Tag Archives: Fatherlessness

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.

Excerpt:

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?

Jennifer Roback Morse lectures on sex and sexuality at Harvard University

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse
Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse

Dr. Morse delivers a talk based on her book “Smart Sex” at Harvard University.

The MP3 file is here. (21 Mb) (Link in case that doesn’t work)

Topics:

  • the hook-up culture and its effects on men and women
  • cohabitation and its effect on marriage stability
  • balancing marriage, family and career
  • single motherhood by choice and IVF
  • donor-conceived children
  • modern sex: a sterile, recreation activity
  • the real purposes of sex: procreation and spousal unity
  • the hormone oxytocin: when it is secreted and what it does
  • the hormone vassopressin: when it is secreted and what it does
  • the sexual revolution and the commoditization of sex
  • the consumer view of sex vs the organic view of sex
  • fatherlessness and multi-partner fertility
  • how the “sex-without-relationship” view harms children

52 minutes of lecture, 33 minutes of Q&A from the Harvard students. The Q&A is worth listening to – the first question is from a gay student, and Dr. Morse pulls a William Lane Craig to defeat her objection. It was awesome! I never get tired of listening to her talk, and especially on the topics of marriage and family.

Why are so many women with good careers being forced to freeze their eggs?

Do young women understand how to get to a stable marriage?
Do young women understand how to get to a stable marriage?

The New York Times says that more and more women are having to freeze their eggs because they can’t find good men to marry. The NYT doesn’t think that women are doing anything wrong. They blame the men for refusing to commit. According to feminism, women who value careers, abortion rights, no-fault divorce, big government, high taxes, etc. are doing everything right. But does it work?

I thought it might be a good idea to help Western women to make better decisions with men and marriage. Although setting out boundaries seems harsh and restrictive, it’s actually protective and loving. If we want women to get to a stable marriage and children, (what they really need long term, after they lose their looks and youth), then we should be bold about leading them.

The first thing to point out is that the women celebrated by the New  York Times are intentionally delaying marriage for their education and careers.

Another New York Times article explains:

It could be that the new generation of millennial women is delaying having children even longer than the women who came before them, as prime childbearing years are also critical years for advancing in a career. A recent study shows that the marital pay gap that springs up after a first child is born typically does not close if the birth happens between age 25 and 35.

Shannon Hettinger, a 32-year-old from Washington, D.C., said she definitely wanted children. She grew up in a large family in a small town in Pennsylvania and almost all her high school friends are married with children. But she moved to Washington, and spent her 20s deciding on a career. Now that she has one she loves — she works in residential real estate sales — she is not going to stop until she gets established. That means not having children for a while.

“I just want to build my book of business and see where I can go from here,” she said. “My whole focus is career growth. That’s my No. 1 priority.”

“Once I achieve a certain level of success,” she added, “then I’ll start thinking about a family.”

Ivy Gray-Klein, 26, who lives in Philadelphia and works at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design, said she was open to having children but cannot imagine doing so until she is 30 or 35. She wants to feel settled in her own life first. Now she has three roommates, is paying down her student loans and is working to build a little bit of savings.

“I’m just really trying to get myself to a place that is solid,” she said by phone. “Having a child right now would be so destabilizing. Children just seem like such an enormous financial undertaking.”

As far as I’m concerned, once a woman reaches 30 , she’s actually chosen not to marry, and not to have children. Marriage is something that men are willing to do with women in their early 20s. They want a woman to commit and invest herself in his life early. They don’t commit to a woman who has spent her 20s running up debts, traveling, being promiscuous, etc. The pattern of selfish behavior that  women get into damages their ability to be good wives and mothers later. And men know that.

But in this post, I’m discuss something that I think is responsible for women not finding good men: and that’s the fact that many women are not looking for good men. In fact, some women are very attracted to very bad men.

Here’s the first editorial about women and domestic terrorist Dzhokar Tsarnaev, one of the Boston marathon bombers.

