Fathers Gain Respect

I read a NY Times article titled Fathers Gain Respect From Experts (And Mothers).  The basic idea is that research is making two things clear:

1. Fathers matter
2. When parents have good relationships, children benefit

I was preparing to make some derisive comments about how many PhDs it takes to figure out something this blindingly obvious when something jumped out at me.  A lot of the researchers seem, inadvertently I suspect, to be undercutting the arguments for gay adoption and gay marriage. 

Take a close look at that article.  The research isn’t just about fathers.  It’s about the influence in child-rearing of men and women.

Some highlights:

 Children [of a mother-father group studied] were much less aggressive, hyperactive, depressed or socially withdrawn than children [of the father-only control group].

Fathers tend to do things differently, Dr. Kyle Pruett said, but not in ways that are worse for the children. Fathers do not mother, they father.

Dr. Kyle Pruett added: “Dads tend to discipline differently, use humor more and use play differently. Fathers want to show kids what’s going on outside their mother’s arms, to get their kids ready for the outside world.” To that end, he said, they tend to encourage risk-taking and problem-solving.

In other words, mothers and fathers exert different and important influences on their children.  Two moms or two dads do not produce the equivalent result as one mom and one dad.  I’d love to know how many of the researches have connected the dots.

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