Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Why do we celebrate Fathers Day? Why is fatherhood important?

Father’s Day is the day that children and wives are supposed to honor fathers by giving them respect for being providers, protectors and moral/spiritual leaders. One of the best ways to motivate this duty is by studying research to find out the difference that fathers make.

Some statistics on the importance of biological fathers from Fathers.com.

Excerpt:

Some fathering advocates would say that almost every social ill faced by America’s children is related to fatherlessness. Six are noted here. As supported by the data below, children from fatherless homes are more likely to be poor, become involved in drug and alcohol abuse, drop out of school, and suffer from health and emotional problems. Boys are more likely to become involved in crime, and girls are more likely to become pregnant as teens.

For a summary, I’ll just list one fact from each of the six categories they listed.

1. Poverty

Fact:

- Children in father-absent homes are five times more likely to be poor. In 2002, 7.8% of children in married-couple families were living in poverty, compared to 38.4% of children in female-householder families.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Children’s Living Arrangements and Characteristics: March 2002, P20-547, Table C8. Washington, D.C.: GPO 2003.

2. Drug and Alcohol Abuse

Fact:

- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services states, “Fatherless children are at a dramatically greater risk of drug and alcohol abuse.”

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. National Center for Health Statistics. Survey on Child Health. Washington, DC, 1993.

3. Physical and Emotional Health

Fact:

- Unmarried mothers are less likely to obtain prenatal care and more likely to have a low birthweight baby. Researchers find that these negative effects persist even when they take into account factors, such as parental education, that often distinguish single-parent from two-parent families.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Public Health Service. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Health Statistics. Report to Congress on Out-of-Wedlock Childbearing. Hyattsville, MD (Sept. 1995): 12.

- Children in single-parent families are two to three times as likely as children in two-parent families to have emotional and behavioral problems.Source: Stanton, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. National Center for Health Statistics.”National Health Interview Survey.” Hyattsville, MD, 1988.

4. Educational Achievement

Fact:

- After taking into account race, socioeconomic status, sex, age, and ability, high school students from single-parent households were 1.7 times more likely to drop out than were their corresponding counterparts living with both biological parents.Source: McNeal, Ralph B. Jr.”Extracurricular Activities and High School Dropouts.” Sociology of Education 68(1995): 62-81.

5. Crime

Fact:

- Children in single parent families are more likely to be in trouble with the law than their peers who grow up with two parents.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. National Center for Health Statistics. National Health Interview Survey. Hyattsville, MD, 1988.

6. Sexual Activity and Teen Pregnancy

Fact:

- A white teenage girl from an advantaged background is five times more likely to become a teen mother if she grows up in a single-mother household than if she grows up in a household with both biological parents.Source: Whitehead, Barbara Dafoe. “Facing the Challenges of Fragmented Families.” The Philanthropy Roundtable 9.1 (1995): 21.

Now take a look at this Wall Street Journal article that explains some of the ways that fathers have beneficial effects on children.

Excerpt:

As an estimated 70.1 million fathers prepare to celebrate Father’s Day in the U.S., recent research shows that their distinct style of parenting is particularly worth recognition: The way dads tend to interact has long-term benefits for kids, independent of those linked to good mothering.

[...]The benefits of involved fathering are known: improved cognitive skills, fewer behavioral problems among school-age children, less delinquency among teenage boys and fewer psychological problems in young women, based on an analysis of 16 long-term studies of father involvement, published in 2008 in the scholarly journal Acta Paediatrica.

Some of dads’ behavior may spring from their roles as family breadwinners. Although mothers play a significant role in the workforce, men are still the primary breadwinners in more than three-fourths of married-couple households.

And 48% of working fathers spend less than six hours a day with their children, compared with 31% of working mothers, according to a recent poll of 459 working adults by Workplace Options, a provider of employee-assistance and work-life programs in Raleigh, N.C.

As a result, fathers may be less familiar with their children’s nonverbal cues. Such dads tend to challenge children more to express themselves in words, helping foster the better cognitive skills researchers have found in 2-year-olds with involved fathers.

Parenting patterns may be rooted in neurological differences. Under stress, research shows, men’s brains are wired to respond to challenges physically, leaping into action. Women are more likely to withdraw or shut down.

