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Posts Tagged ‘Fathers’

Men’s Rights – Feminism should be about equality for males, too. – Reason Magazine

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Custody for fathers, Child Support, Children and Domestic Violence, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, DSM-V, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fathers rights, Marriage, National Parents Day, Non-custodial fathers, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parental Rights Amendment, Protective Dads on November 24, 2009 at 12:58 am

Men’s Rights

Feminism should be about equality for males, too.

Earlier this month DoubleX, Slate’s short-lived female-oriented publication (launched six months ago and about to be folded back into the parent site as a women’s section), ran an article ringing the alarm about the dire threat posed by the power of the men’s rights movement. But the article, written by New York-based freelance writer Kathryn Joyce and titled “Men’s Rights’ Groups Have Become Frighteningly Effective,” says more about the state of feminism—and journalistic bias—than it does about men’s groups.

Joyce’s indictment is directed at a loose network of activists seeking to raise awareness and change policy on such issues as false accusations of domestic violence, the plight of divorced fathers denied access to children, and domestic abuse of men. In her view, groups such as RADAR (Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting) and individuals like columnist and radio talk show host Glenn Sacks are merely “respectable” and “savvy” faces for what is actually an anti-female backlash from “angry white men.”

As proof of this underlying misogyny, Joyce asserts that men who commit “acts of violence perceived to be in opposition to a feminist status quo” are routinely lionized in the men’s movement. This claim is purportedly backed up with a reference that, in fact, does not in any way support it: an article in Foreign Policy about the decline of male dominance around the globe. Joyce’s one specific example is that the diary of George Sodini, a Pittsburgh man who opened fire on women in a gym in retaliation for feeling rejected by women, was reposted online by the blogger “Angry Harry” as a wake-up call to the Western world that “it cannot continue to treat men so appallingly and get away with it.” But does this have anything to do with more mainstream men’s rights groups? The original version of the article claimed that Sacks, who called “Harry” an “idiot” in his interview with Joyce, nonetheless “cautiously defends” the blogger; DoubleX later ran a correction on this point.

Sacks himself admits to Joyce that the men’s movement has a “not-insubstantial lunatic fringe.” Yet in her eyes, even the mainstream men’s groups are promoting a dangerous agenda, above all infiltrating mainstream opinion with the view that reports of domestic violence are exaggerated and that a lot of spousal abuse is female-perpetrated. The latter claim, Joyce asserts, comes from “a small group of social scientists” led by “sociologist Murray Straus of the University of New Hampshire, who has written extensively on female violence.” (In fact, Straus, founder of the renowned Family Research Laboratory at the University of New Hampshire, is a pre-eminent scholar on family violence in general and was the first to conduct national surveys on the prevalence of wife-beating.)

Joyce repeats common critiques of Straus’ research: For instance, he equates “a woman pushing a man in self-defense to a man pushing a woman down the stairs” or “a single act of female violence with years of male abuse.” Yet these charges have been long refuted: Straus’ studies measure the frequency of violence and specifically inquire about which partner initiated the physical violence. Furthermore, Joyce fails to mention that virtually all social scientists studying domestic violence, including self-identified feminists such as University of Pittsburgh psychologist Irene Frieze, find high rates of mutual aggression.

Reviews of hundreds of existing studies, such as one conducted by University of Central Lancashire psychologist John Archer in a 2000 article in Psychological Bulletin, have found that at least in Western countries, women are as likely to initiate partner violence as men. While the consequences to women are more severe—they are twice as likely to report injuries and about three times more likely to fear an abusive spouse—these findings also show that men hardly escape unscathed. Joyce claims that “Straus’ research is starting to move public opinion,” but in fact, some of the strongest recent challenges to the conventional feminist view of domestic violence—as almost invariably involving female victims and male batterers—come from female scholars like New York University psychologist Linda Mills.

Contrary to Joyce’s claims, these challenges, so far, have made very limited inroads into public opinion. One of her examples of the scary power of men’s rights groups is that “a Los Angeles conference this July dedicated to discussing male victims of domestic violence, ‘From Ideology to Inclusion 2009: New Directions in Domestic Violence Research and Intervention,’ received positive mainstream press for its ‘inclusive’ efforts.’” In fact, the conference—which featured leading researchers on domestic violence from several countries, half of them women, and focused on much more than just male victims—received virtually no mainstream press coverage. One of the very few exceptions was a column I wrote for The Boston Globe, also reprinted in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Whatever minor successes men’s groups may have achieved, the reality is that public policy on domestic violence in the U.S. is heavily dominated by feminist advocacy groups. For the most part, these groups embrace a rigid orthodoxy that treats domestic violence as male terrorism against women, rooted in patriarchal power and intended to enforce it. They also have a record of making grotesquely exaggerated, thoroughly debunked claims about an epidemic of violence against women—for instance, that battering causes more hospital visits by women every year than car accidents, muggings, and cancer combined.

These advocacy groups practically designed the Violence Against Women Act of 1994, and they dominate the state coalitions against domestic violence to which local domestic violence programs must belong in order to qualify for federal funds. As a result of the advocates’ influence, federal assistance is denied to programs that offer joint counseling to couples in which there is domestic violence, and court-mandated treatment for violent men downplays drug and alcohol abuse (since it’s all about the patriarchy).

Against the backdrop of this enforced party line, Joyce is alarmed by the smallest signs that men’s rights groups may be gaining even a modest voice in framing domestic violence policy. She points out that in a few states, men’s rights activists have succeeded in “criminalizing false claims of domestic violence in custody cases” (this is apparently meant to be a bad thing) and “winning rulings that women-only shelters are discriminatory” (in fact, the California Court of Appeals ruled last year that state-funded domestic violence programs that refuse to provide service to abused men violate constitutional guarantees of equal protection, but also emphasized that the services need not be identical and coed shelters are not required).

