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Reuniting Father's With Their Families
Strike the Root ^ | 3/18/02 | Stuart A. Miller and Rich Zubaty

Posted on 03/18/2002 6:34:14 AM PST by AUgrad

Reuniting Fathers With Their Families

by Stuart A. Miller and Rich Zubaty

Eighty-five percent 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. Less than 1% of any of these categories come from single-father-headed households. This seems to indicate that the problems children encounter are not related to single-parent households, but are related specifically to single-mother-headed households. So, should we blame the mothers or the fathers? Perhaps, neither. There is no question that father-absence has reached epidemic proportions. According to Wade Horn of the National Fatherhood Initiative, we must reverse the trend in seven to eight years or it will be too late to do so.

How has our government responded to this crisis? By continuing to drive fathers out of the family. It is bad enough that some fathers abandon their families, but it is unconscionable that our federal and state policies drive fathers away from their families. With 80+ percent of divorces involving children resulting in sole-mother-custody, combined with a “no man in the house rule” and “presumptive sole-mother-custody” in welfare cases, we are not blameless from a policy perspective. We must change our policies, practices and procedures to specifically include fathers in families. If not, we can be certain that social spending will continue to increase and we will be plagued with an ever burgeoning population of maladjusted children who will fill our prisons and wreak havoc on society.

Social research data reveal that our blind reliance only on the nurturing value of mothers is inadequate and misplaced. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, a child living with his/her divorced mother, compared to a child living with both parents, is “375% more likely to need professional treatment for emotional or behavioral problems and is almost twice as likely to repeat a grade of school, is more likely to suffer chronic asthma, frequent headaches, and/or bedwetting, develop a stammer or speech defect, suffer from anxiety or depression, and be diagnosed as hyperactive.”

However, these afflictions were surprisingly uncommon in the 15% of single-parent households headed by men. A study of all state child protective services agencies in the country--by the Children’s Rights Coalition, a child advocacy and research organization in Austin, Texas--found that biological mothers physically abuse their children at twice the rate of biological fathers. The majority of the rest of the time, children are abused because of single-mothers’ poor choices in the subsequent men in their lives. Incidences of abuse were almost non-existent in single-father-headed households.

The data show that placing children only with mothers is likely to be detrimental to children and society, so why do we continue public policies favoring sole-mother-placement? Have we become so paternalistic toward women that it anesthetizes our common sense?

Surprisingly few people realize that, until the end of WW I, U.S. laws and courts automatically placed the children of divorce not with their mothers, but with their fathers. For thousands of years societal conventions instructed the placement of children with their fathers in most cultures all over the globe. Why? Because it works. It puts children with their strongest protectors and it puts boys with their traditional guides to civilized manhood. Yet, these essential fatherhood roles—protector and civilizer—seem to have been forgotten, today.

Never before have fathers been cast aside as they have been in the United States during the last 30 to 40 years. Never before has such a strong society become as threatened as we are, for this solitary reason. Regrettably, as long as we continue to hold to the relatively new idea that only mothers are capable of being parents, and ignore the essential role of fathers, our children will remain at risk.

What is needed? Our Father in heaven and our fathers here on earth—as well as a society that values them, includes them, and encourages their involvement in their families.

March 18, 2002

Stuart A. Miller and Rich Zubaty are political analysts for the American Fathers Coalition in Washington, D.C.


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: custody; divorce; fathers
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In the county where I live it's almost automatic for the mother to be given custody in a divorce case.
1 posted on 03/18/2002 6:34:14 AM PST by AUgrad
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To: AUgrad
bump for later reading
2 posted on 03/18/2002 6:35:50 AM PST by FourPeas
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To: AUgrad
Yup. We have learned to accept women as sole head of the household and we are reaping the harvest.
3 posted on 03/18/2002 6:41:14 AM PST by AppyPappy
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To: AUgrad
>>Eighty-five percent 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.<< Is it possible that the fathers of these children had something wrong with them that was passed on to the children?

I think this is a fair hypothesis. What would happen if we tracked down the fathers? Do you think it's more likely that they are normal, decent members of society, married, settled down, and raising normal children, or that they are drug using losers who can't hold down a job, or in prison themselves?