Because fathers have had to learn to manage their own impulses to strike out or react physically to frustration, they may be better equipped than mothers to help children manage their own urges to behave badly, Dr. Pruett says.

Indeed, fathers typically aren’t as upset as mothers by kids’ tantrums or bad behavior, based on a 2009 survey of 1,615 parents by Zero to Three, a nonprofit child-development research and policy organization. Only half as many fathers as mothers say their children’s temper tantrums are one of their biggest challenges.

Fathers matter, so women need to choose men who will be good fathers. And that means having an idea of what fathers do, and knowing how to evaluate a man to see if he can do what fathers do. There’s more to fathers than handsomeness and fun!

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A Dad: the tenth most popular gift requested by children at Christmas

Dina sent me this sad article from the UK Telegraph.

Excerpt:

A study of 2,000 British parents found most children will put a new baby brother or sister at the top of their Christmas list, closely followed by a request for a real-life reindeer.

A “pet horse” was the third most popular choice, with a “car” making a bizarre entry at number four.

Despite their material requests, the tenth most popular Christmas wish on the list was a “Dad”.

[...]A request for a “mum” reached number 23 on the list.

It’s sad. I think that there is a perception among many young women today that it is OK to have recreational premarital sex that may lead to having a child out of wedlock. Many unmarried women have an intuition (not supported by data) that a child will turn out fine without a father in the home. Some think (against the data) that fathers can be substituted with a government welfare check and that children won’t notice the difference. But the research shows that this is a false belief.

Excerpt:

Census data and the Fragile Families survey show that marriage can be extremely effective in reducing child poverty. But the positive effects of married fathers are not limited to income alone. Children raised by married parents have substantially better life outcomes compared to similar children raised in single-parent homes.

When compared to children in intact married homes, children raised by single parents are more likely to have emotional and behavioral problems; be physically abused; smoke, drink, and use drugs; be aggressive; engage in violent, delinquent, and criminal behavior; have poor school performance; be expelled from school; and drop out of high school.[19] Many of these negative outcomes are associated with the higher poverty rates of single mothers. In many cases, however, the improvements in child well-being that are associated with marriage persist even after adjusting for differences in family income. This indicates that the father brings more to his home than just a paycheck.

The effect of married fathers on child outcomes can be quite pronounced. For example, examination of families with the same race and same parental education shows that, when compared to intact married families, children from single-parent homes are:

  • More than twice as likely to be arrested for a juvenile crime;[20]
  • Twice as likely to be treated for emotional and behavioral problems;[21]
  • Roughly twice as likely to be suspended or expelled from school;[22] and
  • A third more likely to drop out before completing high school.[23]

The effects of being raised in a single-parent home continue into adulthood. Comparing families of the same race and similar incomes, children from broken and single-parent homes are three times more likely to end up in jail by the time they reach age 30 than are children raised in intact married families.[24] Compared to girls raised in similar married families, girls from single-parent homes are more than twice as likely to have a child without being married, thereby repeating the negative cycle for another generation.[25]

Finally, the decline of marriage generates poverty in future generations. Children living in single-parent homes are 50 percent more likely to experience poverty as adults when compared to children from intact married homes. This intergenerational poverty effect persists even after adjusting for the original differences in family income and poverty during childhood.[26]

And here’s a bit more data showing that having government replace fathers via higher taxes and more redistribution of wealth doesn’t take away the bad effects of fatherlessness:

Children from low-income, two-parent families outperform students from high-income, single-parent homes. Almost twice as many high achievers come from two-parent homes as one-parent homes. Source: “One-Parent Families and Their Children;” Charles F. Kettering Foundation (1990).

Children reared by a divorced or never-married mother are less cooperative and score lower on tests of intelligence than children reared in intact families. Statistical analysis of the behavior and intelligence of these children revealed “significant detrimental effects” of living in a female-headed household. Growing up in a female-headed household remained a statistical predictor of behavior problems even after adjusting for differences in family income. Source: Greg L. Duncan, Jeanne Brooks-Gunn and Pamela Kato Klebanov, “Economic Deprivation and Early Childhood Development,” Child Development 65 (1994).

After taking into account race, socioeconomic status, sex, age, and ability, high school students from single-parent households were 1.7 times more likely to drop out than were their corresponding counterparts living with both biological parents. Source: McNeal, Ralph B. Jr.”Extracurricular Activities and High School Dropouts.” Sociology of Education 68(1995): 62-81.

