There are very clear numbers associating fatherlessness with increased crime and other pathologies, such as dropping out of school or early sexual experience.
Yet crime and dropping out have decreased in the society at large, even as fatherlessness in society has risen dramatically. Having a father who leaves or was never there seems to clearly be a bad indicator for an individual child. (Note: this is an association and could be genetic or environmental.) Yet the overall trend, even in fairly dramatic form, has not been able to override long-term improvement on those measures. I wonder what is happening? I should look at the timetables for all of these and see if anything jumps out at me. But first, I wondered whether any of you had already seen something on the matter.