Excerpt:

Mostly, though, they think Dzhokhar is cute. The Bambi eyes (looking right out of his Instagram-doctored photos at you!), the hipster facial stubble, the masses of wine-dark tousled hair — adorable! Impassioned believers have written “Dzhokhar is innocent” on their hands and plastered “Innocent until proven guilty!!!!” posters around their towns. An 18-year-old waitress interviewed by the New York Post vowed to have Dzhokhar’s last tweet before the bombing tattooed onto her arm: “If you have the knowledge and the inspiration all that’s left is to take action.”

[…]But the real cause of the Jahar craze more likely lies in something more primal and less pretty in the female psyche. I’m betting that women, young and old, are drawn to Dzhokhar not because he is a good-looking late adolescent but because he is a good-looking accused killer. He’s a classic “bad boy” of the sort to whom women are chronically attracted because they want to reform them, or minister to their wounds, or be the healing presence they’ve never had — but mostly because they find them sexy.

That article also noted:

It’s not surprising, then, that every homicide perp on death row who is reasonably attractive has groupies. Consider the handsome (and widely philandering) Scott Peterson, sentenced in 2005 for killing his wife and unborn son and throwing their remains into San Francisco Bay. The day he checked into San Quentin, he received three dozen phone calls from smitten women, including an 18-year-old who wanted to become the second Mrs. Peterson.

Some of the tweets and other fangirl comments about Tsarnaev were collected in this New York Post article.

Lots of Western women from the UK, France, Russia, etc. all picked up and moved to the Middle East to become ISIS jihadi brides.

Excerpt:

Western women joining Islamic State are increasingly from comfortable backgrounds and often well educated with romantic notions of adventure often quickly dispelled by the harshness of life as a “Jihadi bride”, according to a British research report.

Some 550 women from Western countries have left their homelands to join Islamic State, which has captured swathes of Syria and Iraq, said the report by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue and the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation at King’s College, London.

[…]It said female recruits were increasingly younger, some from comfortable backgrounds and often well-educated, and were playing “crucial” propaganda and recruitment roles.

That article is three years old, the numbers have more than doubled since then. The most common reasons cited for leaving are romance and adventure.

Psychology Today has some comments about why some women do this:

In her post, “Women Who Love Serial Killers,” PT blogger, Katherine Ramsland, offers some suggestions about why some women can be so attracted to, or hopelessly beguiled by, the most terrifying of human predators. At first, she provides explanations from the women themselves, women who actually married these dangerously unhinged criminals. Their reasons (somewhat elaborated here) include the assumptions that:

  • their love can transform the convict: from cunning and cruel, to caring, concerned, and compassionate.

  • there’s a wounded child nested somewhere inside the killer that can be healed through a devoted nurturance that only they can provide.

  • they might share the killer’s media spotlight, and so triumphantly emerge from their anonymity, and maybe in the process even land a book or movie deal (an aspiration about as cynical as it is narcissisticand self-serving).

And this is even more interesting:

To simplify this work’s findings for my present purpose, however, let me begin by emphasizing that Ogas and Gaddam find substantial evidence from Web searches, posts, and many 1,000s of romance novels that women demonstrate a strong erotic preference for dominant men. Or toward what’s now commonly referred to as alpha males—in the authors’ words, men who are “strong, confident, [and] swaggering [as in “cocky,” and the pun is intended].” Unfortunately, what these descriptors often imply is behavior sufficiently bearish, self-centered, and insensitive as to often cross the line into a physical, mental, and emotional abuse that can be downright brutal.

[…]Moreover, in responding to the question as to whether some men, such as “serial killers, violent offenders, and rapists,” might be too dominant for women to accept, Ogas and Gaddam note: “It turns out that killing people is an effective way to elicit the attention of many women: virtually every serial killer, including Ted Bundy, Charles Manson, and David Berkowitz, have received love letters from large numbers of female fans” (p. 98).

Women choose good-looking bad boys, because they think that they can change them:

The fantasy that seems to be operating in such devotees, and that constitutes the plot of virtually all erotic/romantic novels written with women in mind, is that the “misogyny and jerkdom” they might have to battle with in such super-dominant males is only temporary. That it doesn’t really represent the man’s innermost reality. That his violence and lack of tender feelings is only the beginning of the story, and that their unsparing love, affection, and dedication can ultimately transform his character by helping him get in touch with his, well, “inner goo.”