Now let me guess. It's all the women's fault. The men would be wonderful fathers but the mothers won't let them.

4 posted on 03/18/2002 6:45:38 AM PST by CobaltBlue
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To: AppyPappy
I don't know where we got the idea that fathers were unfit as parents to begin with. I know if my dad had not been around to jerk a knot in my tail I would probably not be where I am today.
5 posted on 03/18/2002 6:46:57 AM PST by AUgrad
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To: CobaltBlue
Now let me guess. It's all the women's fault. The men would be wonderful fathers but the mothers won't let them.

I don't believe the article said that and I know I certainly didn't. I believe the point is you should not dismiss the father as a viable parent just because he isn't the mother. Women do not have a monopoly on effective parenting.

6 posted on 03/18/2002 6:50:24 AM PST by AUgrad
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To: AUgrad
My experience with single moms is that they tend to spoil their sons rotten and when the sons reach the age they can kick mom's butt, the mother throws up her hands and says "I can't do anything with him". She is left with one recourse: defending him as innocent because she is hostage to his behavior.
7 posted on 03/18/2002 7:06:36 AM PST by AppyPappy
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To: AUgrad
Eighty-five percent 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. Less than 1% of any of these categories come from single-father-headed households. This seems to indicate that the problems children encounter are not related to single-parent households, but are related specifically to single-mother-headed households.

Sorry to be a fly in the ointment, but what percentage of single-parent homes are headed by fathers?

8 posted on 03/18/2002 7:25:18 AM PST by Illbay
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To: AUgrad
Women are not "the better parent," that is for sure. Women are as a rule too soft-hearted to address behavioral problems as a man would do.

Men in general tend to see the big picture. Moms sweat the details. That is why God intended that a family be comprised of one husband and one wife who have children TOGETHER, so that those children, male and female, will have the best possible environment in which to grow up.

Fathers most often provide the discipline; mothers provide the nuruturing.

That isn't to say mothers can't discipline (mine sure could) or that fathers can't nurture (I think I'm not half bad at that with my own daughter), but their various strengths compliment one another in the rearing of children.

BTW, I've been on both sides of the fence. My first marriage ended in divorce when my first wife decided "life was passing her by" and took her "friends'" advice to "get rid of the jerk" (defined as "any male").

So I was pretty much shut out of their upbringing.

I remarried "on the rebound" as they say, a very ill-advised decision that also ended in divorce within a few years. But this time, I got custody of my daughter from that marriage, and have been rearing her ever since.

I think I've done well as a parent for my kid, and although my present (and future) wife pitches in a great deal, my daughter still looks to me as the primary parent.

She loves her mother, and visits her when she can, but she would rather be with me, where she feels "safe".

Her mother reared four older sons, two of whom are in jail now, and all of whom have police records. The woman NEVER COULD discipline worth a hoot.

9 posted on 03/18/2002 7:33:28 AM PST by Illbay
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To: Illbay
With 80+ percent of divorces involving children resulting in sole-mother-custody, combined with a “no man in the house rule” and “presumptive sole-mother-custody” in welfare cases, we are not blameless from a policy perspective.

From this I would say no more than 10%. Does that make the data unreliable or useless? Debatable.

10 posted on 03/18/2002 7:33:31 AM PST by AUgrad
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To: Illbay
My son from my first marriage lives with me. His mother was given custody in the divorce proceedings but I later sued for and won custody after her third husband became abusive. I won't generalize for all situations but it became extremely obvious during the trial that she put her own welfare above that of our child. I believe this is more common for women than men.
11 posted on 03/18/2002 7:43:06 AM PST by AUgrad
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Comment #12 Removed by Moderator

To: Illbay;AUgrad
Sorry to be a fly in the ointment, but what percentage of single-parent homes are headed by fathers?

From the article:
in the 15% of single-parent households headed by men.

13 posted on 03/18/2002 8:13:32 AM PST by Tex-Con-Man
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To: AUgrad
Surprisingly few people realize that, until the end of WW I, U.S. laws and courts automatically placed the children of divorce not with their mothers, but with their fathers.

