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Deconstructing Fatherhood Propaganda

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Originally published here at www.feminista.com. Trish Wilson's website is here.

The article "Deconstructing the Essential Father" by Louise B. Silverstein and Carl F. Auerbach of Yeshiva University, was originally published in the journal American Psychologist in June 1999.

"Deconstructing the Essential Father" was written as a criticism of David Blankenhorn and David Popenoe's work, which claimed, "fathers are essential to positive child development and that responsible fathering is most likely to occur within the context of heterosexual marriage."

In their opening statements, Silverstein and Auerbach noted how "this perspective is generating a range of governmental initiatives designed to provide social support preferences to fathers over mothers and to heterosexual married couples over alternative family forms," and propose that the "neoconservative position is an incorrect or oversimplified interpretation of empirical research."

The term "essential" in "essential father" refers to the concept of essentialism, that is, the idea that there are biological sex differences between women and men that create a difference in parenting methods and emphases between the genders. Feminists believe that this concept of "separate spheres" has been discredited since the turn of the last century."

In opposition to the neoconservative position, Silverstein and Auerbach argue that neither mothers nor fathers are essential to child development, that parenting roles are interchangeable, that the significant variables in predicting father involvement are economic rather than marital, and that responsible fathering can occur within a variety of family structures. Over the past six years, they have studied the fathering identities of men who are actively involved with their children. They used a wide range of cross-species, cross-cultural, and social science research, including their own study of 200 men, to reach these conclusions. Those 200 men were divided into 10 different subcultures with U. S. society, including Haitian Christian fathers; Promise Keeper fathers; gay fathers; Latino fathers; White, nongay divorced fathers; Modern Orthodox Jewish fathers; and Greek grandfathers. They have concluded that children need "at least one responsible, caretaking adult who has a positive emotional connection to them and with whom they have a consistent relationship." They have also found that "the stability of the emotional connection and the predictability of the caretaking relationship are the significant variables that predict positive child adjustment." In the end, they examine why the neoconservative perspective has become so widely accepted within popular culture. They then offer social policy recommendations that support men in their fathering role without discriminating against women and same-sex couples.

Criticism

The authors have been criticized in the general media for admitting to holding a political agenda. The emphasis of feminist psychology is that all articles are written with some sort of slant or bias. The standpoint that is called "objective" is merely the accepted mainstream bias. By the standards of feminist psychology, the upfront admission of bias contributes to quality research. Science, according to "Deconstructing the Essential Father", is "always structure by values, both in the research questions that are generated and in the interpretation of data." Haraway (1989) pointed out that "as research paradigms evolve to reflect diverse gender, ethnic, class, and cultural perspectives, much of the established body of "scientific fact" has turned out to be science fiction. Fischhoff (1990) identified two options for psychologists in the public arena: helping the public define their best interests or manipulating the public to serve the interests of policymakers." (1) The purpose of this article was to stimulate ongoing, scholarly debate amongst other psychologists with the acknowledgement that new data may prove some aspects of their argument wrong. The authors hope that, by stimulating scholarly debate, they will assist the public in defining its best interests.

The authors cite research indicating that parenting roles are interchangeable; that neither fathers nor mothers are unique or essential. Their refutation of biologically-based parenting roles may be true. However, their focus on the few primary caregiving fathers, gay fathers, single dads, etc., gives short shrift to the mothers who are currently doing the job. Primary caregiving fathers and fathers who are very actively involved with their children are rare. Mothers, not fathers, continue to take on the bulk of the day to day childrearing and housekeeping, whether or not they work outside the home. It is true that a wide variety of family structures may support positive child outcomes. However, more focus should be placed on assisting the mothers who are already doing the job, rather than seeking ways to ensure that fathers are able to become more active in their children's live based on the experiences of a few primary caregiving and outside-the-norm fathers.

