The Mythologies behind Custody-Access-Support
When 50 percent of marriages end in divorce and 43 percent of children are left with one parent, everyone is affected: uncles, aunts, grandparents, and friends, but mostly, the children. The devastation from our divorce practices is our most public secret scandal. Everyone whispers it, the whispers never acknowledged. It seems that as long as a villain can be created, society is content.
After three decades of research universally pointing to more productive options, why does Custody-Access-Support remain? More ..
Fatherlessness is one of the greatest social problems in Canada
Interesting Quote from Amy Alkon, The Advice Goddess, syndicated columnist in over 100 US and Canadian publications:
-While the law allows women to turn casual sex into cash flow sex, Penelope Leach, in her book Children First, poses an essential question: “Why is it socially reprehensible for a man to leave a baby fatherless, but courageous, even admirable, for a woman to have a baby whom she knows will be so?”
fathers commit a tiny minority of child abuse and about half the domestic violence.
The vast majority of child physical and sexual abuse is committed in single-parent homes, home usually where the father is not present. "Contrary to public perception, research shows that the most likely physical abuser of a young child will be that childs mother, not a male in the household." [Patrick Fagan and Dorothy Hanks, The Child Abuse Crisis: The Disintegration of Marriage, Family, and the American Community (Washington, DC: Heritage Foundation "Backgrounder," 3 June 1997), p. 16.]
The father is the parent most likely to be the protector of children. "The presence of the father . . . placed the child at lesser risk for child sexual abuse," according to David L. Rowland, Laurie S. Zabin, and Mark Emerson, in a study of low-income families. "The protective effect from the father's presence in most households was sufficiently strong to offset the risk incurred by the few paternal perpetrators." ["Household Risk and Child Sexual Abuse in a Low Income, Urban Sample of Women," Adolescent and Family Health, vol. 1, no. 1 (Winter 2000), pp. 29-39.]
A British study found children are up to 33 times more likely to be abused when a live-in boyfriend or stepfather is present than in an intact family. [Robert Whelan, Broken Homes and Battered Children: A Study of the Relationship between Child Abuse and Family Type (London: Family Education Trust, 1993), p. 29.]
Cornell University professor Urie Bronfenbrenner
One of the most eminent developmental psychologists of our time wrote:
"Controlling for factors such as low income, children growing up in [father absent] households are at a greater risk for experiencing a variety of behavioural and educational problems, including extremes of hyperactivity and withdrawal; lack of attentiveness in the classroom; difficulty in deferring gratification; impaired academic achievement; school misbehaviour; absenteeism; dropping out; involvement in socially alienated peer groups, and the so-called teenage syndrome of behaviours that tend to hang together smoking, drinking, early and frequent sexual experience, and in the more extreme cases, drugs, suicide, vandalism, violence, and criminal acts."
Research, mainly in the Unites States, published in refereed journals by respected scholars like Sanford Braver, Margaret Brinig, Douglas Allen, Ilene Wolcott, Jody Hughes, Judith Wallerstein, and Sandra Blakeslee, and corroborated by the professional experience of authors as ideologically diverse as Constance Ahrons, Shere Hite, David Chambers, Robert Seidenberg, and Rosalind Miles, indicates that paternal abandonment cannot account for widespread fatherlessness.
Father-deprivation is a more reliable predictor of criminal activity than race, environment or poverty.
Father-deprived children are:
- 72% of all teenage murderers.
- 60% of rapists.
- 70% of kids incarcerated.
- twice as likely to quit school.
- 11 times more likely to be violent.
- 3 of 4 teen suicides.
- 80% of the adolescents in psychiatric hospitals.
- 90% of runaways
Sources: National Fatherhood Initiative (U.S.A.), US Bureau of Census (U.S.A.), FBI (U.S.A.)
"Father-deprivation is a serious form of child abuse that is institutionalized and entrenched within our legal system. Powerful sexist people have a vested interest in diminishing the role of men, especially their role as fathers. Research proves that children thrive with the active and meaningful participation of both biological parents, and is true for post-divorce families." (Dick Feeman, Joseph Maiello, Mike Jebbet, "Child Custody or Child Abuse", Victoria Times-Colonist, Jan 8, 1998).
