Fatherhood Requires Fidelity

“The splashiest proposal from Richard V Reeves’s Of Boys and Men is that we redshirt the boys. But the most controversial proposal is tucked near the end of the book: Reeves believes we need to decouple fatherhood from marriage.

As he explains at his substack, he thinks this decoupling is partially a concession to reality:

Forty percent of children, and 70% of black children, are now born outside of marriage. Only a minority of children will spend their whole childhood with both biological parents.

But it’s one thing to ask what’s the best way for a man to approach fatherhood, once he has fathered children with multiple women and can’t be a fully faithful husband to all of them. It’s another thing to argue that we should start telling different stories to young boys to offer them a different, lower ideal.”