In their conclusion, the authors state that "most men must accept some degree of responsibility for child care and household tasks" as well as citing a "new context of power sharing and role sharing." Most men choose to avoid taking on this additional responsibility, shared or otherwise. Ensuring "a high level of paternal involvement for resident as well as nonresident fathers" lies not with social policy but with the fathers themselves. Silverstein and Auerbach have fallen for the myth that a fathers' relationship with his children following divorce or due to not being married to the children's mother is contingent on "social policy ... that removes the impediments to paternal involvement for never-married and divorced fathers." According to Srouf, in the periods of high stress following the breakup of a marriage, "it is difficult for parents to realize that no one (including their spouse or a new step-parent) can take their relationships with children away from them. The hallmark of attachment relationships is their durability. Neither physical separation nor death terminates attachments." (2)

Pleck's finding, cited in "Deconstructing the Essential Father", of a "reluctance in fathers to take advantage of family-supportive policies because they fear that they will be perceived as uncommitted to their job or unmasculine" ignores the fact that these children need parenting, and that mothers continue to do it, regardless of how parenting affects their jobs or femininity. A man may be perfectly capable of caring for his child. He may say he wishes to parent his child. However, that wish means nothing if he makes one excuse after another when asked why he has not actively engaged himself in the role. The role of fatherhood has not changed much at all, despite the new myth that fathers are equal parents. There is a great deal of "compelling evidence of a change in the contemporary meaning of fatherhood for men, but not so much that men have become equal partners in parenthood." (3) The image of fatherhood has changed, but not the practical reality behind it.

It is a myth that fathers are taking on more childcare and housekeeping than they used to. According to "The Meaning of Fatherhood," "[i]t appears, from a variety of data sources, that most fathers still do very little child care, especially when the children are very young. To be sure, there has been a change in the meaning of fatherhood, as reflected in both the attitude and the behavior of fathers, largely as a result of a general shift in less gender-specific family roles (Thornton and Freedman, 1983; Stein, 1984). But, Pleck (1985) and others, who have done extensive research on this question, has concluded that most of these changes have been relatively modest." (4) Research conducted by Francine Deutsch (5) and Daniel Evan Weiss (5) have come to similar conclusions regarding the lack of attention fathers pay towards domestic work.

The push for father involvement towards the end of the article flies in the face of what is in the best interests of the child. It resembles the political support for joint custody by fathers' rights groups such as the National Fatherhood Initiative and the Children's Rights Council -- the types of organizations whose policies Silverstein and Auerbach oppose. Joint custody has been shown by various researchers, including Mason (7), Kolata (8), Polikoff (9), and Wallerstein and Blakeslee (10) to be both ineffective and detrimental to the welfare of women and children. Most fathers do not fight for custody. They acknowledge that the mothers have been doing the job all along, and should continue. According to the Florida Bar Journal, "Abusive fathers are far more likely than nonabusive parents to fight for child custody, not pay child support, and kidnap children." (11) The only people who benefit from joint custody are men, primarily through lowering or elimination of their child support obligation, and through their interference in childrearing that had always been handled by the mother. These men have had no problem with the mothers' parenting decisions until after the relationship dissolves, and he is ordered to pay child support. They strive for veto-power in parenting through joint custody as a means of continuing to control the woman after the relationship has ended.

Responsible Fatherhood

David Blankenhorn, former Chairman of the Board of the National Fatherhood Initiative and founder and president of the Institute for American Values, wrote "Fatherless America: Confronting Our Most Urgent Social Problem." (1995) (12) David Popenoe is best known for his book "Life Without Father." (1996) (13) A third social scientist who follows this precept is Dr. Wade Horn, president of the National Fatherhood Initiative. The writings of these three men are very popular with the fathers' rights movement. They, and the organizations they have founded, actively participate in a large, federally-funded initiative to which Silverstein and Auerbach refer in their article: The Responsible Fatherhood Project. This Project, which operates under the auspices of the Department of Health and Human Services, provides support and services to fathers and fatherhood groups by way of federal funding funneled through state governor's offices. Mothers and family forms outside heterosexual married couples do not get similar, positive support from the government.