I blogged before about feminists going after pro-choice bad boys like William Clinton, Peter Strzok, Eliot Spitzer, Anthony Weiner, John Edwards, Harvey Weinstein, etc. These men support selfish policies like abortion and no-fault divorce. Women seem to not understand that men who support selfishness as policy might actually BE selfish in their own lives. Men who are able to commit and raise children are not pro-abortion and pro-divorce. Those are the men who women should be pursuing, and during their early-to-mid 20s.

Unmarried 34-year-old woman vows to change shark into loving, faithful husband by hand-feeding him raw meat

Melissa Brunning dispenses advice and posts exotic selfies on her page “Wild and Free”

Melissa Brunning is a 34-year-old unmarried woman who operates a Facebook page called “Wild and Free“. On that page, she posts inspirational quotes about travel, fun, following your heart, as well as pictures from all her exotic vacations. The “about” section of the (public) page says “My mission is to inspire others to break free from 9-5 & live LIFE on their terms, to be WILD and FREE to follow their dreams, to explore & go on adventure”.

Here is her philosophy in one photo:

Life is too short to waste time listening to wise people
Life is too short to waste time listening to people with demonstrated ability and success

Anyway, you can look at all the selfies of her with her cat, her bikinis, etc. on her personal Facebook page. The reason for this post is because Melissa met a new guy on Match.com. He has everything that she wants. He’s tall. He’s strong. He’s smooth. He has really great teeth. And most importantly, he gives the impression that he could really lose his temper at any minute and attack other men violently. Melissa is sure that she can get around that problem somehow, though. Although the man lived 1500 miles away from her, this was no problem, because Melissa loves to travel, and  this trip was a once-in-a-lifetime exotic adventure!

The West Australian reported on her date:

Melissa Brunning was on a “once-in-a-lifetime” trip cruising the majestic Kimberley on a friend’s superyacht, so when an opportunity arose to feed a placid shark she was scared, but her adventurous spirit willed her to give it a go.

But it all ended in a freak shark bite incident that left the Perth woman grateful she didn’t lose a finger.

The last of her friends to try feeding the three to four Tawny nurse sharks hanging around the back of the boat, what Ms Brunning didn’t realise until it was too late was that she shouldn’t hand feed the 2m shark, rather place the piece of fish in front of her and watch it go by and suck it up.

With a suction “like a Hoover”, the shark sucked Ms Brunning’s right index finger into its mouth full of rows of razor sharp teeth.

Mobile phone footage filmed by a friend of the incident at the end of May shows Ms Brunning screaming as she’s pulled from the back of the boat into the croc-infested water as the shark swims off.

Oh no! The hot alpha male bad boy ate her food, bit her, and swam away without even leaving his phone number. Typical whale! Er, I mean shark. It wasn’t her fault! There was no way to predict from his appearance that he would become violent and unfaithful. It was the shark’s fault – he lied to her. He presented himself as kind and sweet. The shark’s toxic masculinity was clearly to blame. #Patriarchy #MeToo

Melissa is quoted in the article about the break-up with the sharp-looking thug: “We’re not meant to be in the water, if we were we’d have gills.” It was a love not meant to be. But while in the hospital getting taxpayer-funded health care for the “unexpected” result of her irrational choices, a nurse gave her the phone number of a hot looking crocodile who was just being released from prison. Maybe things will work out with him? At least her friends will be envious if she posts a selfie with him.

You can have a lot of fun reading the inspirational quotes on her Wild and Free page, and even more fun if you insert something about trying to hand feed a shark into each one.

Here are some:

  • When it feels scary to jump, that is exactly when you jump, otherwise you end up staying in the same place your whole life
  • Take every chance you get in life because some things only happen once
  • Life is an adventure, dare it
  • Live in the moment
  • When was the last time you did something for the first time?
  • If it scares you, it might be a good thing to try
  • Anything that gets your blood racing is probably worth doing
  • Be crazy, be stupid, be silly, be weird, be whatever – because life is too short to be anything but happy

I think the common denominator here is this glorification of thrill seeking and fun, at the expense of having a slow, deliberate plan that achieves a real result. When your sole purpose in life is to have good feelings, it becomes impossible to exercise self-control for the sake of something higher, like serving God. The pattern of always choosing self, self, self becomes impossible to break.

