Posts Tagged ‘Maternal Deprivation’

Parental Rights and Sexism in the UK – Tender Years Doctrine = Maternal Deprivation

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Marriage, Maternal Deprivation, Non-custodial fathers, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, Tender Years Doctrine on August 3, 2009 at 6:05 pm
even Toddlers Need Fathers
Helping fathers sustain a parental relationship with their child or children through the family courts

Tender Years doctrine
How does this psychological theory influence court orders for contact and custody between mothers and fathers?

Making an Application to Court
Precedents, Case Laws and Court Authorities in family proceedings

Why fathers are so important to the development of children and the seminal contribution of Professor Sir Michael Rutter

The welfare of the child and the Welfare Checklist. The role of CAFCASS and how they influence Court Orders

Shared or Joint Parenting
Overcoming barriers in UK family services and taking equal responsibility for your child or children

Parental Alienation
Most practitioners would consider PAS ’emotionally abusive’ so why don’t UK courts recognise parental alienation?

Winning ‘Frequent and Substantial’ Contact
Arguments and evidence a father may present to a family court judge to support his application for contact


Tender Years doctrine
Professor Sir Michael Rutter, 13th March 2002
“Very many thanks for sending me a copy of your interesting and informative guide on ‘even Toddlers Need Fathers’. I much appreciate your drawing my attention to it”

Most people who attend family proceedings for the first time expect the courts to be objective and impartial but according to Clare Dyer, the Guardian legal correspondent, ‘Under the present law, mothers who defy court orders can be jailed for contempt but the power is rarely used because judges are loath to deprive small children of their mothers.’  (‘New law may boost rights for fathers’, 29th October, 2001).

You may think if this is the situation what is the point in going to court in the first place? But there is also a psychological theory which supports the view of judges highlighted by the Guardian article. Dr John Bowlby (This symbol indicates there is also a YouTUBE video on this topic) working after the Second World War took the view that it was wrong to remove a small child from his or her mother. He called his theory ‘maternal deprivation’.  However it is rarely mentioned by name in court and it is more commonly referred to in legal proceedings as the Tender Years doctrine . The ‘Strange Situation’ procedure and Separation Anxiety
Link to YouTube Channel

The former Master of the Rolls, Lord Donaldson, felt the same way as Dr John Bowlby when he made the following precedent  in 1992, which subsequently became a cornerstone of UK family law.

‘At the risk of being told by academics hereafter that my views are contrary to well-established authority, I think that there is a rebuttable presumption of fact that the best interests of a baby are best served by being with its mother, and I stress the word ‘baby’. When we are moving on to whatever age it may be appropriate to describe the baby as having become a child, different considerations may well apply. But as far as babies are concerned, the starting point is, I think, that it should be with its mother.’

Although Lord Donaldson specified ‘babies’ a judge may apply the principle that the child should be raised by their mother, at any age.In the same year as this precedent Professor Sir Michael Rutter was knighted for his contribution to children’s welfare which included the seminal work ‘Maternal Deprivation Reassessed’ (Penguin, 1972) that contradicted Bowlby’s research findings.

i. Investigations have demonstrated the importance of a child’s relationship with people other than his mother.
ii.  Most important of all there has been repeated findings that many children are not damaged by deprivation.
iii. The old issue of critical periods of development and the crucial importance of early years has been re-opened and re-examined. The evidence is unequivocal that experiences at all ages have an impact.
iv. It may be the first few years do have a special importance for bond formation and social development. (page 217)

‘ Psychology in Family Proceedings”
Link to YouTube Channel
According to ‘What the Family Courts expect from Parents’ issued by the Midland Region Family Judges and Magistrates ‘, “Denial of contact is very unusual and in most cases contact will be frequent and substantial”. Yet by adopting the Tender Years doctrine judges in family proceedings can effectively deny fathers a parental role thus deflecting them from actively participating in their child or children’s upbringing.