To bolster her case, Joyce consistently quotes advocates—or scholars explicitly allied with the advocacy movement, such as Edward Gondolf of the Mid-Atlantic Addiction Research and Training Institute—to discredit the claims of the men’s movement. She also repeats uncorroborated allegations that many leaders of the movement are themselves abusers, but offers only one specific example: eccentric British activist Jason Hatch, who once scaled Buckingham Palace in a Batman costume to protest injustices against fathers, and who was taken to court for allegedly threatening one of his ex-wives during a custody dispute.

The article is laced with the presumption that, with regard to both general data and individual cases, any charge of domestic violence made by a woman against a man must be true.

One case Joyce uses to illustrate her thesis is that of Genia Shockome, who claimed to have been severely battered by her ex-husband Tim and lost custody of her two children after being accused of intentionally alienating them from their father. Yet Joyce never mentions that Shockome’s claims of violent abuse were unsupported by any evidence, that she herself did not mention any abuse in her initial divorce complaint, or that three custody evaluators—including a feminist psychologist who had worked with the Battered Women’s Justice Center at Pace University—sided with the father.

More than a quarter-century ago, British feminist philosopher Janet Radcliffe Richards wrote, “No feminist whose concern for women stems from a concern for justice in general can ever legitimately allow her only interest to be the advantage of women.” Joyce’s article is a stark example of feminism as exclusive concern with women and their perceived advantage, rather than justice or truth.

Cathy Young is a contributing editor at Reason magazine and a columnist for RealClearPolitics.com. She is the author of Ceasefire: Why Women and Men Must Join Forces to Achieve True Equality. This article originally appeared at Forbes.

Men’s Rights – Reason Magazine.

Fathers 4 Justice in city centre protest (From Oxford Mail)

In fatherlessness, fathers rights, Non-custodial fathers, parental rights, Parents rights, Protective Dads on November 7, 2009 at 12:02 am

Fathers 4 Justice in city centre protest

9:33am Wednesday 4th November 2009

comment Comments (8) Have your say »

By Andrew Ffrench »

A campaigner for father’s rights has attempted to scale the roof of Oxford Magistrates’ Court.

Roger Crawford, 60, a member of Fathers 4 Justice launched a protest this morning.

Mr Crawford, from Meppershall, in Bedfordshire, was dressed as superman as he attempted to climb the building in St Aldate’s earlier this morning, before being caught by security staff.

It is believed the campaigners have now taken their protest to the street outside.

via Fathers 4 Justice in city centre protest (From Oxford Mail).

 

Your Say YourOxford

philg, Oxford says…
2:44pm Wed 4 Nov 09

I thought the crown court was in St Aldate’s, and the Magistrates’ court in Speedwell Street. The campaigners I saw were certainly outside the Crown Court.

Get the facts straight


Mike Murphy, Sault Ste. Marie, ON, Canada says…
5:30am Thu 5 Nov 09

Roger well done. Its good to see a man closer to my age still spry enough to try and get on roofs as well as have the passion and love for children you do.

Its always a good day when we draw attention to the dysfunction of family courts no matter what court house it is.


slumdog, wallasey says…
1:25pm Thu 5 Nov 09

Too many men see their partners and their children as property. When their property is taken from them they throw tantrums and explode with infantile, impotent macho rage. FFJ is the natural home of these people as demonstrated by their choice of male power fantasy attire. ..
If it was passion or love they were trying to express they would not have plotted to kidnap Tony Blair’s kids.
..
Mike Murphy, We will be better off when FFJ is not just spry, but crisp and dry.


newfathers4justice ( sussex ), sussex says…
9:05pm Thu 5 Nov 09

slumdog,

your obviously an idiot !
and i would say quoting from some bad experience
, oh
, and by the way F4J’ did not try to kidnap leo blair

if your so up on things get your facts straight first


slumdog, wallasey says…
4:46am Fri 6 Nov 09

ffj This post is the same as the one on the other thread, Your missus teach you to copy and paste before she through you out?


slumdog, wallasey says…
12:21pm Fri 6 Nov 09

My last post should read ‘threw’, not ‘through’. I was a bit tired by then!


newfathers4justice ( sussex ), sussex says…
7:45pm Fri 6 Nov 09

get a life

Jill Brooke: Do Men Become Better or Worse Fathers After Divorce?

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Support, child trafficking, Civil Rights, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, Homeschool, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, judicial corruption, kidnapped children, Marriage, motherlessness, mothers rights, National Parents Day, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parental Rights Amendment, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Restraining Orders, Rooker-Feldman Doctrine on July 21, 2009 at 5:04 pm

Do Men Become Better or Worse Fathers After Divorce?

If divorce is the future of duplicitous two-timers Gov. Mark Sanford to reality TV’s Jon Gosselin, these men will have to navigate co-parenting. However, a growing trend shows that many men become better parents post-divorce, to the surprise of ex-wives who find it difficult to grasp that a man who wasn’t a good husband can indeed be a good father.

Take the example of Peter Giles.

When Peter Giles’ three daughters were toddlers, work consumed him at the expense of family life. The New York businessman would justify the absences as doing the right thing for his family since he was providing the financial womb while his wife was taking care of their other needs.

What finally made him a better father? Getting a divorce.

“The divorce was such a shock and forced me to take stock of who I was and what success should look like,” said Giles, whose ex-wife Nancy Claus sought a divorce in 2001. “I came to realize that I had been providing for my children but needed to be more to them. “

Like the majority of divorcing men today, Giles sought joint legal custody, which courts are more willing to grant since a federal study shows that men paid child support 90 percent of the time in comparison to less than 45 percent when the mother had sole custody.

When his daughters visited, Giles morphed into a multi-tasker taking on chores previously done by his wife including cooking, buying cosmetics and remembering to buy eggs and bacon at the market.

“I wish he would have been as involved and helpful when we were married,” said Claus. “But he has definitely become a much better Dad after our divorce.”