This sort of thrill-seeking lifestyle works when you’re young and pretty, but it doesn’t really set you up for success in the last 50 years of your life. A woman needs to use her pre-marriage time wisely. She needs to train up her wife and mother skills, and develop patience and maturity by doing hard things. She has to train herself to keep commitments if her marriage is to last. A stable marriage requires her to get comfortable with self-sacrifice. She has to train her character to be content with stability. She needs to stop seeking thrills and learn how to delay gratification.

I am seeing this attitude of hers a lot in young Christian women. There doesn’t seem to be much of a vision for marriage and family being taught to women today. Women don’t see Christianity as something that overrides their pleasure-seeking and self-centeredness. Instead, they just sing praise hymns, read devotionals, listen to Joyce Meyer’s prosperity gospel sermons, and focus on themselves. Nutrition, fitness and travel are all good, but they cannot be the main things in life for an authentic Christian.

Christians should be concerned with God’s reputation and God’s goals. Christians are meant to serve God, not themselves. Christians have to do what works for God, like apologetics. There is no such thing as a Christian whose Facebook and Instagram page celebrates “self-love”, thrill-seeking, exotic vacations, etc. A real Christian always does what works to serve God. Jesus was good at self-denial and self-control. He was obedient to God even when it cost him his life. He didn’t go on exotic vacations and do pointless, risky things to get fun and thrills.

If you missed my previous post on radical feminists turning to mermen to get around the problem of “toxic masculinity” in normal men, then be sure to read that.

Why do famous atheists believe that God does not exist?

Women need to learn to choose a man who is prepared to be a father and husband
The importance of fathers for teaching children about a God who cares

Here’s a lecture by New York University professor Paul Vitz to explain a connection between atheism and fatherlessness:

Here’s an article by Paul Copan (related to the lecture) which points out how father presence/absence and father quality affects belief and disbelief in God.

Excerpt:

Seventh, the attempt to psychologize believers applies more readily to the hardened atheist.It is interesting that while atheists and skeptics often psychoanalyze the religious believer, they regularly fail to psychoanalyze their ownrejection of God. Why are believers subject to such scrutiny and not atheists? Remember another feature of Freud’s psychoanalysis — namely, an underlying resentment that desires to kill the father figure.

Why presume atheism is the rational, psychologically sound, and default position while theism is somehow psychologically deficient? New York University psychology professor Paul Vitz turns the tables on such thinking. He essentially says, “Let’s look into the lives of leading atheists and skeptics in the past. What do they have in common?” The result is interesting: virtually all of these leading figures lacked a positive fatherly role model — or had no father at all.11

Let’s look at some of them.

  • Voltaire(1694–1778): This biting critic of religion, though not an atheist, strongly rejected his father and rejected his birth name of Francois-Marie Arouet.
  • David Hume(1711–76): The father of this Scottish skeptic died when Hume was only 2 years old. Hume’s biographers mention no relatives or family friends who could have served as father figures.
  • Baron d’Holbach(1723–89): This French atheist became an orphan at age 13 and lived with his uncle.
  • Ludwig Feuerbach (1804–72): At age 13, his father left his family and took up living with another woman in a different town.
  • Karl Marx(1818–83): Marx’s father, a Jew, converted to being a Lutheran under pressure — not out of any religious conviction. Marx, therefore, did not respect his father.
  • Friedrich Nietzsche(1844–1900): He was 4 when he lost his father.
  • Sigmund Freud(1856–1939): His father, Jacob, was a great disappointment to him; his father was passive and weak. Freud also mentioned that his father was a sexual pervert and that his children suffered for it.
  • Bertrand Russell(1872–1970): His father died when he was 4.
  • Albert Camus(1913–60): His father died when he was 1 year old, and in his autobiographical novel The First Man, his father is the central figure preoccupation of his work.
  • Jean-Paul Sartre(1905–80): The famous existentialist’s father died before he was born.12
  • Madeleine Murray-O’Hair (1919–95): She hated her father and even tried to kill him with a butcher knife.
  • We could throw in a few more prominent contemporary atheists not mentioned by Vitz with similar childhood challenges:
  • Daniel Dennett (1942–): His father died when he was 5 years of age and had little influence on Dennett.13
  • Christopher Hitchens (1949–): His father (“the Commander”) was a good man, according to Hitchens, but he and Hitchens “didn’t hold much converse.” Once having “a respectful distance,” their relationship took on a “definite coolness” with an “occasional thaw.” Hitchens adds: “I am rather barren of paternal recollections.”14
  • Richard Dawkins (1941–): Though encouraged by his parents to study science, he mentions being molested as a child — no insignificant event, though Dawkins dismisses it as merely embarrassing.15

