NOT MY CHILDREN!!
You didn’t think you’d be up alone against a $600 billion-a-year industry.
You’d heard of inequities in divorce, but thought that was others. There must usually be fairness and justice. You’re not a criminal, never shirk, are kind and fair to others. So you never put much thought into what was going on, to whom, and why. Marriage Counseling Arlington Va will help.
Now it’s you.
When you’re hit with divorce, there is only confusion. It’s hard knowing how to react, to whom, when there are so many things wrong. People you thought you could trust have their own agenda. They’re all so reasonable, even compassionate. Yet something in your gut tells you they are wrong. But wrong how, and why? How do you fight back? What is right and how do you know?
Faced with these questions himself, a quiet social scientist who only wants to be known as K.C., researched and struggled for years to create Where’s Daddy? The Mythologies behind Custody-Access-Support. He wrote it from his vast knowledge of social history and social mythology to help others caught off guard by the many contradictions. He wrote it to understand where these practices are coming from, what’s wrong with them, and how easily we could make things right. He wrote it to give you a chance.
This is not a legal history. Society creates what laws serve its purpose. This looks at what has driven those laws and practices; at why we have thought they are better than they are, and what can better replace them. And it is written for people, not scholars. It is written for you.
Liberals get defensive when presented with the following, as though they were an indictment of divorce or single parenthood per se, when most such cases were not by choice. But then, such attacks is what conservatives often use them for.
Both are making the same mistake. In these figures is clear evidence that the greatest advantage to any child is in the maximum number of blood-related caregivers (fathers, grandparents) irrespective of marriage, not the minimum, as imposed by our divorce customs. The same pattern is clear in child abuse statistics: minimize the number of blood care-givers, increase the physical, emotional and mental risks for children. Neither set of statistics makes a statement about being married or single, but our disregard for blood-ties, our worshipping of marriage (a social tie) above family. (See Where’s Daddy?, Myth 4.)
[Interpreting these statistics: 43% of US children live without their father. You would expect that same percentage in all areas of life — 43% of any segment come from fatherless homes — UNLESS there is either a benefit or a problem with it as a structure.]
43% of US children live without their father.
[U.S. Department of Census.]
90% of homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes.
[US D.H.H.S., Bureau of the Census.]
80% of rapists motivated with displaced anger come from fatherless homes.
[Criminal Justice & Behaviour, Vol 14, pp. 403-26, 1978.]
71% of pregnant teenagers lack a father.
[U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services press release, Friday, March 26, 1999.]
63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes.
[U.S. D.H.H.S., Bureau of the Census.]
85% of children who exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes.
[Center for Disease Control.]
90% of adolescent repeat arsonsists live with only their mother.
[Wray Herbert, “Dousing the Kindlers,” Psychology Today, January, 1985, p.28.]
71% of high school dropouts come from fatherless homes.
[National Principals Association Report on the State of High Schools.]
75% of adolescent patients in chemical abuse centres come from fatherless homes.
[Rainbows for all God`s Children.]
70% of juveniles in state operated institutions have no father.
[U.S. Dept. of Justice, Special Report, Sept. 1988.]
85% of youths in prisons grew up in a fatherless home.
[Fulton Co. Georgia jail populations, Texas Dept. of Corrections, 1992.]
Fatherless boys and girls are: twice as likely to drop out of high school; twice as likely to end up in jail; four times more likely to need help for emotional or behavioural problems.
[U.S. D.H.H.S. news release, March 26, 1999.]
Jonetta Rose Barras is a Washington D.C. columnist. In her 2000 book, Whatever Happened to Daddy’s Little Girl?: The Impact of Fatherlessness on Black Women [One World Ballantine], she describes the lasting impact of fatherlessness on her and other women.
“Promiscuous fatherless women are desperately seeking love. Or we are terrified that if we give love, it will not be returned. So we pull away from it, refusing to permit it to enter our houses, our beds, or our hearts. To fill the void that our fathers created, we only make the hole larger and deeper.
“If it is true that a father helps to develop his daughter’s confidence in herself and in her femininity; that he helps her to shape her style and understanding of male-female bonding; and that he introduces her to the external world, plotting navigational courses for her success, then surely it is an indisputable conclusion that the absence of these lessons can produce a severely wounded and disabled woman.”
[Jonetta Barras’s book is a moving and powerful plea to men to realize their importance to their children. It is a yearning for male acceptance and understanding that only a father can give, and must be there from birth. But the plea from most fathers is, “LET US BE FATHERS.” This is not a simple case of “individual responsiblity.” If society under-values fathers, there is little one man can do. Society must ask what we are doing to cause these problems. — Ed.]
For a man to be a nurturing parent does not require he become a woman.
While male nurturing may be greatly undervalued, it is as real and vital as female nurturing. Read the results of Studies that show that men are as responsive to their children as women, and the nurturing specific to fathers. Almost as indicative is the information on fatherless children.