He is not alone.

“When a father is away from the stress of a failed marriage, he can be more relaxed and more reflective and as a result enjoy being more fully involved with his children,” said Don Gordon, professor emeritus of psychology at Ohio University and the director of the Center for Divorce Education.

David Gestl, the divorced father of four in Stewartstown, Pennsylvania, agrees, adding how it’s a relief not to argue about parenting styles which allows the father to develop his own.

“In my marriage, I was always walking on eggshells and getting criticized,” he said. “Recently after I made dinner, my son shook his chocolate milk and it went flying everywhere. I could say, just relax it’s nothing a paper towel won’t pick up. It’s okay to make a mistake and fix it. “

One benefit to divorce is that with scheduled rationed time, each parent doesn’t take it for granted and can have more single minded focus with their kids.

CNBC anchor Dennis Kneale says divorce has made him “vastly closer ” to his 9-year-old daughter Jing-Jing. “In many families, mom is the center of everything and the husband is the supporting player,” he observed. “But with divorce, I have had more one on one time with her in ways I never did before.”

In a study on non-residential fathers, researcher Paul Amato from Pennsylvania State University found that the percentage of non-residential fathers being involved with their children more than tripled from 8 percent in the 1970′s to 26 percent in 2000′s.

A recent study by Kathleen Gerson, professor of sociology at New York University and author of ” The Unfinished Revolution:How a New Generation is Reshaping Family, Work,
and Gender in America” found the number to be 27 percent.

“Large numbers of contemporary fathers are doing their best to fulfill their responsibilities as parents despite the limitations of not residing with their children,” said Amato. “It’s time to recognize, value and support the commitment of these men to their children.”

Experts say that the rise of more involved fathers post-divorce is based on several factors that collectively aligned like shooting stars and is preventing what one organization calls, “a parentdectomy.”

A kid-focus culture for starters has helped cement ties.

Dr. Warren Farrell points out that pop culture’s parenting focus expanded the definition of a man’s identity. In one study tracking data from 1965-1998, married men had doubled their direct child care involvement. “More men put in the effort early which created deeper attachments that fathers didn’t want to lose,” said Farrell, who is also the author of “Father and Child Reunion.” Hence, more requests for joint custody.

Technology has also helped prevent or reduce what is called parental alienation where in the past the residential parent may – consciously or unconsciously – block contact either out of her resentment towards the father or because she has remarried and is protecting the stepfather relationship. A study by J. Annette Vanini and Edward Nichols found that 77 percent of noncustodial fathers faced some form of visitation interference.

But now fathers can give their kids pre-paid cell phones to insure contact. Divorce contracts are also often written to permit contact through email accounts.

Ted Rubin, a Huntington Long Island divorced dad to two girls, admits to using Facebook to keep in contact with his kids. “Sometimes when we speak on the phone I can tell if Mom is standing there and then later my daughter will contact me on Facebook,” he said. “A lot of Dads complain that moms could stand in the way of communication but now it’s almost impossible because kids are so tech savvy.”

In fact, Rubin, who has a contentious divorce with his ex-wife, says that email helps divorced parents diminish “the nastiness is our dialogues” which the kids would overhear on the phone. Now he can email what time he’s picking up the kids and delivering them without any verbal warfare.

Another big boost for continued contact has been videoconferencing. In 2002, Utah resident Michael Gough worried that his ex-wife’s relocation to Wisconsin would wipe out his parental involvement. Considering that less than 10 percent of divorces go to trial, he fought to have the right to videoconference with his daughter. Utah was the first state to pass legislation for virtual visitation in 2004.

“It costs me thousands of extra dollars to go to court but as a result there is now a statute for videoconferencing that other judges and attorneys can refer to and follow,” said Gough, who now runs a website called internetvisitation.org. Because of his efforts, Wisconsin, Florida and Texas all passed similar legislation and North Carolina did this month.

“With videoconferencing, I was able to read bedtime stories, help her with her homework and even watch her open up a present,” said Gough, with genuine sentimentality.

Schools are also helping divorced parents co-parent on neutral ground. While some wives would raise their eyebrows like thunderbolts when an ex-husband would arrive at the sports field, schools are not playing favorites.

“My ex-wife interpreted the divorce agreement that if I arrived at my son’s soccer game that it should only be when I had him for an overnight,” said Eric Ryerson, a nurse in Eugene, Oregon and father to an 11-year-old son. “But I want to see him more than my custody arrangement and by coming to sports events and volunteering at school, I can see him more.”

Ryerson went to the school and volunteered to be a chaperone for class trips, signed his name to contact forms and also spoke to coaches to provide information on his son’s soccer and baseball games.

“I asserted myself to be present and got rewarded for it,” said Ryerson. “I also got to meet his classmates and interacted with them.” Ryerson recalls fondly how in second grade he was nicknamed Mr. Pushy because he eagerly pushed his son’s friends on the swings. “My son told me he liked it when I came to school.”

In fact, research shows that the kids do like it when both parents are present.

“They have fewer behavior and emotional problems, higher self-esteem and better school performance than children in sole custody arrangements,” said Glenn Sacks, the National Executive Director of Fathers & Families. “When researchers have examined children of divorce, and studied and queried adult children of divorce, they’ve found that most prefer joint custody and shared parenting.”

For example, in one Arizona State University study of college students who experienced their parents’ divorces while they were children, over two-thirds believe that living equal times with each parent is the best arrangement. A Harvard University study also confirmed that children in joint custody settings fared much better than kids living in sole custody households.

While many men acknowledge progress, some still complain that the system treats fathers as second-class citizens when asking for more time with their children.

As Gary Nicholson, the president of the American Association of Marital Attorneys, explains, part of the problem is that various state laws tie child support payments to the amount of time a father is with their child. Payments can be adjusted if the father spends as much as 100 nights with his child so many mothers resist giving 50-50 splits and are angered by the request.