Moreover, Vitz’s study notes how many prominent theists in the past — such as Blaise Pascal, G.K. Chesterton, Karl Barth, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer — have had in common a loving, caring father in their lives.16

Here are some corrections to the list:

1) Voltaire was not an atheist but a deist who rejected claims of the Bible’s inspiration, like Paine. Voltaire’s aphorism, “If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him,” far from being the cynical remark it is often taken for, it was meant as a retort to the atheistic clique of d’Holbach, Grimm, and others.

2) David Hume’s religious views remain uncertain. He never said he was an atheist. A gentle skeptic suits him more.

3) Bertrand Russell was an agnostic.

Not only is there that anecdotal evidence of a psychological explanation for atheism, but there is also statistical evidence.

Excerpt:

In 1994 the Swiss carried out an extra survey that the researchers for our masters in Europe (I write from England) were happy to record. The question was asked to determine whether a person’s religion carried through to the next generation, and if so, why, or if not, why not. The result is dynamite. There is one critical factor. It is overwhelming, and it is this: It is the religious practice of the father of the family that, above all, determines the future attendance at or absence from church of the children.

If both father and mother attend regularly, 33 percent of their children will end up as regular churchgoers, and 41 percent will end up attending irregularly. Only a quarter of their children will end up not practicing at all. If the father is irregular and mother regular, only 3 percent of the children will subsequently become regulars themselves, while a further 59 percent will become irregulars. Thirty-eight percent will be lost.

If the father is non-practicing and mother regular, only 2 percent of children will become regular worshippers, and 37 percent will attend irregularly. Over 60 percent of their children will be lost completely to the church.

Let us look at the figures the other way round. What happens if the father is regular but the mother irregular or non-practicing? Extraordinarily, the percentage of children becoming regular goesupfrom 33 percent to 38 percent with the irregular mother and to 44 percent with the non-practicing, as if loyalty to father’s commitment grows in proportion to mother’s laxity, indifference, or hostility.

[…]In short, if a father does not go to church, no matter how faithful his wife’s devotions, only one child in 50 will become a regular worshipper. If a father does go regularly, regardless of the practice of the mother, between two-thirds and three-quarters of their children will become churchgoers (regular and irregular). If a father goes but irregularly to church, regardless of his wife’s devotion, between a half and two-thirds of their offspring will find themselves coming to church regularly or occasionally.

A non-practicing mother with a regular father will see a minimum of two-thirds of her children ending up at church. In contrast, a non-practicing father with a regular mother will see two-thirds of his children never darken the church door. If his wife is similarly negligent that figure rises to 80 percent!

The results are shocking, but they should not be surprising. They are about as politically incorrect as it is possible to be; but they simply confirm what psychologists, criminologists, educationalists, and traditional Christians know. You cannot buck the biology of the created order. Father’s influence, from the determination of a child’s sex by the implantation of his seed to the funerary rites surrounding his passing, is out of all proportion to his allotted, and severely diminished role, in Western liberal society.

Basically, anyone who doesn’t have a benevolent, involved father is going to have an enormously difficult time believing that moral boundaries set by an authority are for the benefit of the person who is being bounded. The best way to make moral boundaries stick is to see that they apply to the person making the boundaries as well – and that these moral boundaries are rational, evidentially-grounded and not arbitrary.