The laws cited in early cases related to guardianship standards imposed on state agencies who placed wards of the state. The fitness of the parents was basically adjudicated in the same hearing that granted custody. All these cases involved extraordinary conditions of neglect or dependency. The same cases and others acknowledged the right of a father to maintain custody of his children without proof that he was unfit. The burden was on the accuser. The standard is strict scrutiny.

There is no longer any attempt to justify the use of placement criteria (best interest) when awarding custody. The fact is, the standard is not justified when fitness is not an issue. The law was highjacked from juvenile and guardianship statutes, which dealt with wards of the state. It may not be an easy argument to win, but I have found nothing to dispute this history. Any takers?

14 posted on 03/18/2002 9:53:42 AM PST by right2parent
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To: AUgrad
I don't know why people believe that only mothers get custody. It's simply not true. If a man really wants joint custody or even primary custody, he's got a fair shot at it.

The question is, who took care of the child before the two split up?

If the mother has done all the child-rearing, and then gets a support order, and then all of a sudden the man wants custody, it's going to look like he just wants out of child support. Similarly, if the man just shows up out of the blue, he's going to have to start with visitation and prove himself.

On the other hand, if the father acted like Mr. Mom before the two split up, he's got a very good shot at custody, split custody, or shared custody.

Most men are satisfied with visitation, at most. Some don't want anything to do with the kid. My guess is that the kids who grow up to be criminals were abandoned by their fathers, and that the dad wasn't much to begin with.

15 posted on 03/18/2002 11:36:19 AM PST by CobaltBlue
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To: AUgrad
I don't know why people believe that only mothers get custody. It's simply not true. If a man really wants joint custody or even primary custody, he's got a fair shot at it.

The question is, who took care of the child before the two split up?

If the mother has done all the child-rearing, and then gets a support order, and then all of a sudden the man wants custody, it's going to look like he just wants out of child support. Similarly, if the man just shows up out of the blue, he's going to have to start with visitation and prove himself.

On the other hand, if the father acted like Mr. Mom before the two split up, he's got a very good shot at custody, split custody, or shared custody.

Most men are satisfied with visitation, at most. Some don't want anything to do with the kid. My guess is that the kids who grow up to be criminals were abandoned by their fathers, and that the dad wasn't much to begin with.

16 posted on 03/18/2002 11:36:43 AM PST by CobaltBlue
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To: CobaltBlue
Good points all.I definitely look at the situation with bias unique to my experience. I fought for custody and did not receive it even though I was the only stable influence in my son's life. Therefore, my opinion is not objective.
17 posted on 03/18/2002 11:42:25 AM PST by AUgrad
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To: CobaltBlue
The question is, who took care of the child before the two split up?

No, the question is, is one parent incapable of taking care of the child?

The burden of proof is on those seeking to diminish a protected right (to parent). Roles assumed during a marriage have little to do with the capability to adapt to a split. Fitness is the only issue between competing parents. The law is well settled, but often abused.

18 posted on 03/19/2002 4:13:03 AM PST by right2parent
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To: CobaltBlue
On the other hand, if the father acted like Mr. Mom before the two split up, he's got a very good shot at custody, split custody, or shared custody.

The problem is that he has the burden of proof and is not on equal footing with the "hallowed" mother. Notice your expression for being a good caretaker is "Mr. Mom.

19 posted on 03/19/2002 4:26:53 AM PST by RGSpincich
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To: CobaltBlue
From my viewpoint, although I know you said this "tongue in cheek" you statement is absolutely correct. While none of the absent fathers I know are saints, neither are the women, and they all love their kids. After the money runs out for lawyers, they are brow beaten into submission by the courts, and the support payments start, they have nothing, emotionally or financially, left to fight with.
20 posted on 03/19/2002 4:34:20 AM PST by Capt.YankeeMike
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To: RGSpincich
The problem is that he has the burden of proof and is not on equal footing with the "hallowed" mother.

No, the burden of proof is on those who seek to diminish the right.

Until people understand the proper way to argue this point, the courts will be free to do what they want. There is a presumption of fitness for both parents. You can hold a judges feet to the fire on this. These days, however, it may take an appeal. Is it worth it? I think it is.