Said Nicholson, “Are there folks who look at this economically and think if I have equal time I won’t have to pay as much child support? Yes. But the majority of dads want to be involved in their kid’s lives. They feel they should be equal partners.”

As the nation sees more divorced families, more parents have learned that even though the marriage is over, they are forever linked as co-parents. Cultural cues also encourage that they should love their children more than they hate their spouse. Over time, many hard feelings thaw and enhanced appreciation can ensue.

Deb Rabino, a New York based make-up artist, learned to admire her ex-husband’s parenting of their two sons so much that when he lost his job in the financial industry, she voluntarily reduced his alimony and child support payments.

“He definitely became a better father after our divorce,” she said. “He honored his support of us and now it was our turn to help him out.”

The increased connection between children and fathers also results in other sacrifices as well. Michael Gough says videoconferencing helped get him more involved with his daughter. “My participation reminded me I have a daughter who needed me otherwise it could have been out of sight, out of mind.” Because his wife later relocated to Austin, Texas, Gough now found a new job to be near his daughter.

“Videoconferencing really helped us stay closer,” said Gough. “But it still can’t replace seeing my daughter and getting a hug.”

Like many men, he is getting remarried and may start a new family.

As Stephanie Coontz, the Director of Research and Public Education at the Council on Contemporary Families, observes, men have for more than 150 years tended to think of the responsibility of kids as a package deal. When the relationship split up, they’d walk away and start new families. “But we’re seeing a growing number of men separting from their wives but not their children,” she said.

Do you have any doubt that recent divorced dads including Dylan McDermott, Robin Williams, Russell Simmons or Guy Ritchie won’t enjoy time with their kids? All have said how much it means to them.

Still, it can be very painful for ex-wives to see that their families are living lives without them – especially when spouses repartner. However, in time, this divorce therapist has seen many women realize that a break from 24/7 parenting can benefit everyone. And love is far more elastic and flexible than we think.

(This story will also be discussed on CBS’ “Early Show”)

Jill Brooke: Do Men Become Better or Worse Fathers After Divorce?.

The Happiest Wives

In Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, Civil Rights, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Family Rights, fathers rights, Liberty, Marriage, mothers rights, National Parents Day, Parental Rights Amendment, Parents rights on July 12, 2009 at 6:33 pm

What Makes Women Happy in Their Marriages?

W. Bradford Wilcox and Steven Nock recently tackled this question in an article, “What’s Love Got To Do With It?,” published in the March 2006 issue of Social Forces, one of the leading journals of sociology in the U.S. The article has attracted a great deal of media coverage—in venues as varied as The New York Times, NBC’s The Today Show, Slate, and National Review Online. This website summarizes the study’s key findings and offers resources to women and men interested in learning more about successful marriages.

The top predictors of women’s marital happiness, in order of importance:

  1. A husband’s emotional engagement.
    Women who are married to men who make an effort to listen to them, who express affection and appreciation on a regular basis, and who share quality time with them on a regular basis (date nights, frequent conversations focusing on mutual interests and one another) are much happier in their marriages than women who do not have emotionally-engaged husbands.
  2. Fairness.
    Women who think that housework (and other family responsibilities) are divided fairly are significantly happier than women who think that their husband does not do his fair share. Note, however, that most wives do not equate fairness with a 50-50 model of equality. Only 30% of wives in this study think their marriage is unfair, even though the vast majority of wives do the bulk of childcare and housework. Why is this? In the average marriage, husbands devote significantly more hours to paid labor than do wives—especially when children come along. So, in the average marriage, husbands and wives devote about the same amount of total hours to the paid and unpaid work associated with caring for a family.
  3. A breadwinning husband.
    American wives, even wives who hold more feminist views about working women and the division of household tasks, are typically happier when their husband earns 68% or more of the household income. Husbands who are successful breadwinners probably give their wives the opportunity to make choices about work and family—e.g., working part-time, staying home, or pursuing a meaningful but not particularly remunerative job—that allow them to best respond to their own needs, and the needs of their children.
  4. A commitment to marriage.
    Wives who share a strong commitment to the norm of lifelong marriage with their husband—e.g., who both believe that even unhappily married couples should stay together for the sake of their children—are more likely to have a happy marriage than couples who do not share this commitment to marriage. Shared commitment seems to generate a sense of trust, emotional security, and a willingness to sacrifice for one’s spouse—all of which lead to happier marriages for women. This shared commitment also provides women with a long-term view of their marriage that helps them negotiate the inevitable difficulties that confront any marriage.
  5. Staying at home.
    Wives who stay at home tend to be happier in their marriages than wives who work outside the home. This is particularly true for women who have children in the home. Women often find it difficult to juggle kids, a career, and a marriage all at the same time. In fact, the study finds that working women are less likely to spend quality time with their husbands. They are also more likely to report that the division of housework is unfair. So time pressures and role overload help to explain why working wives are typically less happy in their marriages.
  6. Shared religious attendance.
    Wives who attend church or some other worship service with their husbands tend to be happier than wives who do not share religious attendance with their husbands. Religious attendance may give wives a sense that God is present in their marriage, a sense that their husband seeks to please them by attending church with them, and/or access to other married couples who value marriage and can provide them with guidance and moral support for their marriages.
  7. Traditional gender attitudes.
    Wives who hold more traditional gender attitudes—e.g., who believe that wives should focus more on nurturing/homemaking and husbands should focus more on breadwinning—are happier than wives who hold more feminist attitudes. One reason this may be the case is that traditional-minded wives probably have lower expectations of what their husbands can and should do for them emotionally and practically. We also find that more traditional-minded wives spend more quality time with their husbands, perhaps because they are less likely to argue with their husbands about housework and childcare.