Fatherhood propaganda promulgated by these groups and individuals is the primary reason for the existence of and promotion of social policy initiatives such as Covenant Marriage, revisions to the tax code that would reward only those couples who marry, and ending taxes only for married couples who have three or more children. Welfare reform -- the closest thing we have to a "Motherhood Project" -- is also based in part on the research of these social scientists. Rather than exalt motherhood in the same manner as fatherhood is exalted in The Responsible Fatherhood Project, welfare reform penalizes divorced mothers and mothers who have had children out of wedlock should they need governmental assistance. The recent action alert calling attention to a pending Responsible Fatherhood Bill would not have come to fruition if it weren't for the excessive activism of the fathers' rights movement. These policies discriminate against cohabiting couples, single mothers, divorced mothers, and gay and lesbian parents.

Hornet's Nest

The reaction to having the fathers' rights ulterior agenda exposed to harsh light by "Deconstructing the Essential Father" and similar writings over the years has resulted in ad hominum rantings published on newspaper opinion pages and on the Internet. Wade Horn leads the current pack of men's and fathers' rights advocates and media pundits who are attacking both the article and its authors in a very hostile manner. Although Horn's perspective was not critiqued in "Deconstructing the Essential Father," he became upset enough to write the editorial "Lunacy 101: Questioning the Need for Fathers" for his July 1, 1999 column in "Jewish World Review." He had forwarded this editorial to newspapers, many of which had printed it. It was also picked up by conservative talk show hosts. The editorial has circulated amongst fathers' rights advocates on the Internet, many of whom are enraged by what they perceive as a hands-down condemnation of marriage and fatherhood within the American Psychologist article. Rather than rely on reputable research to lend support to claims that fatherlessness causes social pathology, men's/fathers advocates and media pundits prefer to hurl epithets because they know fully well that there is no reputable research that would support their hypothesis. In fact, reputable research completely discredits fatherlessness propaganda. There have been heated accusations on men's and fathers' rights Internet mailing lists that the authors have "mothballed" fathers, and that they mean that fathers are not only unnecessary, they are dangerous.

Charles W. Moore wondered in his Calgary Herald opinion piece (14) if "being a card-carrying lunatic facilitates getting published in journals of the American Psychological Association." Rather than rely on valid research material to support the claim that fatherlessness causes social pathology, he trotted out free-floating fatherlessness statistics from Equal Parents of Canada, which is not a valid research group. It is a fathers' rights group; a political group. Moore ended his diatribe complaining about political advocacy of anyone opposed to fatherlessness propaganda without acknowledging that the sources of his own "evidence" was the fathers' rights propaganda machine. At least Silverstein and Auerbach were up-front about their own political beliefs when they wrote their article. Kathy Parker, a columnist for the Orlando Sentinel, complained that the article had made "numerous breathtaking assertions," including "[f]athers aren't essential to the well-being of children." She had ignored the author's biologically-based meaning of "essential" in favor of the Webster's definition -- "necessary and indispensable" -- in order to claim that the authors are saying that fathers do not matter. She insists that [t]he gauntlet has been tossed and a cultural war declared with publication of that article." (15) Jeff Jacoby, a columnist for the Boston Globe (16), believes Silverstein and Auerbach have allowed their political agenda to taint their science neglected to note that Wade Horn's National Fatherhood Initiative is a political group. Horn has, to pirate Jacoby's opinion of Silverstein and Auerbach, "allowed his politics to color his research and is using his research to promote his politics." The difference between the "fatherhood" crowd and "Deconstructing the Essential Father" is that "Deconstructing the Essential Father" relies on reputable research on single mother homes to make its points. The fatherhood crowd relies on specious, long-discredited "fatherlessness" research.

According to Liz Kates, Florida attorney, "After reciting numerous research findings all about how fathers are NOT essential, [Silverstein and Auerbach] actually end their article with a LOT of drivel calling for "father involvement." I'd dearly love to remind them that many women are unwed mothers or divorced mothers because they neither want, nor need, nor their child either, involvement from the kinds of men who now are giving Silverstein and Auerbach such grief. And perhaps (give a mouse a cookie, give an inch, etc.) they shouldn't have fallen into the trap _at all_ of touting father involvement outside marriage when there is even LESS research supporting ITS benefits. They attempted to skirt controversy by giving lip service to this drivel, and all it did was make them an obviously scared and weak target. There have been many many articles and papers that have come right out and said many of the same things [Silverstein and Auerbach] have, with only one difference: they didn't call their writeup "deconstructing the..." They simply discussed the research."

