Large-scale UK study confirms the importance of fathers to children

A family praying and reading the Bible
A family praying and reading the Bible

Dina sent me this article from the UK Daily Mail.


A father’s love is as important to a child’s emotional development as a mother’s, a large-scale study has confirmed.

Examining the cases of more than 10,000 sons and daughters revealed how a cold or distant father can damage a child’s life, sometimes for decades to come.

The review of 36 studies from around the world concluded that his love is at least as important to youngsters as that of their mothers.

Researcher Professor Ronald Rohner said that fatherly love is key to  development and hopes his findings will motivate more men to become involved in caring for their offspring.

‘In the US, Great Britain and Europe, we have assumed for the past 300 years that all children need for normal healthy development is a loving relationship with their mother,’ he said.

‘And that dads are there as support for the mother and to support the  family financially but are not required for the healthy development of the children.

‘But that belief is fundamentally wrong. We have to start getting away from that idea and realise the dad’s influence is as great, and sometimes greater, than the mother’s.’

His conclusions came after he examined data from studies in which  children and adults were asked how loving their parents were.

Questions included if they were made to feel wanted or needed, if their  parents went out of their way to hurt their feelings and if they felt loved.

Those taking part also answered questions about their personality. These ranged from ‘I think about fighting or being mean’ to ‘I think the world is a good, happy place’.

Tallying the results showed that those rejected in childhood felt more anxious and insecure as well as hostile and aggressive.

Many of the problems carried over into adulthood, reported the study published in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Review.

Crucially, a father’s love was often just as important as a mother’s. In some cases, it was even more so. One reason for this may be that rejection is more painful when it comes from the parent the child regards as more powerful or respected.

You can read more about how fatherlessness damages children here.

I think the first question we should ask the people who want to redefine marriage is this: “which parent to do you think that a child can do without? the mother or the father?”. We must do everything we can as a society to keep both of a child’s natural parents in the home while the child grows up. If we really care about children, then we should prefer to meet their needs, even if the grown-ups have to be a bit more responsible in their decision making. if the conflict is between innocent children and selfish grown-ups, then the children should win.

We need laws and policies that promote traditional marriage, not laws and policies that break it down and destroy it. Repealing no-fault divorce, lowering subsidies for single motherhood, and making shared parenting the default position, would all help solve the problem. Policies like school choice and lower corporate tax rates helps men to be able to perform in their role as provider. We have to be practical and ask: “what makes men capable of marriage and parenting?” If we want strong fathers, then it makes sense to ask how to make fatherhood more reasonable: what do men need in order to do what we want them to do?

Christians should be especially concerned about the presence of fathers, given the evidence I blogged about before showing how the presence of quality fathers is essential for passing Christian beliefs on to children. Churches need to ask themselves tough questions: Are we teaching women how to choose men based on practical concerns and proven abilities in our churches? And are we doing a good job of attracting men to churches by promoting the masculine, practical aspects of Christianity that men like – like science, apologetics debates, economics and foreign policy?

4 thoughts on “Large-scale UK study confirms the importance of fathers to children”

  1. Why aren’t more people standing up for fathers??? Now, we’re a society of bitter single mothers and children growing up to be adults, of divorce! This has led to a resentment of fatherhood, and men, and feelings that it’s “unfair” to single parents if dad can have a night to dance with his daughters, for instance! All because some bitter single mom felt “excluded”! Well guess what! Maybe special days for dad, and an assumed nuclear family are what SHOULD be happening, not what shouldn’t for the sake of the “any family is a real family” lie the Left pushes to absolve these bitter single moms of their guilt! I was shocked when a HS teacher of mine said women should choose to be single moms via self-fertilization, and when I protested, it was me against 24 other classmates and the teacher!!! The brainwashing runs deep! Every daughter needs a dad to guide her in how a man should treat her and what he expects of a lady. Sons need their fathers to become real men, not wimpy feminized ones raise by single moms! Children with no father figures suffer more in crime rates, mental health etc… I’m so grateful I have a solid loving dad in my life and was taught to cherish him!


    1. The approach of people today, pretty much across the board ideologically, is to stand silent while women make poor decisions with men. Drinking too much, having sex with bad boys, getting tattoos, running up student loan debt for non-STEM degrees, etc. That’s all OK with everyone, because you can’t tell women what to do. Do the decisions of women put them on a path to marriage to a man who will provide, be faithful, etc.? Of course not.

      So what happens when women knock out babies before marrying, or initiate divorces (70% of divorces are initiated by women)? Well, we blame the bad boys that women choose for failing to act like good men. And what happens to the good boys who aspire to be good men? They see that an entire society denigrates and degrades husbands and fathers, and they decide to become bad boys, because that’s the only way to have any kind of respect from women, once women have decided that a man’s character is worthless.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. So hypocritical!!! Women can do as they please, but can dictate left and right what men may or may not do and judge them for it! Radical feminism is insane, and I was a woman denounce it!


  2. This all stems from one problem! Christians assume that women are innately good!!!
    Quite the contrary today. So called Christian women included!!!
    They will side with the herd mentality, regardless whether right or wrong!!!


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