This has been on my mind recently as I have been considering some of the consequences of men in the gospel largely being pushed out of their roles as head of the home. There is a reason that even many years ago church leaders were asking families to put the father back at the head of the home (off my head I think it was Sterling Sill, Spencer Kimball, N Eldon Tanner, though I could be off as it has been a while). They wouldn't have asked then if it wasn't a problem then and the point we are at now is far, far beyond the point which homes had reached in that day.
Interestingly, they all taught that putting the father back at the head of the home would stop teenage delinquency.
I have been musing over that. I saw a recent large broadcast that presented teaching chastity to teenagers as something one had to convince them was actually worth trying to do on a point by point basis. It was strikingly different that Ezra Taft Benson's statement that he could teach it in two words: "Be chaste!".
When I watched this presentation, it stated that we needed to give each youth answers that were the "right answers for them individually" about why we keep the laws of chastity. I was stunned. We need to find the "right answers" for each and every person individually about why they need to be chaste? As if Christ's sermon on the mount had given a different reason to each individual listener about why that individual should obey it. Or as if the ten commandments had then named off each of the Israelites and reasons that were "right for that individual Israelite" that he or she should obey them. In my stunned state I thought "Where has discipline gone? Where have requirements and obedience gone? Where has duty gone?"
The answer to my question wasn't hard to find. In a home with no structure, in a home where the mother doesn't tell the children that the father is the head of the home, in a puppet-state home where Dad calls prayers, home evening and scriptures, but everyone knows mom is the leader, these more masculine traits are mostly washed out. Even if the mom teaches these, it is still the man and his position as head that represents them and having a leader who is only a token symbol subverts the teaching of the traits he best represents. It is like criticizing your Bishop, then wondering why your kids don't respect their church leaders despite all your teachings to the contrary. It just doesn't work.
We want our boys to grow to be men. They naturally look to leaders. They have a more natural tendency toward duty. The words of the brethren on this matter makes sense. If we want to stop teenage delinquency, put the father back at the head of the home.