Recently the issue whether lesbians or single women should have the right to the access of IVF treatment has brought about the argument of the importance of men in the task of rearing children. Fathers are being reduced to the role of only sperm donors and are consequently disregarded as an important factor in parenting.
There is significant evidence that points to a range of benefits for children who have active fathers. These include *greater ambition, respect for the opposite sex, stronger sexual identity, higher self-esteem, better achievement at school, and fewer behavioral problems. It seems that these benefits have more to do with the importance of fathering roles than solely having a second person parenting. This seems like enough evidence to support the importance of fathers but lesbians and other single women still seem ready to take these benefits away from their own children.
Men parent differently from women and also contribute differently to the development of their children. Fathers relate best through their activity with the children and generally derive different responses from their involvement. *Children usually associate their fathers with the activities they enjoy doing with them. From experience, I know how enjoyable it is to play sport with my dad. Rarely does my mother say “lets go out and kick the ball around”. These sporting skills that are obtained from playing sport with a father, aid in the acceptance from other children when playing sport. This can lead to a higher self-esteem and more enjoyment when it comes to participating in sport.
Better outcomes for boys lie in getting them closer in contact with men. Research has shown that *the socialization process breaks down in children when they have little or no contact with men. This can adversely affect the child later on in life. Also, studies have shown that *boys prefer to be around men more than they do women. How many times have you heard young boys say they want to be just like their fathers? Fathers are usually considered their number one role model. By Fathers becoming close with children and showing them love and affection they are able to influence the children by showing them how to act towards others.
It is important to note that men not only have positive effects on boys, but also the contribution to the development of girls. *Girls gain first hand knowledge of how the men around them think, feel, and act in their current environment. This further helps girls later on with their relationships with men.
Some people argue that a “real” father is not necessary for the upbringing of their child. They argue that children already have access to male role models and therefore they gain enough ‘fathering’ from men around them. But isn’t this further adding to the argument of how important fathering actually is? Wouldn’t a child benefit more if he or she had a father who would be around more and be there for them? A father who can acknowledge the fact that he helped create the child, and no matter what else he did in life there is nothing else that he could create that would have more splendor and beauty than a child.
It amazes me how beneficial parenting is for a father’s health when they engage in a close relationship with their children. Studies have shown that *fathers who have close relationships with their children have a much longer and enjoyable life than that of non-fathers.
Effective fathering is a major component of parenting life, not only for children and of course mothers, but also for men’s general health and wellbeing. Fathers need to reestablish their roles in the parenting cycle and show our generation how important we are, instead of being reduced to the status of sperm donors.
Submitted by: shamiedc *
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