Errant fathers should be made to feel as "socially unacceptable" as drink- drivers, David Cameron says.
David Cameron said the Tory 'ideal' was a modern approach
This should be part of a "profound" culture change concerning how children are raised, the Tory leader wrote in the Daily Telegraph.
He was commenting on his party's social justice policy group report which said young people should grow up with a "strong male influence in their lives".
Reforming the prison and welfare systems were seen as key, he said.
"As with drink-driving, it is a combination of government action and culture change that will make the difference," Mr Cameron said.
The policy group, headed by former Tory leader Ian Duncan Smith, highlighted welfare reform in other countries which had reversed "the growth in lone parenthood".
It also said prison reform should involve "a new focus on keeping male prisoners with children in touch with their families - a vital link which helps cut the chance of re-offending," said Mr Cameron.
The policy report said: "Whatever one's view of the function of incarceration, our criminal justice system must do all it can to impart essential relationship and life skills."
Mr Cameron said the Conservatives' "ideal of social responsibility" was "bottom-up, long-term and trusts in local action," as opposed to Labour's "top-down, short-term and centralising" approach.
His comments come as Prime Minister Tony Blair was holding a summit on gun crime at Downing St, with police, council leaders and community workers, following a spate of fatal shootings in London.
Mr Cameron has argued that a lack of role models was fuelling gang culture and called for fathers to be compelled to take a greater role in bringing up their children.