A pro-father article by W. Bradford Wilcox, from the left-leaning Atlantic.
He lists four ways that fathers make a distinctive contribution to child development.
- Distinctive play style
- Encouraging risk
- Protection from threats
- Disciplining style
Here’s the detail on the last one:
Dad’s discipline: Although mothers typically discipline their children more often than do fathers, dads’ disciplinary style is distinctive. In surveying the research on gender and parenthood for our book, Palkovitz observes that fathers tend to be firmer with their children, compared to mothers. Based on their extensive clinical experience, and a longitudinal study of 17 stay-at-home fathers, Kyle Pruett and psychologist Marsha Kline Pruett agree. In Partnership Parenting they write, “Fathers tend to be more willing than mothers to confront their children and enforce discipline, leaving their children with the impression that they in fact have more authority.” By contrast, mothers are more likely to reason with their children, to be flexible in disciplinary situations, and to rely on their emotional ties to a child to encourage her to behave. In their view, mothers and fathers working together as co-parents offer a diverse yet balanced approach to discipline.
Then he lists out some reasons why good dads matter:
- Lower delinquency
- Lower teen pregnancy
- Lower depression
A very good article with lots of citations.