The Importance of Father Love: History and Contemporary Evidence
Published in Review of General Psychology of The American Psychological Association, Inc
This review contains such topics as:
- Father Love Is as Important as Mother Love
- Father Love Predicts Specific Outcomes Better Than Mother Love
- Father Love Is the Sole Significant Predictor of Specific Outcomes
- Father Love Moderates the Influence of Mother Love
- Paternal Versus Maternal Parenting May Be Associated With Different Outcomes in Sons and Daughters
Children who grew up fatherless are:
- Eight times more likely to go to prison.
- Five times more likely to commit suicide.
- 20 times more likely to have behavioural problems.
- 20 times more likely to become rapists.
- 32 times more likely to become runaways.
- 10 times more likely to abuse chemical substances.
- Nine times more likely to drop out of high school.
- One-tenth as likely to get A's in school.
The Institute for the Study of Civil Society ( Civitas
Stunning statistics on the problems of fatherless homes
Delinquent Behavior, Future Divorce or Nonmarital Childbearing, and Externalizing Behavior Among Offspring: A 14-Year Prospective Study
The American Psychological Association, Inc., The Journal of Family Psychology, December 1999 Vol. 13, No. 4, 568-579
by Robert E. Emery, Mary Waldron and Katherine M. Kitzmann.
This is another study showing that children are significantly disadvantaged in never-married sole maternal custody or divorced sole-maternal custody than in intact families. In fact, the study does indicate that the damage of divorce is about the same level as never having the children involved with their father. Certainly, raising children outside of the influence of both parents is clearly detrimental to the child.
Custody and Couvade: The Importance of Paternal Bonding In the Law of Family Relations
by Geoffrey P. Miller, from New York University School of Law, Public Law and Legal Theory Working Paper Series, Working Paper 5, 1999. The paper discusses the perceptions and reality of the involvement of fathers during pregnancy, childbirth, and early childhood.
Judicial passivism turning fathers into deadbeats
Judges refuse to enforce Divorce Act section that embraces equal access to child
The Edmonton Journal, Grant A. Brown, Freelance, Saturday, June 17, 2006
When mothers lose in court, they are not made to pay court costs -- again on the premise that this would only take money away from the children. But payment of penalties and costs is merely a transfer between parents, and only prejudice supports the proposition that fathers would be less generous toward their children than mothers, given the time and financial ability to do so.
Contrast the endless lame excuses judges use not to impose remedies for access denial with their attitude toward making and enforcing child-support orders. More ..
How "Daddy" affects your job: psychologist
Reuters, U.S.A., By Ellen Wulfhorst Fri May 12, 2006
NEW YORK, U.S.A. (Reuters) - Successes or failures of employees in the workplace can be traced to what kind of father they had, a psychologist argues in a new book.
In "The Father Factor," Stephan Poulter lists five styles of fathers -- super-achieving, time bomb, passive, absent and compassionate/mentor -- who have powerful influences on the careers of their sons and daughters. More ..
Put kids first, judge tells parents
His family court sees conflicts daily
Complex reasons why dads absent
The Toronto Star, ANDREA GORDON, FAMILY ISSUES REPORTER, Jan. 16, 2006.
Children pay a big price when they grow up without fathers, but it's unfair to blame it all on men who walk away, says a North York family court judge.
Harvey Brownstone says he welcomes recent public discussion about the risks faced by kids who don't have a father in their lives.
But Brownstone, who has seen thousands of support, custody and access cases during his 11 years on the bench, says there are many misperceptions about why it's happening. And most often it's because parents can't get along or want nothing to do with each other.
"You would be shocked how many men say, `I didn't know I had a child until I got these court papers,'" he says in an interview at his office in the provincial court building.
And, when they find out, almost all of them take steps to become involved in their child's life, even if it's years after the child was born, Brownstone says. More ..
Boys harmed by fathers' absence
The Age (Melbourne, Australia), By CHLOE SALTAU, Tuesday April 3, 2001
Boys are disadvantaged without the emotional presence of a man in their lives, according to a social researcher who is interviewing men about relationships with their fathers.
