In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Katy Perry discusses wanting a baby someday. She says,
“ ...but I need to really be able to focus 100 percent of my attention on it. I don't really want to take the child on tour. Not until, like, birth through five is over."
She then adds that it doesn’t really matter if there is a guy in the picture or not.
“I don’t need a dude ... it’s 2014! We are living in the future; we don’t need anything … I’m not anti-men. I love men. But there is an option if someone doesn’t present himself.”
It’s pretty clear that Perry wants to be a great mom, but she thinks that having an active father in the life of her child is optional. With reams of research indicating dads are not just an accessory, it would be interesting to talk with children with absent fathers to see if they agree with Perry.
There is a great deal of information about what helps children thrive. Research across disciplines shows that children do better when they are raised with their mother and father.
“Some of the toughest athletes I know lose it when you talk with them about their father,” says Carey Casey, Ambassador for Fathers at the National Center for Fathering. “There has never been a guy who said to me, 'I don’t want to see my dad; I don’t need a father.' Usually, they say, ‘I would give it all up to meet my dad for just a moment.’”
The last two decades have produced significant research indicating that children who live absent their biological fathers are, on average:
at least two to three times more likely to be poor, to use drugs, to experience educational, health, emotional and behavioral problems;
to be victims of child abuse, and
to engage in criminal behavior more than their peers who live with their married, biological (or adoptive) parents.
Additional research indicates that 90 percent of homeless and runaway children, 71 percent of high school dropouts and 63 percent of young people who commit suicide are from fatherless homes.
While it is highly unlikely that Perry’s child would be financially poor, wealth does not replace the hole in a child’s heart from growing up fatherless. Times have changed, but the reality is, you still can’t make a baby without a man being involved. How then would society come to the conclusion that children don’t need their father?
Does Perry’s kind of thinking perpetuate the problem?
Men have heard women say they aren’t necessary, and media often portrays men as bumbling idiots. Perhaps they actually believe they aren’t necessary. The message is quite confusing when on the one hand society is asking men to step up and be the fathers their children need them to be, and on the other hand they are told they just create problems and make life more complicated.
“Ultimately, a child will ask, ‘Who is my dad?’” Casey says. “It is in our DNA to want to know where we came from.”
Who stands to lose the most when one intentionally decides to have a child with no father in the picture - the adult or the child?