(OK, I will also share research material here, as that doesn’t require any time or creative juice. This just in from Mrs. H, deep background for my exegesis-in-process of The Shining🙂
[Lucinda: The issue of harm done to fatherless children is a hot potato because the Xtian right uses it for a club to beat the liberals with and a much touted new study shows father’s role to be insignificant was used to defend same-sex marriage – just to warn you. ]
The lead article in the February issue of Journal of Marriage and Family challenges the idea that “fatherless” children are necessarily at a disadvantage or that men provide a different, indispensable set of parenting skills than women.
“Significant policy decisions have been swayed by the misconception across party lines that children need both a mother and a father. Yet, there is almost no social science research to support this claim. One problem is that proponents of this view routinely ignore research on same-gender parents,” said sociologist Timothy Biblarz of the USC College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.
In their analysis, the researchers found no evidence of gender-based parenting abilities, with the “partial exception of lactation,” noting that very little about the gender of the parent has significance for children’s psychological adjustment and social success.
Lots of absent father is okay studies listed here: http://www.thelizlibrary.org/site-index/site-index-frame.html#soulhttp://www.thelizlibrary.org/liz/017.htm
US statistics on effects of fatherlessness on child outcomes: http://www.dottal.org/LBDUK//effects_of_fatherlessness.htm
Fatherlessness is one of the greatest social problems in Canada
- 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 ) U.K.
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.