Patra Antonis, a psychologist, counsellor and Swinburne University masters student, says men should "be around the herd" and bond with their sons in an inherently male, "rough-and-tumble" way. Her theory is likely to reignite the debate about the impact of absent fathers on the development of their sons.
Ms Antonis is undertaking the research at a time when she says increases in the divorce rate and the rise of out-of-wedlock childbearing have changed families and the role of parents within them. More ..
Calgary Herald, Charles W. Moore, July 29, 1999
Feminist "analysis" dismissive of fathers
Charles W. Moore goes after quack psychologists busy "deconstructing" fatherhood
I am beginning to wonder if being a card-carrying lunatic facilitates getting published in journals of the American Psychological Association (APA)
A report, recently published in the APA's Psychological Bulletin, by Bruce Rind, Philip Tromovitch and Robert Bauserman, asserted that the "negative potential" of child sexual abuse has "been overstated." The authors rationalized that while "child sexual abuse is harmful," supposedly consensual "child -adult sex" is not necessarily harmful and may, in some cases, even be "beneficial." More..
Research proves that fatherhood really matters
Tallahassee Democrat, KNIGHT RIDDER TRIBUNE, USA, By Roland C. Warren, April 20, 2002 More..
Dad's 1m fight for his child
Coventry Evening Telegraph, City News, U.K. by Liz Hazelton, July 27, 2004 More..
Landmark Ruling Grants Father Custody of Children
The Scotsman, PA News (U.K.),ead, July 3, 2004 More..
Children who have contact with their fathers following a family break-up suffer fewer behavioural problems, academics said today.
The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, May 26, 2004, Manchester Online, U.K. More..
Fathers 'have key role with children' after families split
The Telegraph, London, U.K., By Sarah Womack, Social Affairs Correspondent, May 26, 2004 More..
New Canadian Study of Fathers
Study aims to salvage image of fatherhood. First of its kind in Canada: 'Fathers are often treated as buffoons in our public images' More..
Letter to the editor:
Generations lost to 'fatherlessness'
The StarPhoenix, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, David A. Giles, March 11, 2004, More..
Fathers are not out of fashion
Don't believe the hype - we are facing a crisis of female fertility, not fatherhood, says Jack O'Sullivan
The Guardian U.K., January 28, 2004 More..
Fathers no longer required: Fertility chief signals an IVF revolution
The Independent, UK, By Jeremy Laurance, Health Editor, January 21, 2004 More..
Suzi Leather: 'It's the
relationship's quality that counts, not people's sex'
Interview: Head of fertility watchdog says writing fathers out of the rules will extend the chance of
treatment to all women
The Independent, UK, By Jeremy Laurance, Health Editor, January 21, 2004 More..
Research proves that fatherhood really matters
Tallahassee Democrat, KNIGHT RIDDER TRIBUNE, By Roland C. Warren, April 20, 2002 More..
Transforming the Culture of Fatherlessness
by Rev. Robert A. Sirico, Acton President, May 23, 2001, Acton Commentary More..
The Truth About Deadbeat Dads
Reader's Digest Canada, April, 2001, by Gladys Pollack More..
Study denouncing fathers sends danger signals
By Kathleen Parker, Published in The Orlando Sentinel, USA, on July 18, 1999
Now is the time for all good fathers to come to the aid of the family.
But you'd better hurry; your days are numbered. In fact, if you happen to be a heterosexual male (further doomed by Caucasian pigmentation), your days are already over, according to a cover article in the June issue of American Psychologist, published by the American Psychological Association.
In their article, "Deconstructing the Essential Father," researchers Louise B. Silverstein and Carl F. Auerbach challenge one of the core institutions of our culture -- fatherhood. More or less, fathers, as we've known and loved them, are obsolete.
The article makes numerous breathtaking assertions, but basically the researchers state that:
Fathers aren't essential to the well-being of children. More..
A Caring Biological Father: Critical Link to Improving the Health of Children
Prepared from references in the United States of America:
- Whitehead BF. Facing the Challenges of Fragmented Families. The Philanthropy Roundtable 1995; 9: 21.