21 posted on 03/19/2002 6:23:40 AM PST by right2parent
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To: right2parent
No, the burden of proof is on those who seek to diminish the right.

Understand that but the presumption of fitness does not always extend to the father.

22 posted on 03/19/2002 6:46:57 AM PST by RGSpincich
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To: CobaltBlue
"My guess is that the kids who grow up to be criminals were abandoned by their fathers, and that the dad wasn't much to begin with."

Your guess is worth about what I'm paying for it here on the internet. This data applies equally to mothers who were "abandoned," mothers who don't remember who they spread their legs for, and mothers who voluntarily opted out of that whole icky "man thing."

Even if one were to accept your man hating version of reality at face value, the data is irrefutable - women are generally failures at raising kids alone.

23 posted on 03/19/2002 7:14:53 AM PST by Harrison Bergeron
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To: RGSpincich, cobaltblue
"Notice your expression for being a good caretaker is 'Mr. Mom.'"

Good point. If men are expected to behave like women in order to be considered qualified as full time parents, then the deck is purposely stacked against them in custody battles. It would seem that the small percentage of women who are successful in raising their kids alone are the small minority who are capable of being "Mrs. Dad."

24 posted on 03/19/2002 7:32:17 AM PST by Harrison Bergeron
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To: RGSpincich
Understand that, but the presumption of fitness does not always extend to the father.

The standard does, the practice does not. That's what the appeal process is for. It's an issue of law, not an issue of an abuse of discression. The standards of review are not the same.

25 posted on 03/19/2002 10:18:30 AM PST by right2parent
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To: right2parent
Not sure what point you are trying to make by bringing up lack of fitness. Is that the law in your state?

In Virginia, and my understanding is that this is true in most states, the standard is the best interests of the child.

Where one parent has a good track record as primary caretaker and the other parent has no track record as primary caretaker, courts are not likely to switch primary custody from the parent with a good track record to the parent with no track record.

Where both parents have contributed so much care that the track record of both is well known, and good, then the parties are on equal footing, in my opinion.

26 posted on 03/19/2002 1:48:01 PM PST by CobaltBlue
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To: Harrison Bergeron
For the past several years, in every contested custody case I've had where I've represented the father, I got him custody.

People who do things like accusing strangers of "man-hating" tend to have chips on their shoulders, and people with chips on their shoulders have a hard time in court, I've found.

People who feel like the whole world is against them and the deck is stacked have a way of making it come true.

27 posted on 03/19/2002 1:54:57 PM PST by CobaltBlue
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To: RGSpincich
I used the expression "Mr. Mom" because there was a movie about a guy who lost his job and became the stay-at-home parent while his wife worked outside the home.

I believe that young children should have a stay-at-home parent, if at all possible. I also believe parents should stay together for the sake of their children if at all possible. I believe that if parents cannot stay together for the sake of the children, then they should cooperate in promoting the best interests of the children, and treat each other with respect and dignity.

If the parents split up, believe that joint legal custody is best, and that the children should spend as much time as possible with both parents.

Based on what some of the people have posted on this thread, and others, I must have very unrealistic expectations.:)

Seriously, though, I know that not all parents are good parents, and not all divorces are amicable. But the people who are good parents and treat each other with respect are the ones who deserve commendation.

28 posted on 03/19/2002 2:07:04 PM PST by CobaltBlue
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To: RGSpincich
I used the expression "Mr. Mom" because there was a movie about a guy who lost his job and became the stay-at-home parent while his wife worked outside the home.

I believe that young children should have a stay-at-home parent, if at all possible. I also believe parents should stay together for the sake of their children if at all possible. I believe that if parents cannot stay together for the sake of the children, then they should cooperate in promoting the best interests of the children, and treat each other with respect and dignity.

If the parents split up, believe that joint legal custody is best, and that the children should spend as much time as possible with both parents.

Based on what some of the people have posted on this thread, and others, I must have very unrealistic expectations.:)

Seriously, though, I know that not all parents are good parents, and not all divorces are amicable. But the people who are good parents and treat each other with respect are the ones who deserve commendation.

