Dr. Warren FarrellFather & Child Reunion

Father & Child Reunion


Excerpts from Father and Child Reunion by Dr. Warren Farrell

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Introduction

The challenge of this book:


1) to deepen our understanding of what’s missing when dad’s missing and bring dad home again.

2) to confront the gap between our conscious desire for father involvement and the unconscious ways we undermine that involvement.

• I reframe the dialogue so it is not stuck in one ideology or another; so that everyone is included, and theories in conflict are out in the open. 9

• The last quarter of the century was marked by women’s struggle for equal opportunity in the workplace; the first quarter of the twenty-first century will be marked by men’s struggle for equal opportunity in the homeplace. 4

• We’ve gone from the Era of Father Knows Best to the Era of Daddy Molests. 8

• Five forces fuelling the fathers’ and childrens’ rights movement:

1) large numbers

2) economic hurt

3) emotional rejection

4) legal injustice

5) a protector instinct. 13

• In divorce, men’s biggest fear is emotional insecurity; women’s is economic insecurity. 18

• Women’s traditional support systems support women to be vulnerable; men’s traditional support systems support men to be invulnerable. 21

• Paradox: the support men get to be invulnerable makes them more vulnerable; the support women get to be vulnerable makes them less vulnerable. 21


Chapter 1. Why Dad is Crucial 27

• Time fathers spend with children is one of the strongest predictors of :

child empathy.

good discipline/boundaries

higher achievement test scores & grades

lower suicide rates for boys and girls

prevention of drug abuse 30

• Daughters Without Dads Become Mothers Without Husbands 36

• The more absent the father, the higher the rates of violent crime. 38

• The Impact of Shared Parent Time 40

• If Shared Parent Time Isn’t in the Cards, Are Children Better Off With Their Mom, Or With Their Dad? 47

• Attitude Toward the Non-Resident Parent 48

• Do Boys Do Better with Dads and Girls with Moms? 48

• The Impact of a Stepparent 49

• The Impact of Moving the Child Away from the Non-Resident Parent 51

• Conclusion: Mommy is no substitute for daddy and money is no substitute for daddy. 54


Chapter 2. Is there a Mothering Instinct?...A Fathering Instinct?...And What Does it all Mean for our Kids? 55

• What Fathers Do With Children That's Different From What Mothers Do 55

• Is There a Fathering Instinct? 60

• Maybe not per se, but an instinct to protect, provide and take responsibility. 62

• Is There a Mothering Instinct? 64

• Ann Landers to female readers, "If you had to do it all over again, would you have children?" Seventy percent said, "No." 64

• 86% of children surveyed said they had no preference at all regarding which parent they would prefer to live with after divorce. 69

• A dad is 170% more likely to be the primary caretaker of the child than all daycare, group care, nursery school, kindergarten, and preschool facilities combined. 71


Chapter 3. Are Dads More Likely to Abuse? 75

• Domestic violence is a momentary act of power designed to compensate for a continuing experience of powerlessness. 76

• Single mother households account for 43% of all abused children. 76

• Children are 88% more likely to be seriously injured from child abuse or neglect by their mother than by their father. 76

• Children are more than twice as likely to be victims of neglect by their mother than by their father. 76

• Of court-referred cases of false accusations occurring during divorce and parent time battles, 94% were made by women, 96% of those falsely accused were men. 79

• Wait...Exactly What Is Sexual Abuse? 83

• Belief In The Superiority Of Mothers Relates To Our Adopting The Female Definitions of Sexual Abuse 84


Chapter 4. What Prevents Dads From Being Involved? 87

• Industrialization:

• Created the “Father’s Catch-22”: a dad loving his children by being away from the love of his children. 88

• Created “The Husband’s Catch-22.”: he needed to be away from his wife’s love in order to be loved by a woman who would be his wife. 88

• Both deprived father as personal role model, and as a professional role model. 89

• Next Time You See a Full-Time Dad in a Movie, Notice This Formula.... 91

• If dad is the primary caretaker, mom must be dead. 92

• How Our Discrimination Against Men’s Style of Nurturing Keeps Men from Children 95

• The “Presumption of Perversion” 95

• How the Presumption of Perversion Begins 97

• Demonization of sexuality usually implies the demonization of males and the victimization of females. 97

• The Female Value System 100

• Female socialization permeates childraising as male values permeated money-raising. 100

• The Mom-as-Gatekeeper Barrier -- Keeping Dad Out of “The First Wives’ Club” 103

• 40% of custodial wives reported they had refused to let their ex-husband see the children at least once. 104

• We call them deadbeat dads before we ask whether mom is discouraging the contact. 104

• The Helping Professions As Barrier 108

• Results of making fathers feel included? Paternity establishment went from 18% to 60%. 110


Chapter 5. Toward the Best Interests of Everyone.... Some Solutions 111

• The best interests of a child do not come from focusing only on its interests, but served only when everyone’s interests are considered.112

• The “Fathers’ Corps” would train men to be nursery and elementary school teachers and teach men how communicate with their children. 112

• The Man-in-the-Family-Plan: (1) gives children their fathers back; (2) gives women more time to enter the workplace and develop a sense mastery; (3) gives children the role model of a mother who takes economic responsibility; (4) puts children, emotions and a reason for living back into the lives of men. 113

• Male Teacher Corps: bring men from the business community into the school system 116

• Female Work Corps: bring female teachers from the school system into the business community. 116

