with fathers? Prager explains: “A boy has no built-in understanding about how to be a man — meaning a good and responsible man. Male nature is wild — most obviously regarding sex and violence. If a boy does not have a father who models how a man controls himself, he will most likely not know how to control himself — let alone want to. That’s why most males in prison for violent crimes grew up without a father.”
“There is no question that many mothers have done an excellent job raising a boy without their son’s father,” he adds. “But common sense alone suggests that a mother simply cannot model what a boy should be any more than a man can model to a girl what a woman should be.”
Prager notes that mothers who raise boys also have to control their child’s “wild natures,” something he acknowledges some mothers can do. But with age, most boys with a wild side will only become more difficult to control over time. This is because, he says, “unruly boys listen to their fathers much more than they listen to their mothers.”
But girls also benefit from fathers in the home, and without them, Prager argues, a girl can suffer from two destructive consequences. First, fathers can show girls how men ought to treat women by demonstrating this behavior themselves. Second, a father can “fulfill her desire to bond with a man.”
But of course, fathers also provide boys and girls alike with a sense of security, something both genders need. “And in general, Moms give love and Dads give security,” says Prager.
“I learned how necessary fathers are, not only by having one and being one, but by the many people — men and women, of all ages — who have told me that they see me as a ‘father-figure.’ I am honored to fill that role,” says Prager.” The good news is that many men can fill it: grandfathers, uncles, teachers, mentors, clergy, and yes, even a man on the radio. But some man has to be your father.”
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