Cooperation does not require agreeing about everything, not even liking each other. No teamwork does. The author of Where’s Daddy? prefers the term co-parenting to shared parenting as the latter suggests enmeshment and dealing more with your co-parent than before the divorce. Co-parenting does not require the mushiness social workers and psychologists promote but clear boundaries and their enforcement. Divorce is about separation. Read K.C.’s tip-sheet on establishing Co-parenting
Between the studies showing that children need both parents equally, and how to define a parenting plan, lie all the reasons society needs to ensure a level playing field between the parents: why we need to enforce equality of parenthood, whether parents are married, divorced, or never married. It removes the children from use as a bludgeon by either parent against the other. Read about how fathers are systematically frozen out of their children’s lives, the truth about child support, and the results of studies about divorce: who initiates it and why.
There is also an annotated page of links to other fatherhood sites, and a revealing essay on the truth about domestic violence, erroneously used to vilify men.
Thank you for visiting. Use the link on the left to tell a friend.
We strongly endorse Cathy Young’s statement (used as a chapter title) in Ceasefire!: “Men Are from Earth, Women Are from Earth.” The similarities between the genders far out weigh any differences. Specifically, loving your children and nurturing are not simply female traits, but human. That men do not express themselves the same way as women should never be taken as lack of feeling, commitment, or love.
This page cites scientific studies from among the vast body of research on fatherhood. One of America’s leading researchers who has a website is Richard Warshak, Ph.D., which provides numerous supporting papers. His book, The Custody Revolution (New York: Poseidon Press, 1992) and Ross Parke’s Throwaway Dads (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1999; Prof. Parke also a leading researcher into fatherhood) contributed greatly to the construction of this page.
Infants form close attachments to their fathers (bonding) as readily and deeply as, and at the same time as, their mothers.
Role of the Father, Michael Lamb, pp. 1 – 63; Michael Lamb, “Father-Infant and Mother-Infant Interaction in the First Year of Life,” Child Development, Vol. 48 (1977), pp. 167 – 181.
Fathers are as excited as mothers over their newborns, and bond to them at the same time and pace. Fathers hold and rock more than mothers, and equal mothers in talking, kissing and imitating.
Greenberg & Morris, “Engrossment: The Newborn’s Impact upon the Father,” American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, Vol. 44 (1974), p 526; Parke & O’Leary, “Father-Mother-Infant Interaction in the Newborn Period,” The Developing Individual in a Changing World, Vol. 2, Riegal & Meacham, eds. (The Hague: Mounton, 1976), pp. 653 – 663.
Fathers are as sensitive as mothers to their baby’s signals, and as competent as caregivers.
Ross Parke and Douglas Sawin, “The Father’s Role in Infancy: A Re-Evaluation,” Family Coordinator, vol 25 (1976), pp 365 – 371
Even male college students are as sensitive as women to infant crying patterns.
Frodi, Lamb, Leavitt, Donovan, Neff, & Sherry, “Fathers’ and Mothers’ Responses to the Faces and Cries of Normal and Premature Infants,” Developmental Psychology, Vol. 13 (1978), pp. 490-498. See also Ross Parke’s book, Fathers.
“We know for certain that men can be competent, capable, creative caretakers of newborns. This is all the more remarkable given that most men are typically raised with an understanding that they are destined through some natural law to be ineffective nurturers. . . . The research on the subject, some of it now decades old, says this assumption is just not so. And it says it over and over again, in data from many different discipliners.”
Pruett, Nurturing Father, p. 30.
Men’s hormone levels change on the birth of their children.
Gubenick, Worthman, & Stallings, “Hormonal Correlates of Fatherhood in Men: A Preliminary Study,” unpublished paper, Emory University, 1994. Cited in Ross Parke & Armin Brott, Throwaway Dads, Houghton Mifflin Co., 1999.
But denying the however subtle differences between the genders is equal folly. Each gender has things about which to take pride, and in which the other should equally rejoice. Fathers have been found to be particularly important in developing social skills, independence, a strong moral sense, and intellectual skills:
“. . . high paternal expectations derived from a context of a warm father-daughter relationship are conductive to the development of autonomy, independence, achievement, and creativity among females.”
Biller & Shalter, Father Loss, p. 351.
Among the women who credit their fathers with inspiring their achievements: anthropologist Margaret Mead, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, psychoanalyst Anna Freud, Congressman Shirley Chisholm, opera start Beverly Sills, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
“In general, girls who have a warm relationship with their father and feel accepted by them are more likely to feel comfortable and confident when relating to the opposite sex. . . . During the teen years and later, a girl who has not had a rewarding relationship with her father is apt to feel insecure around males. She may feel unattractive as a woman, doubt that any man could love her for herself, and distrust men in general.”
Richard Warshack, The Custody Revolution, p. 44 – 45.
