Single parents are a growing household in the United States, but single father households are on the rise. There are different types of single fathers according to how single fathers decide to live their lives. Society should be aware of the different types of single fathers without stereotyping and stigmatizing them.
Contrary to the stereotype of single fathers, and single parents in general, there are a range of options available to single fathers. The individual situation of a single father’s circumstances and preferences influence lifestyle choices. Some circumstances that may sway single father’s decisions are going through a separation or a divorce from one’s partner and possibly having to fight for custody or for visitation rights for any children that a father may have had with a spouse. While going through any of those experiences are difficult on a single father and all parties involved, following those experiences a single father has to make other life decisions that impact both the father and the child. Some of the lifestyle options for a single father include cohabitation or living with a non-marital partner once a single father meets a new person. Nevertheless, for single fathers, there are more options available than what the societal stereotype portrays and what popular culture believes about single fathers. The societal and popular culture view is too simplistic. For this reason, the various types of single fatherhood and each individual’s particular situation of classifying single fathers more complex than society portray single fatherhood.
Similar to a project that Secure Single is currently working on of creating a spectrum of the range of singlehood to singleness, there seems to be a range for single fathers and for single parents (whether single fathers or single mothers). This continuum would generally apply to single parents, both single fathers and single mothers. Society should change its depiction of single parents and of since single fathers particularly because single father households currently outnumber those of single mothers. Ultimately though, the social stigma and stereotypes of single fathers and single mothers must change.
Society depicts fathers as being incompetent of being able to raise and to care for children. This is a problem since both two-married-parent households and single-parent households both face this problem, but it is especially a problem for single fathers since they face a society and popular culture that sends a negative messages and stereotypes about single fathers. Stereotypes are simple and easy. Single fatherhood is complex and difficult, despite what society may believe about any single fathers today as being unable to successfully raise a child without a mother.