29 posted on 03/19/2002 2:07:22 PM PST by CobaltBlue
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To: RGSpincich
Sorry for the double post.
30 posted on 03/19/2002 2:08:07 PM PST by CobaltBlue
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To: CobaltBlue
"People who feel like the whole world is against them and the deck is stacked have a way of making it come true."

I agree with this 100%. But I'd still have to characterize your generalizations painting all divorced mothers and delinquent children as victims of negligent fathers as anti-man. I do note that you changed your tone in your later posts, so I apologize if I have you wrong.

One more thing... to insinuate bitterness over a divorce court proceeding into my sentiments couldn't be more presumptious, or more wrong, thankfully.

31 posted on 03/19/2002 7:13:51 PM PST by Harrison Bergeron
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To: Capt.YankeeMike
I hate the idea of people wasting money on lawyers and litigation. Sometimes you have to fight for what is right, and when you do, unfortunately that costs money. But it's rubbing salt into the wounds to spend a ton of money and then still lose.

I try very hard to get my clients to reconcile. If they can't reconcile, then I try to get them to settle.

But sometimes you gotta fight, and it ain't cheap. Best to get a lawyer who knows what he/she is doing, who can tell you whether you've got a chance, and if you do, then you just have to hunker down.

Lawyers who bleed their clients dry just to make money deserve to go to hell, IMO.

32 posted on 03/19/2002 7:15:27 PM PST by CobaltBlue
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To: CobaltBlue
The "best interest of the child" is a long established doctrine to regulate the placement of wards of the state. If you look at the very earliest cases in your state where custody has been "awarded" to someone other than a parent, or a father, you will find the court has restricted this right in extraordinary circumstances. Where the father has deserted or neglected the child, the court has assumed such control to protect the welfare of the child. While this "accelerated review" regularly took place within a dissolution or paternity action, there was no indictment or opportunity for an answer for such crimes, affording due process protections available for these actions (jury trial, etc). I can only account for this by considering the activist courts, a complacent bar and dumbed down public.

Parenting is a long recognized liberty interest. Guardianship is a statutory right, a privilege given by, and managed by the state. As you know, the standards of review are quite different. Custody statutes have always been enacted to regulate the placement of wards. Because the revised (compiled) statutes are no longer organized by subject matter, the revisors office, welfare agencies, and the bar association, along with special interest groups have effectively mixed laws dealing with different subject matter (guardianship/domestic relations, "child support"/support money, lawn maintenance/"restricted use" applicators, etc.). A review of the history in your state will bear this out.

These defences are still available for those who dare to buck the status quo. My research is well documented. Look at the cases used to justify your earliest decisions. You will find references to guardianship regulations and succesive cases will cite these.

If some of you are scared to death about defending a fathers natural right to the custody of his children, consider what so called equal rights and no-fault divorce has done for the institution of marriage and for illigitimacy rates. That is not to say a good share of mothers shouldn't have custody. A good share, these days, should. That's another problem. The incentives are all wrong. Long established natural rights are being ignored and unlawfully compromised.

33 posted on 03/20/2002 4:39:08 AM PST by right2parent
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To: AUgrad
Antecedent to the situation we are in now, our Euro-Western society looked upon fatherhood as "optional". That is... at the father's option. The entire term "bastard" comes from this premis. If the father refused to acknowledge a child, the child effectively was "fatherless".

It is this mindset that lead to the present day relegation of fatherhood as less important. It came about by a significant enough percentage of fathers abdicating their obligations to their offspring. In addition to that, our own government (as the author touched on) has contributed to this mindset. One thing not mentioned is our government's viewpoint on the tens of thousands of children fathered by our milatary personell overseas. These children are considered "fatherless" unless the serviceman chooses, at his own option, to formally accept the child as his. This contributes to the overall consensus of the responsibilities of fatherhood as "optional" at the sole discretion of the father, and preceeds abortion by decades, if not thousands of years.