I think that these are significant in light of the recent shooting in Connecticut:

In studies involving over 25,000 children using nationally representative data sets, children who lived with only one parent had lower grade point averages, lower college aspirations, poor attendance records, and higher drop out rates than students who lived with both parents. Source: McLanahan, Sara and Gary Sandefur. Growing up with a Single Parent: What Hurts, What Helps. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1994.

A 1988 Department of Health and Human Services study found that at every income level except the very highest (over $50,000 a year), children living with never-married mothers were more likely than their counterparts in two-parent families to have been expelled or suspended from school, to display emotional problems, and to engage in antisocial behavior. Source: James Q. Wilson, “In Loco Parentis: Helping Children When Families Fail Them,” The Brookings Review, Fall 1993.

72% of adolescent murderers grew up without fathers. 60% of America’s rapists grew up the same way. Source: D. Cornell (et al.), Behavioral Sciences and the Law, 5. 1987. And N. Davidson, “Life Without Father,” Policy Review. 1990.

The likelihood that a young male will engage in criminal activity doubles if he is raised without a father and triples if he lives in a neighborhood with a high concentration of single-parent families. Source: A. Anne Hill, June O’Neill, “Underclass Behaviors in the United States,” CUNY, Baruch College. 1993.

The shooter in Connecticut hadn’t spoken to his father in two years:

Peter Lanza, the father of Sandy Hook shooter, hadn’t spoken to his son for more than two years and his father is at a loss for what drove Adam to kill 20 students and six teachers at his old elementary school.

[...]Adam, 20, had not spoken to his brother Ryan or father for upwards of two years at the time of the shooting. Adam reportedly distanced himself from his father Peter when he started to become serious with his new girlfriend, and current wife.

Peter and Adam’s mother Nancy split in 2001 but did not formally divorce until November 2008. Court records made the split appear amicable as both parties agreed to put their sons needs above any bitterness, but Adam was apparently the one to cut ties with his father in 2010.

Women need to think ahead and realize that the little children will be impacted by her choice of man, as well of her choice of whether to have recreational premarital sex with a man. If she doesn’t test him adequately and makes poor choices, then the children will be deprived of a father in the home. I don’t think that the sentiment “he makes me happy and horny and my friends approve of him” necessarily translates into “he can do the job of protecting, providing and leading on moral and spiritual issues”. Those are two different sets of criteria, and often at cross-purposes in a culture that despises traditional male roles as “sexist”.

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Female superintendent and ACLU fascists ban father-daughter school dances

From the radically left-wing Los Angeles Times. (H/T Captain Capitalism via The Elusive Wapiti)

Excerpt:

Father-daughter dances and mother-son ballgames — those cherished hallmarks of Americana — have been banned in a Rhode Island school district after they were targeted by the American Civil Liberties Union.

The ACLU, the self-proclaimed guardian of the nation’s liberty, says such events violate the state’s gender-discrimination law. The organization challenged their existence following a complaint from a single mom who said her daughter was prevented from attending a father-daughter dance in the Cranston Public Schools district.

[...]For its part, the ACLU scoffed at the uproar, calling the change “old news” and defending its legal position in a statement laced with a touch of snark. Here it is, in part:

“The controversy that has suddenly arisen in a political campaign over father-daughter dances in Cranston is old news — the matter was amicably resolved with school officials over four months ago. And it was resolved for a simple reason: the school district recognized that in the 21st Century, public schools have no business fostering the notion that girls prefer to go to formal dances while boys prefer baseball games.

“This type of gender stereotyping only perpetuates outdated notions of ‘girl’ and ‘boy’ activities and is contrary to federal law.

“[Parent-teacher organizations] remain free to hold family dances and other events, but the time has long since passed for public school resources to encourage stereotyping from the days of Ozzie and Harriet. Not every girl today is interested in growing up to be Cinderella — not even in Cranston. In fact, one of them might make a great major league baseball player someday.

“We commend the school district for its resolution of the matter, and are sorry to see some people turning it into a political football — a game that they may think only boys should be interested in.”