Horn's Misrepresentations

Horn doesn't provide examples of research that adequately counters "Deconstructing the Essential Father." Instead, he relies on ad hominum attacks and histrionics which are rather embarrassing to read.

He misrepresents what Silverstein and Auerbach mean by "neoconservative perspective," when he complains that the label means "anyone who thinks fathers matter." He purposefully twists the meaning of "essential" from the biologically-based parenting differences referred to by the authors to its Websters' definition when he wrote: "There you go! Dads you don't make a difference! So don't worry about rushing home to play ball with your kid in the backyard, you won't be missed. According to these two psychologists, all that is simply non-essential!" Silverstein and Auerbach propose that "the essentialist framework represents a dramatic oversimplification of the complex relations between father presence and social problems. We characterize this perspective as essentialist because it assumes that the biologically different reproductive functions of men and women automatically construct essential differences in parenting behaviors. The essentialist perspective defines mothering and fathering as distinct social roles that are not interchangeable. Marriage is seen as the social institution within which responsible fathering and positive child adjustment are most likely to occur. Fathers are understood as having a unique and essential role to play in child development, especially for boys who need a male role model to establish a masculine gender identity."

In the same manner that an allegedly inherent, instinctual, biologically-based motherhood and femaleness have been used in ages past and not-so-past to discriminate against women, an allegedly inherent, instinctual, biologically-based fatherhood and maleness are being used today to discriminate against women, particularly in the context of marriage, divorce, child custody, domestic violence, and child abuse. Blankenhorn, in particular, has sanctioned marriage as a necessary buffer for what he believes is biologically-based male wanderlust and male sexual jealousy and proprietorship. In a chapter on domestic violence in "Fatherless America," (17) he supports the notion of married fatherhood as opposed to all other family forms because he claims that it reduces "the likelihood of sexual jealousy and paternal uncertainty, and by directing the male's aggression toward the support of his child and the mother of his child..." With this statement, he comes to the unbelievable and erroneous conclusion that married fatherhood "dramatically restricts the tendency among men towards violent behavior." His "cure" for domestic violence is marriage!

Horn misrepresented the AP article by stating that the authors relied solely on their own qualitative study of 200 men. In fact, he became quite caustic about it. He wrote: "And what is their vast research experience? Over the past six years they have studied the fathering experience of 200 -- yes, a whole 200! -- men. Now there's a representative, national sample for you!" As stated at the beginning of this article, the authors relied on a wide range of cross-species, cross-cultural, and social science research, including their own study of 200 men.

Horn sums up his opinion of what he believes is the authors point of view in two sharp retorts: "First, fathers are really non-essential to the healthy development of children. Second, marriage stinks." There is nothing within that article that denigrates marriage; certainly no statement that "marriage stinks." The fact is, the lack of a father does not guarantee the downfall of a family, which is a view anathema to propagandists like Horn. Empirical literature does not support the view that fathers make a unique and essential contribution to child development. The mere presence of a father is not the key factor in helping children become healthy, happy adults. A seven-year study by Dallas's Timberlawn Psychiatric Institute found the one factor that was the most important in helping children become healthy, happy adults, was the quality of the relationship between their parents.

The Myth of Fatherlessness

Fathers' and men's rights advocates as well as Horn, Blankenhorn, and Popenoe have been repeatedly taken to task by attorneys, sociologists, psychologists, and feminist advocates for insisting that a vaguely-defined "fatherlessness," is at the root of a wide range of social problems such as child poverty, urban decay, societal violence, drug and alcohol addiction, teenaged pregnancy, and poor school performance. Father-absence research, which appears in the form of free-floating statistics such as "85% of prisoners, 78% of high school dropouts, 82% of teenage girls who become pregnant, the majority of drug and alcohol abusers -- all come from single-mother-headed households," (18) are cited as proof that single-mother homes have caused these social problems. "Fatherlessness" is the code-word for "single mother-headed households," which are both blamed and condemned for allegedly creating social pathology.

