Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: January 26, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412964517 | Print ISBN: 9781412909167 | Online ISBN: 9781412964517| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Fatherhood movements have evolved in response to unprecedented changes in family demography and the “family values” debate that centers on the issue of family structure. These changes include the increase in unwed childbearing and divorce and their impact on the role of fathers in children's lives. In the 1990s, a grassroots fatherhood movement, and then a marriage movement, emerged in the United States. Movement participants strive to improve child well-being by strengthening fatherhood, improving the quality and stability of the institution of marriage, and reducing unwed childbearing and divorce rates. Fatherhood movements encompass a wide ideological spectrum from conservative, anti-feminist, “father-power” groups, to pro-feminist “responsible fathers” groups. The current separation of U.S. fathers from their children is historically unprecedented. In 1960, father-absent families numbered 10 million in the United States; today the number stands at 24 million. For the first time, according to the 2000 U.S. Census, less than a ...