- Eberstadt N. America’s Infant Mortality Puzzle. The Public Interest Fall, 1991.
- Kleinman JC, Kessel SS. Racial Differences in Low Birth Weight. New England Journal of Medicine 1987; 317: 749-753.
- Lester D. Infant Mortality and Illegitimacy. Social Science and Medicine 1992; 35: 739-740.
- Dawson DA. Family Structure and Children’s Health and Well-Being. Journal of Marriage and the Family 1991; 53: 573-584.
- Johnson RA, Haffman JP, Gerstein DR. The Relationship between Family Structure and Adolescent Substance Use. Washington, DC: DHHS, 1996.
- Smith L. The New Wave of Illegitimacy. Fortune 1994; 18: 81-94. Chart: US Bureau of the Census, Marital Status and Living Arrangements: March 1990. Current Population Report, p. 20, Washington, DC, 1993
One of the great papers confirming that the inclusion of both parents under a joint parenting arrangement is in the best interests of children is the meta-analytic study summarised in "Child Adjustment in Joint-Custody Versus Sole-Custody Arrangements: A Meta-Analytic Review" by Robert Bauserman from the Journal of Family Psychology, 2002, Vol. 16, No. 1, p. 91102. This study was announced in the American Psychological Associations Monitor, a copy of which is at here.
Civitas: the Institute for the Study of Civil Society was founded in the UK to "deepen public understanding of the legal, institutional and moral framework that makes a free and democratic society possible." They have done some excellent work about how families are being destroyed and the toll that is taking on children and society. They have produced an excellent study of the impact of the "failed experiment" of fatherless families in and excellent study, available in PDF format, entitled Experiments in Living: The Fatherless Family. This is a great, and true, read. I would suggest it to every one. The study, and more very good material is available from Civitas's website at http://www.civitas.org.uk.
Prolific writer, professor and activist Stephen Baskerville wrote a great article for the Liberty journal, available in PDF format, entitled The Myth of Deadbeat Dads. I would highly recommend this to anyone who is interested in the astounding demonization of fathers in the US and the rest of the Western world.
The PDF formatted, Child Adjustment in Joint-Custody Versus Sole-Custody Arrangements: A Meta-Analytic Review by Robert Bauserman, Journal of Family Psychology (2002), Vol. 16, No. 1, 91102 is an important study. It shows that children who have meaningful contact with both parents are significantly (statistically speaking) better off due to the lack of the damage done to children who lose contact with their father through divorce and the actions and inactions of the courts. Although there is only small numbers of sole parental custody cases in the study, it does indicate that that joint custody is superior there too. Children do need both parents active and part of their lives. This is a journal of the American Psychological Association, so there is some soft-pedalling of the result although the anti-family groups will likely trot out the old myths again, although the study disproves them. The APA has been wonderful in this case and made the paper available to the public at http://www.apa.org/journals/fam/press_releases/march_2002/fam16191.pdf (which is where our link took you). The abstract is below, but I would note that in states were joint custody is really the default decision, conflict between parties has always been lower since there is no gain, and only loss, by a party creating conflict.
The author meta-analyzed studies comparing child adjustment in joint physical or joint legal custody with sole-custody settings, including comparisons with paternal custody and intact families where possible. Children in joint physical or legal custody were better adjusted than children in sole-custody settings, but no different from those in intact families. More positive adjustment of joint-custody children held for separate comparisons of general adjustment, family relationships, self-esteem, emotional and behavioural adjustment, and divorce-specific adjustment. Joint-custody parents reported less current and past conflict than did sole-custody parents, but this did not explain the better adjustment of joint-custody children. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that joint custody can be advantageous for children in some cases, possibly by facilitating ongoing positive involvement with both parents.