It’s a well-known fact that daughters growing up without fathers are far more prone to a whole host of behavioral disorders and tragedies. It’s also well-known, among men, that one the major reasons for a man to get married is because of the social respect of being a provider, protector and moral/spiritual leader. When society, under the influence of moral relativism and feminist ideology, decides to denigrate and marginalize fatherhood, we should expect to see the next generation of girls suffering from it. Girls need their fathers. The more we allow our policy to be made by leftists, the more we cheat young women out of their fathers, and the more we leave them open to tragedy.

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New study finds that boys benefit from bonding with Dads in first three months

First, an article from Dina from the UK Daily Mail.

Excerpt:

Dr Paul Ramchandani, who led the Oxford University study, said behavioural problems in early childhood often lead to health and psychological problems in adulthood which can be difficult to overcome.

But he said most research on how parents affect a baby’s behaviour and development has focused on mothers, when fathers also play an important role. The research team recruited 192 families from maternity units and experts filmed the mothers and fathers separately as they played with their children at home in different situations – looking at how caring or engaged they were.

The parents did psychological tests, while the children’s behaviour was assessed examining whether they were fretful, disobedient, had tantrums or in the worst cases showed aggression by hitting and biting.

‘We found that children whose fathers were more engaged in the interactions had better outcomes, with fewer subsequent behavioural problems,’ said Dr Ramchandani.

‘At the other end of the scale children tended to have greater behavioural problems when their fathers were more remote and lost in their own thoughts, or when their fathers interacted less with them.

‘This association tended to be stronger  for boys than for girls, suggesting that  perhaps boys are more susceptible to the influence of their father from a very early age.’

The study, which is published today in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, found the three-month-olds with less engaged fathers were more likely to be in the 10 per cent of children who displayed the beginnings of behavioural problems at one year old.

This is surprising to me, and it conflicts with my idea of avoiding the little monsters until they are ready to learn apologetics at the age of 6. Now because of this study, I would have to be involved with the children right away, if I ever have any. Well, live and learn!

Now add to that study this article on single motherhood from the leftist New York Times that Stuart Schneiderman found.

Excerpt:

The economic storms of recent years have raised concerns about growing inequality and questions about a core national faith, that even Americans of humble backgrounds have a good chance of getting ahead. Most of the discussion has focused on labor market forces like falling blue-collar wages and lavish Wall Street pay.

But striking changes in family structure have also broadened income gaps and posed new barriers to upward mobility. College-educated Americans like the Faulkners are increasingly likely to marry one another, compounding their growing advantages in pay. Less-educated women like Ms. Schairer, who left college without finishing her degree, are growing less likely to marry at all, raising children on pinched paychecks that come in ones, not twos.

Estimates vary widely, but scholars have said that changes in marriage patterns — as opposed to changes in individual earnings — may account for as much as 40 percent of the growth in certain measures of inequality. Long a nation of economic extremes, the United States is also becoming a society of family haves and family have-nots, with marriage and its rewards evermore confined to the fortunate classes.

[...]About 41 percent of births in the United States occur outside marriage, up sharply from 17 percent three decades ago. But equally sharp are the educational divides, according to an analysis by Child Trends, a Washington research group. Less than 10 percent of the births to college-educated women occur outside marriage, while for women with high school degrees or less the figure is nearly 60 percent.

[...]While many children of single mothers flourish (two of the last three presidents had mothers who were single during part of their childhood), a large body of research shows that they are more likely than similar children with married parents to experience childhood poverty, act up in class, become teenage parents and drop out of school.

[...]Four decades ago, families in the top income fifth spent about four times as much as those at the bottom fifth on things like sports, music and private schools, according to research byGreg J. Duncan of the University of California, Irvine, and Richard J. Murnane of Harvard. Now affluent families spend seven times as much.

Two parents also bring two parenting perspectives. Ms. Faulkner does bedtime talks. Mr. Faulkner does math. When Ms. Faulkner’s coaxing failed to persuade Jeremy to try hamburgers, Mr. Faulkner offered to jump in a pool fully clothed if he took a bite — an offer Jeremy found too tempting to refuse.

While many studies have found that children of single parents are more likely to grow up poor, less is known about their chances of advancement as adults. But there are suggestions that the absence of a father in the house makes it harder for children to climb the economic ladder.