In the past two decades, the limitations of father-absence research has been documented by many researchers. However, these limitations have not stopped Horn, Blankenhorn, and Popenoe from using this weak research to support their opinion that father-absence alone causes social pathology. For those who understand the politics behind the push for childrearing within the context of heterosexual, father-headed marriage alone, the continued use of this specious research is to be expected because there is no research of substance that supports that hypothesis.

In his editorial, Horn writes that "... two decades of research [attest] to the impact of father absence on the well-being of children, including increased risk for school failure, emotional and behavioral problems, juvenile crime, and teenage pregnancy." This is not the first time Horn has erroneously linked father-absence, single-mother homes, and social pathology. In his Jewish World Review column, "IRS, Welfare Discourages Low-Income Marriage," (19) he writes: "Fatherlessness is connected to our most pressing social ills, especially in urban areas, including poverty, crime, educational failure, and substance abuse."

In "Fatherhood Hype," (20) he wrongly concluded that it is the absence of the father that leads directly to problems experienced by children: "The research is very clear that children who grow up without a father are at greater risk for a host of negative outcomes, including school failure, drug and alcohol problems, juvenile delinquency, and teen pregnancy. But saying that kids without dads are at greater risk for poor outcomes is different from saying that kids without dads are destined to fail. In fact, many children growing up without dads do just fine, as your letter attests. But just because you turned out fine, doesn't deny the reality that on average children without dads are more likely to develop problems."

Phrases such as "fatherless homes" and "children growing up without dads" give the misleading impression that the father ceases to exist, which is definitely not the case. The only true "fatherless" home is that of a widow with children. "Fatherlessness" in this context refers to fathers outside the traditional, married, head-of-household position through divorce or out of wedlock births. Contrary to writings by Horn, Blankenhorn, and Popenoe, it has been demonstrated that two-thirds of children from divorced families exhibit no negative effects. (21) That's not "many children," to use Horn's phrase. That's most children.

In addition, correlation does not equal causation. Father absence covaries with other relevant family characteristics such as the lack of an income from a male adult, the absence of a second adult, and the lack of support from a second extended family system. McLoyd (1998) has pointed out that "families without fathers are likely to be poor, and it is the negative effects of poverty, rather than the absence of a father, that lead to negative developmental outcomes." (22) McLoyd has also pointed out that "...because single-mother families are overrepresented among poor families, it is difficult to differentiate the effects of father absence from the effects of low income." Poverty and job status appear to be key factors regarding positive child outcomes in single mother homes, not merely the presence or absence of a father.

Horn's National Fatherhood Initiative has published a book of self-proclaimed "Father Facts," which include the expected without-fathers,-children-are-doomed statements such as, "...[w]ithout a dad, children are two to three times more likely to fail in school and five times more likely to live in poverty. They're also more likely to use drugs or alcohol, or even commit suicide." (23) His claim that "fatherless homes" lead directly to drug and alcohol addiction is interesting, because Johnson, Hoffman, and Gerstein have demonstrated that "[r]isks of youth substance use, dependence, and need for illegal drug abuse treatment are generally higher among youth who live with a biological father and a stepmother than among youth who live with a biological mother and a stepfather." (24) They also found that "[y]ouths who live with a biological father and no mother or stepfather are more likely to use substances, to be dependent on substances, and to need illegal drug abuse treatment than youths who live with a biological mother and no father or stepfather." (25)

Another documentation of the speciousness of father-absence research comes from "The Meaning of Fatherhood," by Koray Tanfer and Frank Mott, (26) which stated: "While it would be a seemingly obvious proposition to most of us, that fathers' consistent and substantial involvement in child care would benefit the child, this appears to not have been well established. The relationship between paternal involvement and children's well-being seems to be mediated by a number of other conditions that involve the father, the mother, and the child. In other words, increased paternal involvement does not automatically result in improved child outcomes. Nor is it clear whether the fathers' involvement provides unique nurturance that cannot be as readily provided by substitute caregivers."