Four Key Questions:

A. Does this study apply to more feminist-minded women?

Yes. In a companion study pdf icon, W. Bradford Wilcox looked at marital happiness among women who had more progressive gender attitudes about the division of work and family, and who expressed support for working wives. Even women in this sample tended to be happier if they did not work outside the home, had a husband who took the lead in breadwinning, and/or shared a strong commitment to the norm of lifelong marriage.

B. Does this study apply to less-educated women?

For the most part, yes. Married women who have a high school degree or less are happier when their husbands are emotionally engaged, when they think housework is divided fairly, when their husbands take the lead in breadwinning, and when they share church attendance with their husbands. However, less-educated wives’ employment does not affect their marital happiness nor does a shared sense of marital commitment.

C. Does this study apply to every married woman?

The study’s findings are averages and they do not apply to every married woman. There are, of course, feminist-minded women in egalitarian marriages who are very happy, just as there are traditional-minded women in traditional marriages who are very unhappy. For instance, 41% of working wives in our study report they are “very happy” in their marriages. So just because a woman does not have one or two or even three of these predictors does not mean she is necessarily unhappy in her marriage. But if she is missing all of these predictors, she is much more likely to be very unhappy in her marriage.

D. Are wives likely to be happier if they have more of these predictors?

Wives who have more of the above predictors tend to be the happiest wives. So, for instance, 61% of married women whose husband’s earn the lion’s share of their income and go to church with their husbands and share a commitment to lifelong marriage are very happy in their marriages, versus 45% of women who do not have all of these predictors.

The Happiest Wives.

Dads’ Presence Help Prevent Teen Girls from Having Sex

In Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, children legal status, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, CPS, deadbeat dads, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, federal crimes, Feminism, Freedom, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Liberty, Marriage, Non-custodial fathers, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, Parental Rights Amendment, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Restraining Orders on July 5, 2009 at 3:28 pm

From HealthNewsDigest.com

Guest Columnist
By Mary Jo Rapini

Guest Columnist
Jun 8, 2009 – 12:11:50 PM

(HealthNewsDigest.com) – This month all of my blogs are focused on you dads. I think your presence is so important to your daughters in almost every aspect of their life. We know that one out of six girls—ages 12 to 18—take a vow not to have premarital sex. However, 90% of those girls will break that vow and engage in sex. If dad is present in the home and engaged with his daughter it is more likely that she will not have sex before the age of 18. Dads who are involved with their daughters will offer their daughter a male’s perspective and become a role model. Dads usually are responsible for playing physical activities with their daughters. Games like catch, tag, and basketball may change allow your daughter to play sports in school and being physically active. Girls who are more physically active feel more confident about their bodies and are less likely to get pregnant, drop out of school, or put up with abusive boyfriends.

Girls who have a dad in the home don’t feel the need to be promiscuous to go out and attract a boyfriend. They don’t need a boy because their dad is usually the first member of the opposite sex they will seek for knowledge or understanding about guy relationships.

Every dad who has a daughter realizes how dangerous the world can be for a woman. They also know they cannot protect their daughters or shelter them from all harm. Talking to your daughters about this and setting an example for them (in regards to how a man should treat them and what respect feels like) is a lesson your daughter will use to judge every man she encounters. Limiting pornographic literature in the home as well as celebrity magazines that glorify women as sex objects is one of the single most helpful methods. This will help your daughter understand that her body is not to be used or touched by anyone else until she is mature enough to enter a relationship where possible consequences can be dealt with and talked about.

The number one way dads help prevent teen sex before the age of eighteen is to take her desire to wear a purity or promise ring seriously. Ask what a purity/promise ring means to her. Ask her how you can help. For more information go to my “Girls Corner Page” on my web site http://www.maryjorapini.com

To your daughter you are the greatest man she has ever known. Every man she encounters after you will be compared to you for better or worse. Are you being the man/dad you want to be?

Mary Jo Rapini, MEd, LPC, is featured on TLC’s new series, Big Medicine which completed season one and two. She is also a contributing expert for Cosmopolitan magazine, Women’s Health, First, and Seventeen magazine. Mary Jo writes her own column (Note to Self) in the Houston Chronicle and “Ask Mary Jo” in Houston Family Magazine. She is an intimacy and sex counselor, and specializes in relationships. She is a popular speaker across the nation, with multiple repeat requests to serve as key-note speaker for national conferences. Her dynamic style is particularly engaging for those dealing with intimacy issues and relationship challenges, or those simply hanging on to unasked questions about sex in relationships. She was recently a major participant in a symposium for young girls dealing with body image and helping girls become strong women. Rapini is the author of Is God Pink? Dying to Heal and co-author of Start Talking: A Girl’s Guide for You and Your Mom about Health, Sex or Whatever. She has appeared on television programs including Montel, Fox Morning News and various Houston television and radio programs. Keep up with the latest advice at Mary Jo Rapini

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Dads’ Presence Help Prevent Teen Girls from Having Sex.

Fathers looking to step up feel invisible

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, deadbeat dads, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, due process rights, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, Feminism, Marriage, National Parents Day, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Restraining Orders on July 1, 2009 at 11:25 pm

Fathers looking to step up feel invisible

By MELISSA RAYWORTH | For The Associated Press • Published June 30, 2009

The reaction to Ofenloch’s brother-in-law Chuck, who serves as Morgan’s nanny, is often similar. “You can see people are wondering,” Ofenloch said, “‘Who the heck is this guy? Why is a guy taking her to school?’”

Despite the growing presence of daddy bloggers and “SAHDs” (stay-at-home-dads), society has been slow in catching up with the modern realities of fatherhood, said Erin Boyd-Soisson, an associate professor of family science at Messiah College in Grantham, Pa.

“Up until just 10 or 15 years ago,” she says, “when researchers did research into children, they used the term ‘non-maternal care’ for everyone but the mother. Fathers were lumped in with baby sitters.”

That’s since changed within academia. But not so much in the wider world.

