Fatherhood, Removing Gender Bias to Level The Playing Field
Often fathers are at a disadvantage in the courts because of gender bias. It is amazing that this still remains. Recently the Supreme Court of the United States gave a big boost to unwed fathers whose children were born outside the United States.
The law being challenged applied stricter rules to fathers than a mother when granting citizenship to a child born outside the United States. Justice Ruth Ginsburg wrote the opinion that stated that the law suggested, “that unwed fathers care little about, indeed are strangers to, their children.” These types of laws are based on gender bias from generations ago. It violates the basic principle of equal protection under the law.
Importance of Fatherhood
Fatherhood should not be seen as unimportant in either the life of the child or father. It is true that child can be raised in a single parent household and still thrive. However, that single parent can be either the mother or father.
Both parents contribute uniquely to a child’s life. There is not a complete replacement for either the father or mother. Therefore, it should not be automatically determined that the best interest of the child is with the mother simply because of a gender bias favoring placement with the mother.
Fatherhood and Child Development
Studies show that there is a few area that the influence of a father puts the child at an advantage. Several of these studies followed children and their fathers over many years.
The research indicated that children whose fathers who played with, read to, cared for, and took their children on outings had better outcomes. These improved outcomes included few behavior issues. Additional benefits included higher IQs, and fewer delinquency issues as teenagers. These same children were less like to smoke or participate in other risky behavior.
In addition, the studies pointed out that language development was impacted more by fathers than mothers. Dads tended to use more words during early childhood play which increased the child’s vocabulary. Children with an increased vocabulary tend to be more successful in school later in life.
Unfortunately, we still have to fight for fathers to gain equal rights in the courts. It is important that the contributions of fathers to the lives of their children are not dismissed because of old gender bias. Parents rights should be equal and each situation should be looked to determine what is in the best interest of the child with gender neutrality.
Fathers for Equal Rights, Houston, will continue to advocate for fatherhood and fathers. Our children deserve it.
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