The father factor: What happens when dad is nowhere to be found?


This is an excerpt from the first article in a four-part series, written in partnership with, examining the role of fathers in American families.

The dad factor

“I think there’s consensus that cultural and family factors are causing children’s family lives to be more unstable than in the past,” said Andrew J. Cherlin, author of “The Marriage-Go-Round” and director of the Hopkins Population Center at Johns Hopkins University. Experts debate whether recent cultural shifts or economic changes most undermine family stability, but, said Cherlin, “most who I respect believe both are at play.”

Most children weather family turmoil and wind up OK, said Cherlin, who coined the term “family churn” to describe what happens to families as couples split, often moving dad out of the home and a new man in. A study in the Journal of Marriage and Family said children in such homes experience an average of more than 5.25 partnership transitions. That’s tough for kids who are used to having their own fathers within reach.

“Dad also helps with impulse control and memory and enhances a child’s ability to respond effectively to new or ambiguous situations, for boys and girls,” said Warren Farrell, author of “Father and Child Reunion.” Children who are close to their fathers tend to achieve more academically, while kids with absent fathers are more likely to drop out. Fathers are the biggest factor in preventing drug use, Farrell said.

Burgos said one of his biggest challenges growing up without a father figure has been impulse control and anger management. He had no guide to teach him effective ways to handle frustrations — and he’s had a lot of them in his young life.

The time a dad spends with his children is a particularly strong predictor of how empathetic a child will become, according to a commission of experts who wrote a proposal asking President Obama to create a White House Council on Boys and Men. The group, which Farrell helped assemble, compiled research showing infants with dads living at home were months ahead in personal and social development. Children who lack contact with fathers are more likely to be treated for emotional or behavioral problems. Girls with absent or indifferent fathers are more prone to hyperactivity. If dad is around, girls are less likely to become pregnant as teens.

As early as 1993, studies showed that dads also influenced whether their sons became teenage fathers. A Temple University study found no boys born to teen mothers became teen fathers if they had close relationships with their biological fathers, compared to 15 percent of those who didn’t have that closeness.

“None of this implies men are better as dads than women are as moms,” Farrell and the commission emphasized. Children need both.

But dad’s place is not always secure. The commission report said, “The U.S. has done a better job of integrating women into the workplace than in integrating men into the family — especially into the lives of children in the non-intact family. We have valued men as wallets more than as dads.” The result is “moms feeling deprived of resources and dads feeling deprived of purpose and children feeling deprived of the full range of parenting input.”

Read the rest here:


AVFM Interview with Dr. Stephen Baskerville

Baskerville, a professor at Patrick Henry Collegein Purcellville, VA and author of “Taken Into Custody,” has long been thought of as the academic hero of the fathers rights movement.  He has spoken extensively in the news media concerning the family courts and the demise of the rights of fathers.

His book, Taken Into Custody, is a must read.

Ban Bossy: Does it have the facts straight?

Ban Bossy’s star-studded brigade to empower girls to lead has garnered lots of media attention. But does their leader, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, have all the facts? The Factual Feminist takes a closer look the data, and finds what we should really be banning is poor research.

The Everyday Sexism campaign risks making all sexual advances ‘misogynist’


The campaign against everyday sexism has shown that a deeply unpleasant vein of misogyny still runs through our society. But in highlighting the antisocial, misguided behaviour of some unreconstructed individuals, it is important to be aware that such behaviour is not representative of most men’s attitudes. More worryingly, from the perspective of a progressive sexual politics there is a danger that the campaign is promulgating a view that any direct sexual advance is tantamount to harassment. If directly propositioning somebody for sex is automatically condemned as misogynist, as the campaign appears to assert, then the movement risks being highly counterproductive to the feminist cause and playing into the hands of the sexually repressive, patriarchal ideology that feminism strives to counter.


The liberal left should be envisaging a society where adults of both genders are comfortable both making and receiving straightforward sexual propositions. Indeed, surely the feminist movement should be encouraging women to practice such directness of approach, since leaving the initiation of any kind of romantic encounter to men means that a keystone of the patriarchy remains unmoved.

The behavioural codes of contemporary society already make it extremely difficult for both men and women to approach strangers with a view towards making sexual advances. This should be a source of regret to us all. There is no shame in feeling and expressing sexual attraction, and we should be promoting conditions that give rise to as much mutual sexual pleasure as possible. After all, it’s one of the greatest pleasures life offers. And it’s free! Of course, this very freedom exemplifies why unencumbered sexual pleasure presents such a problem for those who would support the sexually repressive ideologies that still prevail today.

We can all agree that aggressive, lewd behaviour is deplorable. But what lies behind some of the crude and boorish conduct catalogued by everyday sexism is repressed sexuality. It is only by becoming more sexually liberated that those energies might come to be expressed in a respectful way. To promote the outright condemnation of any and all direct sexual propositions would be a disastrously regressive step for the feminist movement. It is a clear indication of how much ground the left has ceded in the recent decades that any of this needs restating at all. Whatever happened to the sexual revolution?

Read more HERE

Yoga pants are not a civil right

Kirsten Powers writes something smart in the USA Today about the so-called ban on yoga pants at Haven Middle School in Evanston, Il.

This is what feminism has come to: fighting for the right to wear yoga pants and leggings to middle school. This pressing civil rights issue made headlines when girls in Evanston, Ill., protested rules that they said banned the bum-hugging clothing for creating classroom distractions.

A feminist flash mob attacked Haven Middle School for shaming girls and promotingrape culture. Eliana Dockterman wrote in Time that the school’s argument “is not that distant from the arguments made by those who accuse rape victims of asking to be assaulted by dressing a certain way.”

Actually, it’s a universe away.

Rape is a physical attack and a crime. Pubescent boys noticing girls’ bottoms is neither. Still, two parents wrote to the school asserting, “We really hope that you will consider the impact of these policies and how they contribute to rape culture.” A feminist writer tweeted, “#RapeCultureIsWhen we tell 13-year-old girls they can’t wear leggings because it’s ‘distracting’ to the boys.”

Haven’s administrators say they never claimed that the form-fitting pants were distracting to boys, though they surely are. An Evanston parent reported that the principal told her the school was merely “trying to figure out a way to tamp down the sexualization of middle-school girls.” Isn’t that a goal feminists support?

Instead, they react as if the school mandated burqas for all girls. It turns out that there was no “ban.” It was actually a policy that leggings must be covered with a shirt that is “fingertip length.” Oh, the inhumanity.

Needless to say, the sisterhood was not sated. Feminist website Jezebel asked why “the solution is to make girls cover up instead of … teaching boys to not be gross sexist pigs?” This echoed Dockterman’s complaint that “we tell women to cover themselves … but we neglect to tell the boys to look at something else.”

Let’s remember, we are talking about 13-year-old boys. Adult women have transformed children into monsters merely for finding the contours of a girl’s body attractive. The only people being shamed here are the boys. Their crime is being human.

This isn’t the first time pants created controversy. In 2013, Kenilworth Junior High School in Petaluma, Calif., banned “too tight” pants. According to a local news report, a mother wore skinny jeans in solidarity with her daughter declaring, “Boys need to be taught to respect women no matter what they’re wearing.” But a boy noticing a girl in body-hugging pants is not disrespectful. Nor is it something he needs to — or can — unlearn.

The professional feminists look at middle school and see 13-year-old male oppressors dominating in the battle of the sexes. School administrators see what’s actually there: children. Haven Middle School appears to be trying to create the best possible learning environment during a critical transition period in kids’ lives. Good for them.

Read more HERE