“There is so much conditioning, in terms of thinking that women instinctively know more and have more experience with children,” said Claudia Strauss, a family communications expert and lecturer at Albright College in Reading, Pa. “You can’t just turn off the switch of what’s been there, in terms of role models and what’s been inculcated culturally and societally” for so many generations.

For some dads, the occasional stare or slight is just background noise. “I spend so much time by myself out with the kids, having people deal with me as the parent that I don’t notice it, really, when it does happen,” said Eric Gorman, a father of two who lives in Pittsburgh.

But Strauss said some men become less involved with their children’s lives after enough negative reinforcement. “Fathers can be made to feel less secure, especially young men when they first become fathers,” she said, “because it reinforces that idea that they don’t know what they’re doing.”

“Awareness is really important for the medical professional, for the nursery school provider, all these people who provide direct services to parents,” Strauss said. “If you don’t want fathers to be tangential, you can’t treat them as though they are.”

Allen agrees: “I’m not pushing for special dispensation for dads. But it really is just the little things that can accumulate in a dad’s psyche and they have enough momentum to push moms back into that sole primary-caregiver role.”

via Fathers looking to step up feel invisible – Nation & World – The Olympian – Olympia, Washington.

Divorce rate statistics – marriage problems – a lasting marriage

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, Childrens Rights, Christian, Civil Rights, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, federal crimes, Foster CAre Abuse, Freedom, Homeschool, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Liberty, Marriage, motherlessness, mothers rights, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Rooker-Feldman Doctrine on June 24, 2009 at 12:27 am

Divorce rate statistics – marriage problems – a lasting marriage.

The following relationship advice will help you minimize marriage problems and avoid being a divorce statistic.

By Dennis Rainey

A woman once shared with me her view of marriage:

“It’s as though I’m scanning a desert with a pair of binoculars. Everywhere I look I see bodies strewn about in various stages of death and dying — divorce, isolation, abusive and decayed relationships, all types of devastation. After viewing this I ask myself, Why would I want to begin that journey?”

Many students today are asking the same question. Although they deeply desire the security and joy of a lifelong relationship, they fear marriage. One new bride said in a Newsweek article: “I had watched my parents’ marriage fall apart, and I didn’t know if I could keep one together.”1

Results of High Divorce Rate Statistics

No generation reaching the age to marry has ever brought with it more baggage related to family breakdown. In the United States more than one million children each year experience the breakup of their families.2

A large number of students remember experiences like this:

Mary: One afternoon she came home from school and met her father coming out the door with a suitcase. He was leaving the family. “I’ll be back to see you, Honey,” he said. Mary’s father kissed her on top of the head and left. She hasn’t seen him since.

Robert: His parents divorced when he was five. He has lived with his mother who married three other men and drinks way too much. His first stepfather beat him up one time when Robert spilled a Coke in the car.

Carrie: Her parents are still married but heavily focused on their lucrative careers. Her dad and mom seldom attended her orchestra concerts during high school, and now that she’s away at college, she rarely speaks to either of them. When the family communicates, usually it’s by email or messages on their answering machines.

Philip: During junior high Philip was awakened one night by the sounds of his parents arguing. He heard a crash and a scream. Philip found his mother in the kitchen bleeding from a knife wound. Philip called the police and they arrested his father. Philip, his mom, and two younger sisters went to live in a shelter. He doesn’t know where his dad lives.

You probably know people like Mary, Robert, Carrie, and Philip. Your own experiences may be similar to theirs or even worse. Maybe your home boiled with conflict, disharmony, and unrest. As a result, you’ve thought a lot about whether you should get married — you don’t want to end up in a relationship filled with pain and disappointment, and cause an emotional earthquake in your own children. You like the idea of sharing your life with someone who loves you, but if you’re honest, marriage is pretty scary. You may ask yourself, “Will I ever be able to get beyond the damage my family did to me? Will I be able to experience a happy and healthy marriage and family?”

The answer is unequivocally yes.

Since 1976 I have worked with an organization that helps families and have seen thousands of marriages succeed that looked hopeless. God has a way for broken people to experience whole relationships. More on that later.

Marriage–Worth the Problems

With all the problems and pain, why do people still want to get married? Even though marriage receives so much bad press these days, walking the aisle is still very popular exercise. A recent Louis Harris survey found that 96% of college students want to marry or already are married. Ninety-seven per cent agreed with this statement — “Having close family relationships is a key to happiness.”3

So even though about one in four of American adults age eighteen and older are divorced,4 the possibility of having a good, lasting marriage makes nearly everyone willing to give it a try. Just why is marriage so appealing?

The truth is that no one wants to be alone. Although we make a big deal out of “doing our own thing” and insisting on individual rights, we all long for the security and warmth of an intimate relationship with someone who is crazy about us. We may say we “want to be alone” and desire “some space,” but our stronger desire is to share some space with someone who loves us.

And although sexual attraction is an important part of our desire for intimacy, these longings to connect deeply with another person are not just about sex. This fervent desire to be known and appreciated by someone else is how we were designed in the first place.

Causes of Divorce Rate Statistics

Why is it then that so many people, who want and need to be close to someone, end up divorced, often filled with anger and disappointment? Many who marry attempt to achieve a strong, enduring bond based primarily on emotions. In most relationships the love and acceptance continue as long as the other person is meeting a certain level of expectation. If the feelings are warm, a husband and wife can enjoy one another’s company, overlook a partner’s troubling or annoying traits, communicate adequately, and still express affection.

But when the feelings cool, one or both find they have no reserves or capability to love an obviously imperfect person. Now needs are not met, which causes hurt, which promotes defensiveness, which reduces positive communication, which heightens misunderstanding, which provokes conflict, which fuels anger and bitterness. If forgiveness and reconciliation do not break this downward spiral, the ability to love one another is paralyzed.