All this is not new news. Here is an article outlining the consequences of making fathehood "optional" through thte legal traditions of "bastardy" in England ... antecedent to our own common legal traditions in the US.

http://www.loyno.edu/~history/journal/1989-0/haller.htm

I agree that fathers are important. However, it disagree with the fraudulent use of "statistics" to conclude that single fathers are better than single mothers. There simply aren't enough single fathers to make a comparison by numbers. The study said ___ % of all kids with (various) negative outcomes grew up in a single mother home without mentioning the statistically few kids who grow up in single father homes. To make a direct comparison you'd have to find the percentage of kids with negative outcomes from each grouping, kids who grew up in single father homes and kids who grew up in single mother homes.

Single parenthood is a big problem. Many things IMO contribute to the mindset that it is ok. One example, the whole concept of "anonymous" parenthood in adoption, hiding the identity of the parents. Also, the practice of the father's name being "optional" on birth certificates is wrong, wrong, wrong and I believe an unConstitutional breach of the right to privacy of women (relative to men). If one parent's name is recorded anywhere, both should be. This practice started long ago when to protect the privacy of both parents, the woman was sent away to have a baby in secret. Still, her name was traceable though adoption records but the father's was not. Who instituted this practice? Adoptee Rights groups have long railed against this practice, and IMO rightly so. Every person has a right to know who his/her parents were.

Another example of anonymous parenting: Sperm (and egg) donation, where typically it is the father's identitity which is forever concealed. Even in sperm egg donation, the egg donar's identity is more documented and traceable than the sperm donar's. This again contributes to the same mindset that the father's contribution, even biologically, is of lesser importance.

Solutions: ___1. Talk about how babies are made honestly. Never, ever mention a baby, pregnacy, childbirth, children without including some reference to BOTH people who co-created a new person.___2. Don't ever say a child is "fatherless" unless you know for a fact the father is dead. No child is "fatherless". ___3. Say NO to all forms of anonymous procreation. All people should have full access to the full indentity of BOTH of their parents. ___4. Acknowledge that the parent who is a.w.o.l. is abdicating his/her obligation to the child. Don't place all "blame" on the parent who is present and accounted for.___5. Insist in all your conversations that fathers are equally important as mothers. Never make one out to be more important than the other.___6. Never imply that fatherhood is "optional" regardless of the circumstances of a child's conception. Insist that all people who co-create children have an OBLIGATION to that child. No exceptions, no excuses, no whining.
34 posted on 04/02/2002 9:21:53 AM PST by Lorianne
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To: AUgrad
Eighty-five percent 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. Less than 1% of any of these categories come from single-father-headed households.

Fraudulent use of statistics. What percent of these kids come from single father households? If the author starts out with a fraud, how does he expect to be taken seriously, even by those who believe in his premis (like me). Right off the bat I don't trust an author who has to resort to fruad to make his case.

Also, teenage girls do not "become pregnant". Right off the bat the author portrays reproduction in a way that contributes to the popular mindset that fathers are optional. Apparently they don't have anything even biologically to do with conception! He incorrectly (and I believe intentionally ) misrepresents the facts of reproduction by ommission .... by choosing wording that leaves out how pregnancy occurs. This is a big part of the problem he is ostensibly fighting!
35 posted on 04/02/2002 9:28:58 AM PST by Lorianne
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To: AUgrad
What percentage of children live in single father households, and how many of them live in poverty?

This article is about as statistically logical as if my fourth grader had written it.

I'm all for fathers. I had one and my children have one. Their value is priceless. Could we just not use such stupid statistics?

36 posted on 04/02/2002 9:30:27 AM PST by joathome
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To: AUgrad
Eighty-five percent 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. Less than 1% of any of these categories come from single-father-headed households.

Fraudulent use of statistics. What percent of these kids come from single father households? If the author starts out with a fraud, how does he expect to be taken seriously, even by those who believe in his premis (like me). Right off the bat I don't trust an author who has to resort to fruad to make his case.

Also, teenage girls do not "become pregnant". Right off the bat the author portrays reproduction in a way that contributes to the popular mindset that fathers are optional. Apparently they don't have anything even biologically to do with conception! He incorrectly (and I believe intentionally ) misrepresents the facts of reproduction by ommission .... by choosing wording that leaves out how pregnancy occurs. This is a big part of the problem he is ostensibly fighting!
37 posted on 04/02/2002 9:33:23 AM PST by Lorianne
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To: Illbay
"Fathers most often provide the discipline; mothers provide the nuruturing."