A study by Timothy Biblarz (27) concluded that when income and job status are taken into account, children raised by single mothers are nearly as likely to succeed in adulthood, and, interestingly enough, they are even more likely to succeed than children raised in homes headed by a stepfather or a single father. Biblarz wrote that "[k]ids from male-headed households, single dads, do worse socioeconomically than kids from mother-headed homes and also two-parent families." Most negative effects were due to the greater likelihood that single mothers would be unemployed, Biblarz said. "When you compare two-parent households where fathers were managerial/professional with kids whose single mothers were managerial/professional, there's not a lot of difference between the two socioeconomic outcomes as they get into adulthood."

Data collected by Dr. Valaria King (28), indicates that the critical factor in successful child development for nonresident fathers is the level of his child support. "Besides direct help to the child," she claims, "payment of child support may help indirectly by enhancing the mother's economic well-being and thus her emotional well-being. It may also have noneconomic effects such as improving mother-father or father-child relationships by reducing conflict between the divorced parents."

In order to support his "Lunacy 101" claim that father absence causes social pathologies, Horn cited a study by Cornell University professor Urie Bronfenbrenner, who 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 behavioral and educational problems, including extremes of hyperactivity and withdrawal; lack of attentiveness in the classroom; difficulty in deferring gratification; impaired academic achievement; school misbehavior; absenteeism; dropping out; involvement in socially alienated peer groups, and the so-called 'teenage syndrome' of behaviors 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."

Why did horn include the words "father absent" in brackets? Because the actual quote read "single parent," a gender-neutral term which supports the previously mentioned conditions leading to difficulties experienced in single parent homes such as "the absence of a second adult, and the lack of support from a second extended family system." Horn covered the "lack of an income from a male adult" factor in his one source supporting his position because Bronfenbrenner had controlled for factors such as low income. Bronfenbrenner is saying that children who live in single parent homes are at greater risk than children in intact families primarily due to poverty, low income, and lack of a sufficient support system, which is the same conclusion reached by McLoyd, Biblarz, Tanfer and Mott, Hetherington et al, and plenty of other researchers whose conclusions do not support Horn's view of fatherhood. Bronfenbrenner's statement is a far cry from saying, as insinuates Horn, that single mother homes cause the problems experienced by these children. Horn has mislead the reader with this particular out-of-context quote.

The Real Concern

What has Horn and the men's/fathers rights contingency so up in arms are statements towards the end of "Deconstructing the Essential Father" in which the authors opine that the appeal of the essential father clarifies the backlash against the gay rights and feminist movements. They write: "In the past two decades, the employment of women has dramatically increased, whereas the employment of men has declined significantly (Engle & Breaux, 1998). Many more women than in past historical periods can now choose to leave unsatisfactory marriages or to have children on their own, outside of the context of a traditional marriage. Two of three divorces are now initiated by women (Rice, 1994)."

The real concern for Horn, Blankenhorn, and Popenoe as well as men's and fathers' rights advocates is not the desire for men to become better, more responsible parents. They are reacting to the relinquishment of certain aspects of power and privilege that heterosexual men have enjoyed in the context of the traditional, wedded, nuclear family. What we are seeing is a concerted effort to restore the dominance of the heterosexual nuclear family through governmental initiatives and fathers' rights-initiated restructuring of family law as a reaction to a perceived loss of male power and privilege.

It isn't a sincere effort to become better fathers which concerns Horn et al, but their own fleeting sense of necessity and indispensability -- their own "essentialness," according to Webster. In reality, what they fear may be the knowledge that they, and other members of the status quo, are toppling from their comfortable perches as Kings of the Hill.

Footnotes

1. Haraway, D. (1989) "Primate Visions." New York: Routledge; Fischhoff, B. (1990) "Psychology and Public Policy: Tool or Toolmaker?" American Psychologist, 45 -- as reported in Silverstein, Louise B. and Auerbach, Carl F. "Deconstructing the Essential Father." American Psychologist. June, 1999.

