The Bible may be an ancient text, but modern research continues to validate the values and principles taught within its pages. A recent report in the 2023 Institute for Family Studies entitled “Stronger Families, Safer Streets” highlighted a nationwide study of census and crime data from 613 U.S. cities with populations over 65,000. According to the report, overall crime rates in cities with high levels of single-parenthood were 48 percent higher than in cities with low levels of single-parenthood. For violence and homicide, cities with higher levels of single-parenthood had 118 percent higher rates of violence and 255 percent higher rates of homicide!
Census tract data from the city of Chicago were more shocking. The report noted that neighborhoods with high levels of single-parent households “face 137% higher total crime rates, 226% higher violent crime rates, and 436% higher homicide [murder] rates” when compared with neighborhoods with low levels of single-parent households. According to the report summary, “We find that cities are safer when two-parent families are dominant and more crime-ridden when family instability is common.” As the authors note, “Drawing on an interdisciplinary body of social science research, we theorize that this relationship is likely a byproduct of some mix of the heightened risk of family instability in the socialization of young children, and the role that father absence plays in providing less guidance and oversight for adolescent and young adult males.”
Although this information is not new, it is still profound. In Western nations, it is increasingly unacceptable to declare the positive impact on society of the traditional family. Yet, credible research clearly highlights the powerful benefit that the traditional family structure and the presence of fathers have on public safety. God revealed important guidelines for the family that would be a blessing to mankind. Today, societies suffer when they reject these God-given laws. For greater insight into the society-changing power of the biblical family, read our insightful article “Fatherless Families?”