I would say that even within the church most fathers are not doing the disciplining. It's just not happening. Most fathers come home and want to be buddies to their kids, but don't want to discipline. That's what I see, anyway. My husband was the same way, but has finally matured into a disciplinarian. Good parenting--all around--is in decline. It's not just the single mothers. I see A LOT of out of control kids in the schools around here, and most of them have parents.

38 posted on 04/02/2002 11:53:15 AM PST by joathome
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To: Harrison Bergeron
"Even if one were to accept your man hating version of reality at face value, the data is irrefutable - women are generally failures at raising kids alone."

And there's not really enough evidence to show that men are any better at it. Take all those kids been raised by single mothers in the inner cities, and turn them over to their fathers, and wanna' guess what would happen to the "statistics"?

Single, irresponsible, impoverished parents are not very good parents. That's about all we can deduce right now.

39 posted on 04/02/2002 12:01:38 PM PST by joathome
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To: CobaltBlue
"Based on what some of the people have posted on this thread, and others, I must have very unrealistic expectations.:)"

I agree up to a point. Unfortunately, around middle school the whole thing starts to break down. I saw some kids in high school go through real hell being ping ponged back and forth between parents. At some point, "the best interest of the child" standard really needs to prevail.

40 posted on 04/02/2002 12:05:05 PM PST by joathome
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To: right2parent
Since I don't believe in no fault divorce, and believe divorce should be legal, but rare, it's hard for me to discuss this matter. Kids need to LIVE with two parents.
41 posted on 04/02/2002 12:13:26 PM PST by joathome
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To: joathome
"And there's not really enough evidence to show that men are any better at it."

Either you didn't read the article, or you missed that the author has already normalized the data against the total single parent household figures:

"Eighty-five percent 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. Less than 1% of any of these categories come from single-father-headed households. This seems to indicate that the problems children encounter are not related to single-parent households, but are related specifically to single-mother-headed households.
The article then goes on to say:
"However, these afflictions were surprisingly uncommon in the 15% of single-parent households headed by men."
Did you get that? Roughly eighty percent of the problem kids are coming from the roughly eighty-five percent of single-parent homes headed by women, less than one percent of the problem kids are coming from the fifteen percent of single-parent homes headed by men.

Conclusion? Men certainly are better at parenting alone than are women. If you don't like it, go dig up some figures of your own.

42 posted on 04/02/2002 2:37:28 PM PST by Harrison Bergeron
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To: AUgrad
My Dad has a son he has never seen. When my Dad was stationed in Honolulu during WWII (Marine), he got a Filipino girl pregnant. The girl's name was Rita Santucci and my Dad's name is John Edward Bills. I have a half brother who is approximately 56 years old. It would be neat to see him. I tried to track him down when I was in Hawaii, but this happened before Hawaii was a state and records are impossible. It's impossible, I guess, unless I were rich, which I'm not. Bet he looks like my Dad. Funny thing is that my Dad had FOUR DAUGHTERS and all of his brothers and sisters had either no children or female children. There isn't one Bills left to carry on the name. Probably God's judgment. Don't get me wrong; I love my Dad; it's just sad. For victory & freedom!!!
43 posted on 04/02/2002 2:45:55 PM PST by Saundra Duffy
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To: Lorianne
"What percent of these kids come from single father households?"

Your use of the words "fraudulent" and "fraud" with regard to the author of the study are off base. The so-called "journalist" who reports on the study ignored the percentage of single-parent mothers and hid the single-parent father figure in the middle of the article among some other statistics discussing mental health. It was probably an oversight that the editor left it in, but it's there. See my prior post.

44 posted on 04/02/2002 2:57:36 PM PST by Harrison Bergeron
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To: Harrison Bergeron
I think you are reading WAY too much into that article. What do you think the statistics would look like if we took away the kids from every inner city mother living on welfare and dropped them in "dad's" lap?

Those statistics don't prove a thing!

God says that kids need a mother and a father. "That" is what we know works.

