Are mothers better parents than fathers?
It is generally assumed that women have a "nurturing instinct" that somehow makes them better or more indispensable parents than fathers are. There has never been any scientific or unbiased evidence that this is so; in fact, some scientific evidence has emerged to the contrary.
Children with their fathers involved in their lives are consistently happier and mentally healthier than if raised by their mothers alone. This remains true once the children are well into their adulthood. Children with their fathers raising them are several times less likely to end up in jail than those raised by mothers alone. They are more likely to be well off financially also. They are more likely to be well educated. When children are under the influence of their fathers, they are less likely to drop out of high school, or to become addicted to drugs. They are less likely to be divorced once they are married.
Many people will be suprised to learn from a USDOJ study that mothers are substantially more likely to abuse their children than fathers are, and are more likely to do so because of alcoholism. When children are abused by men, it is usually by a boyfriend that the mother is living with, not by the child's father. 72% of divorces are initiated by the mother of a child rather than by the father - therefore, one may conclude that when the lives of children come to grief, it is far more often a result of the mother's actions, and not the father's.
All of this contradicts the assumption that mothers are better equipped mentally to take care of children. What about physical advantages?
Mothers have the distinct advantage that they can breast feed very young children, although this is no longer a necessity. Mothers who are capable of breast feeding usually bottle feed instead. Once children are above breast feeding age, every physical advantage in raising children belongs to men. On average, men are three times stronger than women. This means that men are typically much better able to protect their children, to carry them if they need to be carried, and to look after their needs generally.
Children raised by men are typically more confident, more self-reliant, have a wider range of skills, and live more stable lives.
Women may have been traditionally given the task of raising children because men were once often away fighting wars or tilling fields, but indications are that it is actually men who are the more capable parents!
Unfortunatey, more children are being raised without fathers than ever before, in large part due to a legal system which has not been weaned from the idea that women are inherently better parents. Many jurisdictions allow women to vindictively and irrationally separate men from their children with little legal consequence to the woman.
This is also a time when more infants are left in dumpsters, children are drowned in cars, and youngsters enter adulthood with serious mental problems, than ever before.
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This page last updated 31 August, 1998.
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