This pattern in nearly all relationships may be avoided for awhile as long as the tough issues that provoke selfishness do not exist or are obscured. But sooner or later reality hits. In spite of a couple’s best intentions, they eventually realize that two independent people cannot both have all of their needs met all of the time.

Relationship Advice–How to Avoid Marriage Problems

For a relationship to succeed, teamwork is required and both persons need to deny many of their personal wishes. Self-sacrifice must replace selfishness. Sometimes one person in the marriage can do this reasonably well, but eventually patience runs out. Self-sacrifice is not natural; selfishness is. Why is this so?

If we lived in a world where people were perfect, then their marriages would hum along in total harmony, just the way God wanted marriage to work in the first place. But we don’t live in a perfect world. Quite honestly all of us are affected by our tendency toward selfishness and “sin.” What is sin? We often choose to do the wrong things not the right things. We can be selfish, mean, hurtful, bitter, arrogant, unwilling to forgive, and so on. It’s no wonder husbands and wives struggle to get along.

An I-want-my-needs-met attitude in relationships breaks down a necessary spirit of cooperation. The negative cycle begins and continues until intimacy is lost and a marriage begins to crumble.

Let’s face it, we all need help — some inner strength that enables us to love another person the way we must if a marriage is going to have a chance.

Our selfish, sinful behavior not only separates a husband and a wife, but it also separates us from God — our greatest source of help. As the Originator and Designer of marriage, He knows how relationships work. He wants us to first have a relationship with Him, and then look to Him for direction.

Not only does God help us with problems and challenges we face on a daily basis, but He also offers healing for scars and wounds we have collected from the past. For instance, He provides complete forgiveness and cleansing from wrong choices we may have made as teenagers in a relationship with the opposite sex. God loves us and wants us to enjoy the benefits of being His child, which include His help in our marriage.

I would like to illustrate this with two scenarios involving a typical husband and wife. In the first example, our couple (I’ll call them Jon and Lisa) do not acknowledge any dynamic involvement of God in their lives. In Scenario B, Jon and Lisa have more than a relationship with each other, they also have a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Possible Marriage Problems–Scenario A:

It’s Saturday morning and Jon wants to play golf with his buddies. He rolls out of bed and tells Lisa that he’s leaving and won’t be back until about 4 p.m. Lisa complains, “You promised we could go on a picnic today!”

“I never said that,” Jon says, his voice on edge. “Anyway, I haven’t played golf in two weeks. It’s a beautiful day. I’m out of here.” Jon slams the door on the way out.

Lisa feels snubbed and after shedding some tears, she stomps angrily through the apartment and throws the pillows on the couch across the room.

“I’ll show you, Jerk,” she yells. She calls a girlfriend and makes a date to go out for lunch and some shopping. At the mall Lisa buys $300 worth of new clothes — she needed a new outfit, but by buying a few “extra” things she knows Jon will hit the roof. Their credit card is now nearly maxed out.

Meanwhile, Jon is finishing his golf round. He stops with his buddies for a drink at the golf club bar. One drink soon leads to two. Jon notices how attractive the waitress is. As the young woman is giving Jon his third drink, he whispers a flattering remark in her ear. The woman acts insulted, but her smile indicates that Jon has scored some points. The next time she returns, he notices her phone number on the napkin placed under his drink. Jon tucks the paper in his pocket.

Jon arrives home at 5 p.m., walking with a bit of a wobble. Lisa is watching TV with the volume turned high. He notices a pile of packages on the couch. Angrily he switches off the TV and points at the packages. Lisa swears at him and walks to the bedroom, slamming the door behind her. They argue far into the night. Jon ends up sleeping in the guest bedroom.

Possible Marriage Problems–Scenario B:

It’s Saturday morning and Jon wants to play golf with his buddies. He rolls out of bed and tells Lisa that he’s leaving and won’t be back until about 4 p.m. Lisa acts surprised and says, “I thought we were going on a picnic today!”

“Oh, can’t we do that tomorrow?” Jon says, his voice on edge. “Anyway, I haven’t played golf in two weeks. It’s such a beautiful day. I’m out of here!” Jon shuts the door hard on the way out.

Lisa feels snubbed and after shedding some tears, she stomps angrily through the apartment and throws the pillows on the couch across the room.

“You jerk!” she yells, wishing she could tell Jon to his face just how angry she feels.

Lisa decides to go for a walk, and by the time she passes through a park, her hurt and anger are subsiding. On her way back home she’s able to pray, “Dear Jesus, I’m really mad at Jon and think he’s being selfish. Please help me not to be selfish, too, and let my anger get out of control.”

Lisa decides to call a girlfriend and they make a date for an early lunch and some shopping. While at the mall, Lisa buys a new outfit.

Meanwhile, Jon is finishing the front nine of his golf round. He and his buddies stop for a sandwich and drink at the club snack bar. Jon notices how pretty the girl behind the counter is, but he just gives her a friendly smile and walks to join his friends. Earlier this morning Jon had thought Lisa was pretty whiney and clutching on to him — unfairly wanting to keep him from a good time with his buddies. But now Jon feels guilty for how he treated her. He’s not enjoying himself.

“Hey guys,” Jon announces, “I’m going to quit for today and go home. I need to spend some time with Lisa.” Two of his friends tease him, but Jon sticks with his decision.

When Lisa gets home at 1 p.m., she’s surprised to find Jon sitting at the kitchen table. She notices the picnic basket is out and half-filled with food and drinks.

“Why are you home so early?” she asks, the hurt still evident in her voice.

“I’m sorry for the way I acted this morning,” Jon says. “I wanted to play golf and didn’t care about your needs. I guess I was being kind of selfish. Will you forgive me?”

Lisa bites her lip. She’s still hurt, but Jon looks like he’s really sorry. And it’s pretty incredible that he quit his golf round early. “Yes, I forgive you,” Lisa says quietly.

As they hug, Jon says, “Could we kind of start this day over? I came home early thinking we might still have time for that picnic? Do you want to go?”

