Q&A – Is the Case for Fatherhood Universally Accepted?

Question: Anyone who knows anything about boys can see that they need warm and loving relationships with their dads. But why make that case again? Surely everyone knows and accepts that fact by now.

Answer: How I wish! Unfortunately, some learned university professors and psychologists are attempting to discredit the belief that fathers are essential to boys and girls. Karla Mantilla, a radical feminist author, said this, "I am highly suspicious of the upsurge of praises of fatherhood and the necessity of kids to have a male role model. I come by this suspicion after much experience with my own two kids and their male role model, their father." She continued, "The propaganda that children, especially boys, need fathers I think, has contributed incalculably to the misery of children all over the world. Contrary to all the pro-father rhetoric of late, to the extent that we value fathers precisely for their 'discipline' and 'toughening up' qualities, we create children (especially boys) who are less empathic and caring. If we want kinder, gentler (and less violent) adults, we need to focus on kinder, gentler parenting."

Two academics, Carl Auerbach and Louise Silverstein, both from Yeshiva University, published a terrible article in 1999 in the scholarly journal American Psychologist. It was a blatant piece of feminist/gay/lesbian propaganda entitled "Deconstructing the Essential Father." In it the authors claimed that divorce does not irretrievably harm the majority of children and, in fact, a child who has never known his dad would not be the worse for it. If anything, they contended, fathers are actually detrimental at home because of the amount of family resources they consume. "Who needs 'em?" was the message. Women could do the job of raising boys more effectively without the involvement of their husbands (or "partners"). For that matter, mothers were not considered essential either. Nonbiological caregivers would do the job even better! In other words, traditional families are not only unnecessary to children, but kids are healthier without them.

This article was passed off as credible scientific research in a prestigious journal published by the American Psychological Association. This, mind you, despite the acknowledgment by the authors that "our reading of the scientific literature supports our political agenda. We are interested in encouraging public policy that supports the legitimacy of diverse family structures, rather than a policy that privileges the two-parent, heterosexual, married family."

Parents should be very skeptical of what they read about family life in the press and even in scientific journals. If the findings of a particular study sound nonsensical to you, the chances are that they are nonsensical. There are influential professionals out there who despise the traditional family, and they are producing contrived evidence to weaken it. Just in recent years, we've seen reports of research in the media that claimed sexual abuse of children isn't all that harmful, that parents don't have much influence on their kids, that any effort to help homosexuals deal with their sexuality is damaging, that abortion results in a reduction of crime, that children must be exposed to specialized brain stimulation by age three or it is all over, and that 10 percent of all adults are homosexuals (this off-the-wall statistic and many others were "created" out of thin air by Alfred Kinsey). Such phony research has been used effectively by liberals to advance their agenda. Don't let your approach to child rearing be victimized by their manipulation. And don't let anyone tell you that boys do just as well without the influence of a man to guide their journey.

Book: Bringing Up Boys

By Dr. James Dobson

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