• Reinventing Fatherhood and Motherhood for the 21st Century 116

• Introducing a New Language -- "Relationship Language” 116

• The Five Key Habits of Smart Dads 121

• Women needed the help of the law to enter the workplace in the 20th century, men will need the help of the law to love their children in the 21st century. 122


Chapter 6. Men’s ABC Rights and Responsibilities: Abortion, Birth, Caring 127

• A Man Can Just Have Sex and Disappear, But A Woman Has to Live with the Consequences, Right? 128

• Men’s “A” Right & Responsibility: Abortion: or The Fallacy of “It’s a Woman’s Right to Choose Because It’s a Woman’s Body” 131

• Why Surrogate Mothering Destroys The Argument That A Woman’s Right To Choose Is Based On The Fetus Being In Her Womb 135

• Men’s “B” Rights and Responsibilities: Birth Control and Believability 138

• Believability: We socialized men to trust women, and socialized women to expect this trust. 138

• The “Trick and Sue” Law: Female-as-Kryptonite 140

• A government requiring a man to support a child he was tricked into subsidizes fraud. 143

• Is A Men’s Birth Control Pill A Viable Solution? 143

• Men’s “C” Right and Responsibility: Caring 148

• If A Man Wants To Love A Child, Does The Woman Have The Right To Abort It? 148

• How A Woman Can Put A Child Up For Adoption Without Informing The Father...And Why He Can’t Stop Her 147

• How the Attitude and the Law Create the “Dad-Time Catch-22” 152

• If he cares enough about his children to fight for them legally, he cares enough to not want to put them through a legal battle. 153

• A “Shared Choice” Movement 158


Chapter 7. Does Divorce Make Women Poorer And Men Richer? 160

• By the end of the fifth year, women were 10% ahead of where they were before divorce. 162

• Who gets the family home?

• The mother with children.

• Creates the “masculinization of loneliness.” 162

• Underestimating The Woman’s Contribution During Marriage 165

• If the value of his career assets are to continue to support her, then the value of her contributions must continue to support him. 165

• How Men Lost Their Children Because They Were Not The Primary Parent, And Lost Their Money Because They Were The Primary Breadwinner 166


Chapter 8. Is Child Support Helping or Hurting the Family? 169

• Giving women the children, child support, and the family home gives women financial and emotional incentives to initiate the break-up of the family. 169

• Are Mother Subsidies Really Designed To Give Women A Special Break? 173

• If A Dad Doesn’t Pay His Mother Subsidy, He Goes To Prison; If A Mom Doesn’t Pay Her Father Subsidy, She Gets Social Services. 176

• Why We Think Of Dads More As Deadbeats Than As Dead Broke, Deadened, Dead-Ended, Or Dead 179


Chapter 9. “Visitation” is for Criminals 186

• “Visitation Time” Versus “Parent Time” 187

• “Visitation” reflects the era of the absentee father; “parent time” influences the re-emergence of the involved father. 187

• The Child’s Social Immune System: The Case For Denial Of Parent Time As Child Abuse 188

• The Divorced Dad’s Postpartum Blues 190

• Why Mothers Deprive Fathers Of “Dad Time” 191

• Should Women With Children Have The Right To Move? 195

• The Balanced Parenting Act 196

• The starting assumption “children need both parents -- let’s make that happen” will not happen unless fathers have equal rights. 196


Chapter 10. Playing the “Abuse” Card 200

• 80% of child sex abuse accusations are unfounded. 200

• 80% of dads accused who are eventually found innocent nevertheless lose their jobs or suffer other employment problems. 201

• How A Charge Of Possible Child Abuse Can Create The “Twelve Guarantees Of Child Abuse”...Even If The Charge Is True 203

• The law is written so broadly that virtually every parent is guilty of child abuse several times each week. 209

• How Innocent Men’s Lives Are Ruined By Unsubstantiated Abuse Charges 209

• A Law For Men, A Law For Women: our willingness to ruin men, and readiness to protect women. 212

• The False Charge Of Sex Abuse The “Nuclear Weapon Of Domestic Relations” 218

• If A Child Claims Abuse, It’s Abuse; If A Child Denies Abuse, It’s “Denial” 219

• Medical tests to determine sexual abuse were wrong 25% to 30% of the time. 220

• How Our Education System Really Can Protect Children 229

• How We Can Tell When A Sex Abuse Charge Is False 230

• How The Law Can Protect Children And Protect Parents 232


Chapter 11. The Political Consequences Of Ignoring Fathers 234

• When We Don’t Support Fathers’ Rights, We Are Really Supporting the “Right-to-Life” Movement 234

• What Pro-Choice the Right-to-Life Have in Common: job rights; job as identity; territoriality. 235

• The Fathers' Rights movement's desire for fathers to have an equal right to child involvement challenges both women’s groups’ job rights, sense of identity and territoriality. 235

• There’s “Father-Style” And “Mother-Style”: Until Courts Understand What “Father-Style” Means, A Father's Contributions Will Be Mistaken For Child Abuse 236


Chapter 12. Conclusion: Toward a Father and Child Reunion 238

• Sometimes we want Dad to hold back Hitler and handle a bullet in his head; other times we want him to hold a baby. 238

• Men goeth to that place from which appreciation cometh. 238

• The Octant of Equal Opportunity Parenting 245


Appendix. What a Man Needs to Do If Divorce Cannot Be Avoided 248

Who Recommends This Book?