Scott Winship of the Brookings Institution examined the class trajectories of 2,400 Americans now in their mid-20s. Among those raised in the poorest third as teenagers, 58 percent living with two parents moved up to a higher level as adults, compared with just 44 percent of those with an absent parent.

A parallel story played out at the top: just 15 percent of teenagers living with two parents fell to the bottom third, compared with 27 percent of teenagers without both parents.

“You’re more likely to rise out of the bottom if you live with two parents, and you’re less likely to fall out of the top,” Mr. Winship said.

That article has some poignant illustrations of what fatherlessness does to a child.

Still think that single motherhood by choice is a great idea? Now if you were a legislator, tell me what legislation you would introduce to make sure that the government was encouraging fatherhood and discouraging single motherhood. How would you make marriage and fathers in the home easier for men, and single motherhood harder for women? It’s a policy problem – we have to change the incentives if we want to protect the children. How would you communicate to women that they need to get married before they have children, and how would you help them to know how to evaluate a man so that they can tell if he will make a good husband and father, and perform the traditional male roles in the family?

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The consequences of the feminization of education in the UK

Dina sent me this article from the UK Daily Mail. The article starts with an excellent explanation of what male teachers bring to the classroom when they are not regulated by politically correct feminists, using one Eric Sutton as an example.

Then there is this:

Which brings me to the reason I’m taking a trip down Memory Lane today — the news that there has been a significant increase in the number of men training as primary school teachers.

For the past 40-odd years, the feminisation of state education has been a disaster. There are more than 4,250 schools in Britain where not a single male teacher can be found in the staff room. The Eric Suttons of this world are as extinct as the stegosaurus.

Coupled with the trendy, ‘child-centred’ teaching methods indoctrinated by Marxist training colleges, this has been responsible for a collapse in discipline and an alarming increase in illiteracy.

Generations of boys have been utterly betrayed by the system set up to educate them — many written off as suffering from a bewildering array of fashionable ‘hyperactivity disorders’ and pumped full of mind-bending drugs simply because young female teachers have no idea how to control or inspire them.

Mr Sutton didn’t need Ritalin to bring an unruly child to order, just a well-aimed blackboard eraser.

With no competitive sport to channel their physical excesses — a consequence of the pernicious ‘all-must-have-prizes’ culture identified by Melanie Phillips — and zero intellectual stimulation, young men are leaving school unsuited to the adult world.

The rise in single motherhood and absentee fathers, coupled with a monopoly of female primary school teachers, means that countless thousands of boys reach puberty without having encountered a male role model, apart from the local ‘gangstas’.

Our sick society, which considers any man who wants to work with children to be a potential paedophile, has helped to turn primary schools into testosterone-free zones.

A male teacher who volunteered to take young boys and girls swimming would be lucky to escape without a knock on the door from the nonce squad or a petrol bomb being lobbed through his front window.

Those hardy male souls who have taken the plunge report hostility and ‘intimidation’ from all-female staff rooms — which tends to suggest they are probably not cut out for dealing with a class full of seven-year-old savages, either.

All this combined with relatively low wages has conspired against encouraging any young family man to become a primary school teacher.

The good news is that recent changes which allow teachers to earn a salary while they train in school have begun to attract more men into the profession. And the Government has launched a campaign to persuade male graduates to take up a career in primary education.

The numbers applying have risen by 51 per cent, albeit from a low base.

Eric Sutton would have approved.

Boys simply do not learn well from female teachers, and they especially don’t learn well when they are distracted by girls. Boys are in rapid retreat as a result of these policies. Not only that, but feminism’s emphasis on sex education and recreational premarital sex does nothing to encourage men to take on the traditional male roles and commit to a woman in order to get sex in the context of marriage. Much of the idiotic “man up” rhetoric on the right and left fails to recognize these three factors which discourage men from stepping into their roles as leaders, providers and protectors.

I think that more male teachers is a good sign for the success of boys in the UK, because boys who lack male leadership from fathers and teachers do not easily accept the roles that society needs them to play – including protecting, providing and leading on moral and spiritual issues. It’s nice to see that the UK is taking steps to come out of the long dark night of feminism, even as America dips further and further into it, with the decline of males aided by government intervention. Maybe the collapse of the traditional family needs to happen realize the harm that feminism has done to children, and especially to young men.

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