Delinquent Behavior, Future Divorce or Nonmarital Childbearing, and Externalizing Behavior Among Offspring: A 14-Year Prospective Study by Robert E. Emery, Mary Waldron and Katherine M. Kitzmann. It is from The Journal of Family Psychology, December 1999 Vol. 13, No. 4, 568-579 and is available from the Journal at http://www.apa.org/journals/fam/fam134568.html. This is another study showing that children are significantly disadvantaged in never-married sole maternal custody or divorced sole-maternal custody than in intact families. In fact, the study does indicate that the damage of divorce is about the same level as never having the children involved with their father. Certainly, raising children outside of the influence of both parents is clearly detrimental to the child -- or "abusive" as that is called these days.
The PDF formatted, Family Structure and Youths' Outcomes: Which Correlations are Causual by Gary Painter, from the Institute of Industrial Relations Working Paper Series, No. 69, September 24, 1999 explores the fact that growing up in family that lacks a biological father is correlated with a number of poor outcomes and that those correlations are casual.
The PDF formatted, Custody and Couvade: The Importance of Paternal Bonding In the Law of Family Relations by Geoffrey P. Miller, from New York University School of Law, Public Law and Legal Theory Working Paper Series, Working Paper 5, 1999 discusses the perceptions and reality of the involvement of fathers during pregnancy, childbirth, and early childhood.
Perspectives on Fathering: Issues Paper 4
Edited by Stuart Birks and Paul Callistert. Published by the Centre for Public Policy Evaluation, Massey University, New Zealand.
It has very good information about fathers, fatherhood and fathering-related topics.
The Relationship Between Fatherly Affirmation and a Woman's Self-Esteem, Fear of Intimacy, Comfort with Womanhood and Comfort with Sexuality
The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality, Vol. 8(1) Spring 1999, p. 39-45, by Tanya S. Scheffler and Peter J. Naus.
This paper describes how women grow up to be more comfortable with themselves if they have on-going and positive affirmation by their father. More..
Deconstructing the Essential Father
This contentious article written by Louise B. Silverstein, Ph.D.and Carl F. Auerbach, Ph.D. was published in the American Psychological Association's publication, The American Psychologist, Volume 54, Number 6 (June 1999), p. 397-407.
The article defines "essential" as being something other than essential, but a rejection of the theories of Blankenhorn and Popenoe instead. It then uses "deconstruction" (a philosophical argument growing out of existentialism that basically says that words have no meaning so any study written down has no meaning except, presumably, this one) to dismiss the massive amounts of material on (1) men, and (2) men and children. It then goes on to use one of the author's small studies on certain ethnic males in a poor attempt to provide some validity to the preposterous, and admitted purely political arguments, of the authors -- which is most strongly anti-marriage. This particular article, along with a previous article supporting paedophilia show the new direction of the American Psychological Association, and goes even further to discrediting the basic fakery of the psychologists.
Neoconservative social scientists have claimed that fathers are essential to positive child development, and that responsible fathering is most likely to occur within the context of heterosexual marriage. This perspective is generating a range of governmental initiatives designed to provide social support preferences to fathers over mothers; and to heterosexual married couples, rather than to alternative family forms. Read the article..
Other articles written about the above APA article.
Lunacy 101: Questioning the Need for Fathers
Jewish World Review, by Dr. Wade F. Horn, Sunday, July 18, 1999, Straight to the points debunking. Clearly illustrates the lack of proper statistical values of this APA article. More..
They can't put a happy face on fatherlessness
Lancaster New Era, by Maggie Gallagher, Sunday, July 25, 1999.
This article talks about the goal of the article: "to torpedo the emerging new consensus that intact marriages are important for kids." More..
The 'deconstructing' of a controversy
Jewish World Review, by Binyamin L. Jolkovsky, Tuesday, July 27, 1999.
Louise Silverstein and Carl Auerbach comments about how they are upset that others have so negatively reviewed their article which is blatantly biased. More..
Feminist "analysis" dismissive of fathers
Calgary Herald, Calgary, AB, Canada, by Charles W. Moore, Thursday, July 29, 1999
"I am beginning to wonder if being a card-carrying lunatic facilitates getting published in journals of the American Psychological Association (APA)."More..
Jewish World Review, by Cathy Young, Friday, July 30, 1999.
Another look at the article, which figures that its political agenda is more anti-marriage than necessarily anti-father. More..