Monday, June 21, 2010

"Dads are not Second-Class Mothers"

A great column in the Wall Street Journal by Brad Wilcox (excerpts below from National Review's "The Corner")

"From Hollywood to the halls of the academy, as I point out in that WSJ piece, we often get the message that dads are superfluous. Plenty of people see men as second-class mothers. And large numbers of men and women in the U.S. think, on average, that single mothers can do just as good a job as a married mother and father in raising children.

But the science does not support the idea that fathers are fungible. On average, children raised in intact, married homes are much more likely to thrive in school, to steer clear of trouble with the law, to avoid a teen pregnancy, and to avoid an untimely demise. Moreover, the positive effects of fatherhood are especially strong for fathers who are engaged, affectionate, and firm with their children.

For instance, a recent study by sociologist Mark Regnerus found that the quality of a father’s relationship with his teenage daughter was a much better predictor of her sexual activity than the quality of her relationship with her mother. Dads appear to play a particularly powerful role in steering their daughters clear of early sex, as well as a teen pregnancy.

Studies like this suggest that dads are not second-class mothers. They have their own distinctive contributions to make to their children, and we should do more as a culture to encourage fathers to plug into their children’s lives and to enable them to keep that connection with their children alive."

This is a good time to show the "Mothers Matter/ Fathers Matter" segment of "Marriage Matters to Kids."

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