45 posted on 04/02/2002 6:49:14 PM PST by joathome
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To: Harrison Bergeron
"A study of all state child protective services agencies in the country--by the Children’s Rights Coalition, a child advocacy and research organization in Austin, Texas--found that biological mothers physically abuse their children at twice the rate of biological fathers"

Most parents at home with children are mothers. And fathers still don't provide 50% of the care for children after work. (Not saying there's anything wrong with that. I'm in a "traditional" marriage. I also have about 600% more opportunity to abuse the kids.) Furthermore, a significant percentage of the children in this country probably don't even know who their father is, so it would probably be hard for him to abuse them. The typical father with custody has a job, and was married to the child's mother. That shows stability right there. Of course, that doesn't mean that his ex-wife is unstable. Just that you can't compare "him" to a welfare mother.

The typical single mother--well, she mght be a stable, divorced woman and have a job...or maybe not. Maybe she was never married. She might be on welfare. May very well be a high school dropout. Do these statistics prove that men are better? No....it just proves that the counterpart to the welfare mother, the irresponsible father, isn't seeking custody, and doesn't stick around long enough to abuse the kids. so there are no statistics showing what lousy fathers they might make.

46 posted on 04/02/2002 7:05:28 PM PST by joathome
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To: joathome
Yeah I get where you're coming from. Somehow the code words "inner city" and "poverty" mitigate abuse and/or incompetent parenting. I'm just gonna go ahead and call your philosophy what it is: bigotry, on two counts. First, you employ the doctrinaire liberal kind... the kind we conservatives call "the soft bigoty of low expectations," with regard to poor women. Then you go and employ the hard, hateful kind of bigotry, the kind that assumes, with no data and no logic, that the numbers look better for men because they're somehow not affected by poverty, and that men would be lazy neglectful consumers of the public welfare if they suddenly became single parents in the same number as women.

You're wrong. The data says you're wrong. The data above says that 80% to 90% of the incarcerated criminal sociopaths out there were raised by single mothers. That cuts across all racial and socio-economic lines so you can stop with the bigoted "inner city" minority inferences. There's tons more data out there to back that up. Then there's the hard cold fact that less than 1% of the sociopathic population were raised by single fathers. This raises the spectre of an interesting missing piece of the puzzle. There's a 10% to 15% of the ner' do well types that were raised by two parent or "other" types of parenting systems (or lack thereof). That says that not only do single fathers, statistically, do better than single mothers, but they do better than two parent families. You wanna lay claim to any kind of conservative philosophy, then you can't excuse crime with poverty, and you can't hold one sex responsible for the failures of the other. The score is in, and its not looking good for the two legged team.

47 posted on 04/02/2002 8:01:06 PM PST by Harrison Bergeron
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To: AUgrad
Who is responsible? I'd say both parents. Takes two you know.
48 posted on 04/02/2002 8:03:35 PM PST by wattsmag2
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To: Harrison Bergeron
Your statistics still don't tell the whole story. Sorry. How many guys on crack do you know who seek custody of their kids?

And, yes, there is a link between crime and poverty. Poverty is not an excuse for crime, but there is a link, nonetheless. And "inner city" has everything to do with where the majority of poor people live.

Single fathers self-select from the best types of fathers--fathers who want to be involved in their children's lives. How many deadbeats do you know who fought for custody of their children? When you compare fathers with custody to mothers with custody, you are not making a fair comparison.

Again, the self-selection of the most dedicated fathers probably accounts for the difference in statistics when compared to married couples, as well.

Apparently, God had it all wrong. Kids don't need two parents.....just a father. Yeah, right.

49 posted on 04/02/2002 8:11:46 PM PST by joathome
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To: Harrison Bergeron
"You wanna lay claim to any kind of conservative philosophy, then you can't excuse crime with poverty, and you can't hold one sex responsible for the failures of the other."

Sure....all the deadbeat dads get a pass in your book, because they aren't raising the kids. Every time a "single" irresponsible father allows his kids to be raised by a "single" irresponsible mother, you chalk that up as a penalty to mothers only. Laughable!

50 posted on 04/02/2002 8:16:36 PM PST by joathome
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