2. Sroufe, L. Alan, Ph.D., "Attachment Theory and the Aftermath of Divorce," Center for Early Education, Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota 226 Child Development, 51 E. River Road Minneapolis, MN 55455 (1989)

3. Koray Tanfer, Battelle Memorial Institute; Frank Mott, Ohio State University; "The Meaning of Fatherhood." Prepared for NICHD Workshop "Improving Data on Male Fertility and Family Formation" at the Urban Institute, Washington, D.C., January 16-17, 1997

4. Koray Tanfer, Battelle Memorial Institute; Frank Mott, Ohio State University; "The Meaning of Fatherhood." Prepared for NICHD Workshop "Improving Data on Male Fertility and Family Formation" at the Urban Institute, Washington, D.C., January 16-17, 1997

5. The College Street Journal, Mount Holyoke College, citing Francine M. Deutsch, "Husbands At Home," (1993)

6. Weiss, Daniel Evan, The Great Divide: How Females and Males Really Differ (Poseidon Press)

7. Mason, Mary Ann. "Equality Trap" Simon and Shuster, 1988

8. Kolata, Gina. "The Children of Divorce: Joint Custody is Found to Offer Little Benefit, N.Y. Times, Mar. 31, 1988

9. Polikoff, Nancy D. "Joint Custody: Only by Agreement of the Parties," 8 Woman's Advoc. 1,3 (1987)

10. Wallerstein, Judith and Blakeslee, Sandra. "Second Chances -- Men, Women, and Children A Decade After Divorce. Who Wins, Who Loses, and Why."

11. White, Ann C., The Florida Bar Journal, Vol LXVIII, No. 9, citing Hansen, Marsali, and Michele Harway, Battering and Family Therapy 175 (1993); Grieg, Geoffrey L. and Rebecca Hegar, "Parents Whose Children Are Abducted by the Other Parent: Implications for Treatment," 19 American Journal of Family Therapy 215, 221 (1991); Zorza Joan, "Protection for Battered Women and Children," 27 Clearing House Rev. 1437 (1994).

12. Blankenhorn, David. "Fatherless America: Confronting Our Most Urgent Social Problem." New York: Basic Books. (1995)

13. Popenoe, David. "Life Without Fathers." New york: Pressler Press. (1996)

14. Moore, Charles W. Calgary Herald. "Feminist "Analysis" Dismissive of Fathers. Charles W. Moore Goes After Quack Psychologists Busy "Deconstructing" Fatherhood." July 29, 1999.

15. Parker, Kathleen. "Study Denouncing Fathers." Orlando Sentinel. July 18, 1999.

16. Boston Globe. "Attack on Fatherhood a Political Screed Masquerading as Science." Sept. 26, 1999.

17. Blankenhorn, David. "Fatherless America: Confronting Our Most Urgent Social Problem." New York: Basic Books. pp. 32-39. (1995)

18. Miller, Stuart A. and Zubaty, Rich. "Reuniting Fathers With Their Families." Washington Times, Dec. 19, 1995, p. A19

19. Horn, Wade. "IRS, Welfare Discourages Low-Income Marriages;" Jewish World Review, June 24, 1999

20. Horn, Wade. "Fatherhood Hype;" Jewish World Review, March 22, 1999

21. Hetherington, E. M., Bridges, M., & Insabella, G. M. (1998). "What Matters? What Does not? Five Perspectives on the Association Between Marital Transitions and Children's Adjustment." American Psychologist, 53, 167-184.

22. McLoyd, V. C. (1998). Socioeconomic Disadvantages and Child Development. American Psychologist, 53, 185-204.

23. Men/Fathers HOTLINE (internet). "Fatherlessness." From "Fathers' Manifesto" website.

24. Johnson, Hoffman, Gerstein (1986). 1995 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse

25. Johnson, Hoffman, Gerstein (1986). 1995 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse

26. Koray Tanfer, Battelle Memorial Institute; Frank Mott, Ohio State University; "The Meaning of Fatherhood." Prepared for NICHD Workshop "Improving Data on Male Fertility and Family Formation" at the Urban Institute, Washington, D.C., January 16-17, 1997

27. Biblarz, Timothy. University of Southern California

28. King, Valaria Dr. "Variation in the Consequences of Nonresident Father Involvement for Children's Well-Being," Journal of Marriage and the Family. Assistant professor of sociology and human development and family studies at Penn State.

Copyright © 1999 Trish Wilson