Even at five months, the boys who have more contact with their father are more sociable with a stranger.
Milton Kotelchuck, “The Infant’s Relationship to the Father: Experimental Evidence,” Lamb, ed., Role of the Father, pp. 329 – 344.
“When fathers are away for long periods of time, as in the case of sailors at sea, their boys are less popular with classmates and do not enjoy friendships as much as do boys who have more contact with their fathers.”
Richard Warshack, The Custody Revolution, p. 41.
Fathers do more physical play. When two-and-a-half-year-olds want to play, more than two thirds of the time they will choose their father over their mother.
Clarke-Stewart, “And Daddy Makes Three: The Father’s Impact on Mother and Young Child,” Child Development Vol. 49 (1978), pp. 466 – 478.
A lot of physical father play corresponds to better, deeper friendships with peers among children. Children learn self control, how to manage and express their emotions and recognize others’ cues.
MacDonald & Parke, “Bridging the Gap: Parent-Child Play Interaction and Peer Interactive Competence,” Child Development Vol. 55 (1985), pp. 1265 – 1277; Youngblade & Belsky, “Parent-Child Antecedent of 5-Year-Olds’ Close Friendships: A Longitudinal Analysis,” Developmental Psychology Vol. 28 (1992), pp. 700 – 713; Snarey, How Fathers Care for the Next Generation (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press), pp. 35 – 36; Gottman, The Heart of Parenting (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1997), p. 171.
Girls whose fathers play with them a lot tend to be more popular with peers and more assertive in their interpersonal relationships throughout their lives.
Parke et al, “Family-Peer Systems: In Search of the Linkages,” Kreppner & Lerner, eds., Family Systems and Life Span Development (Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum, 1989), pp. 65 – 92. As cited in Parke & Brott Throwaway Dads (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1999).
Men and women who have had warm paternal relationships have better, longer marriages and engage in more recreation.
Franz, McClelland, & Weinberger, “Childhood Antecedents of Conventional Social Accomplishments in Midlife Adults: A 36-Year Prospective Study,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology Vol. 60 (1991), pp. 586 – 595.
The best predictor of empathy in adult men and women is the amount of time spent with their father while growing up.
Koestner, Franz, & Weinberger, “The Family Origins of Empathic Concern: A 26-year Longitudinal Study,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 58 (1990), pp. 709 – 717.
For boys, there is a very strong positive co-relation between moral development (sense of right and wrong) and a positive father relationship comprised of validating feelings and encouragement.
Santrock, “Father Absence, Perceived Maternal Behaviour, and Moral Development in Boys,” Child Development, Vol. 43 (1975), pp. 455 – 469; Hoffman, “Father Absence and Conscience Development,” Developmental Psychology, Vol. 4 (1971), pp. 400 – 404; Hoffman, “Identification and Conscience Development,” Child Development, Vol. 42 (1971), pp. 1071 – 1082.
Boys and girls with an involved father accept responsibility for their own behaviour, and behave more responsibly. They are less likely to blame others or “bad luck,” and have a greater sense of their own potency.
Biller, Paternal Deprivation: Family, School, Sexuality and Society (Lexington, MA.: Lexington Books, 1974); Biller & Solomon, Child Maltreatment and Paternal Deprivation: A Manifesto for Research, Treatment and Prevention (Lexington, MA: Lexington Books, 1986).
Children whose fathers spend the most time with them consistently score higher on SAT, verbal skills, and problem-solving tests, and perform above their grade level in school.
Blanchard & Biller, “Father Availability and Academic Performance Among Third-Grade Boys,” Developmental Psychology, Vol. 4 (1971), pp. 301 – 305; Radin, “The Influence of Fathers upon Sons and Daughters and Implications for School Social Work,” Social Work in Education Vol. 8 (1986), pp. 77 – 92; Radin, “Primary Caregiving Fathers in Intact Families,” Gottfried & Gottfried eds., Redefining Family (New York: Plenum Press, 1994), pp. 11 – 54.
Baby boys who have frequent father contact have more precocious mental skills and curiosity than those with less contact.
Pederse, Rubinstein, & Yarrow, “Infant Development in Father-absent Families,” Journal of Genetic Psychology, Vol. 135 (1979), pp. 51 – 61.
Girls’ intellectual development is enhanced if their father provides much verbal stimulation and responds to her overtures for social contact.
Clarke-Stewart, “And Daddy Makes Three. The Father’s Impact on Mother and Young Child.” Child Development, Vol 49 (1978), pp. 466 – 478.
A strong father-child relationship, even in infancy, facilitates intellectual competence.
Biller & Salter, “Father Loss, Cognitive and Personality Functioning,” The Problem of Loss in Mourning: Psychoanalytic Perspectives, Dietrich & Shabad, eds. (Madison, Conn.: International Universities Press, 1989), p. 347.