Lisa resists the temptation to pout and make Jon “pay.” Instead she smiles and nods her head.

The day turns around for both Jon and Lisa. The anger has been cleansed from both of them. Their relationship feels as fresh as the earth after a spring shower. In both of their lives Jesus has been at work, first showing them how to live and then giving them the strength to deny themselves and forgive — two actions essential to love but very difficult to do consistently and authentically without help.

Of course these two scenarios offer just a surface view of a complicated interpersonal situation, but they do illustrate why God’s involvement individually in the lives of a husband, wife, and their marriage makes such a difference. The Christian faith is not simply a collection of principles and rules — it’s a living, moment-to-moment interaction with God through which we receive guidance and power to live life the way it was designed to be lived.

To Avoid Being a Divorce Statistic–Listen to God’s Word

God is very clear in the Bible about the destruction of divorce, about the need to humbly consider the other person’s needs above our own, about being truthful with each other, about avoiding sexual immorality, and much more. But being told what to do does not necessarily mean we will want to do it. His guidance is often different from what we would feel like doing (for example, telling your spouse the truth at a time when lying would appear very useful). But repeatedly couples have found how wise God is, and how smart it is to trust and follow His blueprints for building relationships.

For example, God still says that marriage needs to come before sexual intimacy. Yet in our culture 64% of college students in a poll agreed with this statement — “Living together as a couple before getting married is a good idea.”5 Many of these students watched their parents’ marriages fall apart and reason that “trying out” the relationship seems like a good idea.

So why does God put marriage before sexual involvement? Because He wants us to experience lasting, fulfilling intimacy. How can two people feel secure enough to be totally vulnerable — a requirement for deep intimacy — in an environment where either person can bail out at any time? Research shows that the divorce rate is actually higher among those who live together before marrying later.6 God’s wisdom is unerring, it’s always right. And always God’s directions come from His caring, protective love for us.

But God does not merely want to be a marriage counselor, dispensing advice into our lives. He wants us to know Him, to be in relationship with Him, and to trust Him.

But God does not merely want to be a marriage counselor, dispensing advice into our lives. He wants us to know Him, to be in relationship with Him, and to trust Him. In order to faithfully love someone else, He says we first need to experience His unconditional, faithful love for us.

Prompted by His love for us, God did something remarkable on our behalf. We’ve talked about how our selfishness separates us from one another, and it especially separates us from God who is holy and perfect. The Bible says “your sin has made a separation between you and your God.”7 No amount of good deeds or effort on our part can erase our sin before God’s eyes. Worse, there is a penalty for our sin…death. It means eternal separation from God, even after our earthly life. And there is nothing we can do to fix it. His standards require perfection, and we don’t measure up. However, God’s justice is accompanied by His tremendous love for us — demonstrated by the solution He provided.

Jesus Christ, who is God in human form, came to pay the penalty of death for our sins. Jesus also came to teach us God’s ways and to give us a meaningful life. But primarily He said His purpose for coming as a man was to die in our place. He fully paid for all of our sins — my sins, yours, the whole world’s — when hanging on a cross (a Roman form of execution), so we may be forgiven. After being buried for three days, Jesus physically came back to life. Many eyewitnesses went on to tell the world about Him and the life God offers us.

To Overcome Marriage Problems–First, Start a Relationship with God

It is not up to us to work for God’s acceptance. He offers us a relationship with Him as a free gift. It is our choice whether we want to receive His forgiveness and enter into a relationship with Him. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through me.”8 He wants to come into our lives, but again, it’s an individual decision we need to make. If marriage is a significant decision, this is even more so. Do you want to have an eternal relationship with God and allow Him influence in your life? Do you want to be guided by His wisdom and supported by His strength?

If so, you can ask Him into your life right now. Just as a couple are not married until they actually make that public commitment of “I will,” beginning a relationship with God is also a knowledgeable act of the will. Jesus said, “Behold, I stand at the door [of your heart] and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in.”9 The Bible says, “But as many as received him, to them he gave the right to become children of God.”10

Would you like to know God’s love for you and ask Him into your heart? This might be a way you can express that to Him: “Lord Jesus, I want you in my life. I want you to guide me, and forgive me for all of my sins. Thank you for paying for my sins on the cross. I now ask you to come into my life. Thank you for your promise that you would come into my life, if I opened the door, which I am now doing. Thank you that now I can begin to really know you. Amen.”

If you sincerely prayed this, you have begun a relationship with God. What effect can this have on your marriage problems? You can have a love-filled marriage. Like all husbands and wives, you will make many mistakes and sometimes you will need to exert strenuous effort to have a great marriage. But, as you rely on Him, God will give you the strength and vision needed to love your mate in a selfless, forgiving manner and experience a lasting marriage.

I just asked Jesus into my life (some helpful information follows)…

I may want to ask Jesus into my life, please explain this more fully…

I have a question or comment…

Dennis Rainey is director of FamilyLife, a division of Campus Crusade for Christ. He is also an author and is host of the radio program “FamilyLife Today.” He and his wife, Barbara, have six children.

(1) Kendall Hamilton and Pat Wingert, “Down the Aisle,” Newsweek, 20 July 1998, p. 54.
(2) John J. DiIulio, Jr., “Deadly Divorce,” National Review, 7 April 97.
(3) “Generation 2001: A Survey of the First College Graduating Class of the New Millennium,” conducted in 1997-1998 by Louis Harris and Associates for Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, 720 E. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53202, pp. 8, 11.
(4) DiIulio, Jr., “Deadly Divorce.”
(5) Generation 2001: A Survey, p. 11.
(6) Shervert H. Frazier, Psychotrends (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994), p. 106
(7) Isaiah 59:2
(8) John 14:6
(9) Revelation 3:20
(10) John 1:12

Copyright 1999 Campus Crusade for Christ

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