Baroness Richmond, the first female ‘Law Lord’, described the difference between Bowlby and Rutter’s approach in the following way;-

15.  Sir Michael qualified the original theory of ‘maternal deprivation’  which had been developed by John Bowlby and expressed for popular consumption in a book called  ‘Child Care and the Growth of Love’. That theory was that children were damaged by separation from their mother or mother figure. Sir Michael Rutter pointed out that children were not invariably so damaged and that, in any event, other people, including their fathers, are also very important to children.

Nevertheless, despite the words of Baroness Richmond judges are still loath to “deprive small children of their mothers” and whether it is called  maternal deprivation or the ‘Tender Years’  doctrine it is still this precedent set by the former Master of the Rolls, who is the most senior judge with civil responsibilities, that prevails.

Tender Years Doctrine.

Maternal Deprivation? Monkeys, Yes; Mommies, No…

In adoption abuse, Alienation of Affection, Autism, Best Interest of the Child, California Parental Rights Amendment, Child Custody, Child Support, child trafficking, children criminals, children legal status, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Christian, Civil Rights, CPS, cps fraud, deadbeat dads, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, due process rights, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, federal crimes, Foster CAre Abuse, Freedom, HIPAA Law, Homeschool, Indians, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, judicial corruption, kidnapped children, Liberty, Maternal Deprivation, motherlessness, mothers rights, National Parents Day, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, Orphan Trains, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, Parental Rights Amendment, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Rooker-Feldman Doctrine, Sociopath, state crimes, Torts on June 7, 2009 at 5:00 am

Do children do best with one parent over another? Or does biology determine who is the better parent?

If you ask the feminists of the 70s who wanted to be free of restrictive child-rearing and assume an equal station in the workplace and politics, the answer to the first question would be no. Why would feminists give up their biologically superior position of motherhood, in which a mother is the primary caregiver, in favor of a job? What narcissists mother would do that?

And yet, today, if you ask the very self-same feminists who are leading the charge to narrow sole-custody of children in divorce proceedings to a woman based on some “biological advantage” the answer to the second question would be yes.

Upon this, you have the creation of a legally untenable position given to women based on gender. To get around “having your cake and eating it, too,” state family law has created the “imaginary world” of the “primary parent” dictum, which guides family law today, which is just a primary rehashing of “tender years doctrine”, both of which do not have the legal merit whatsover, nor the empirical research to support either.

But if you go back to the Maternal Deprivation nonsense, you quickly find the empirical research that throws this theory back into the area of “junk science” where it belongs. Maternal Deprivation is both empirically wrong and a sexist theory.

The junk science theory and refutation can be found here:

“Although Bowlby may not dispute that young children form multiple attachments, he still contends that the attachment to the mother is unique in that it is the first to appear and remains the strongest of all. However, on both of these counts, the evidence seems to suggest otherwise.

* Schaffer & Emerson (1964) noted that specific attachments started at about 8 months and, very shortly thereafter, the infants became attached to other people. By 18 months very few (13%) were attached to only one person; some had five or more attachments.

* Rutter (1981) points out that several indicators of attachment (such as protest or distress when attached person leaves) has been shown for a variety of attachment figures – fathers, siblings, peers and even inanimate objects.

Critics such as Rutter have also accused Bowlby of not distinguishing between deprivation and privation – the complete lack of an attachment bond, rather than its loss. Rutter stresses that the quality of the attachment bond is the most important factor, rather than just deprivation in the critical period.

Another criticism of 44 Thieves Study as that it concluded that affectionless psychopathy was caused by maternal deprivation. This is correlational data and as such only shows a relationship between these two variables. Indeed, other external variables, such as diet, parental income, education etc. may have affected the behaviour of the 44 thieves, and not, as concluded, the disruption of the attachment bond.”

There are implications arising from Bowlby’s work. As he believed the mother to be the most central care giver and that this care should be given on a continuous basis an obvious implication is that mothers should not go out to work. There have been many attacks on this claim:

* Mothers are the exclusive carers in only a very small percentage of human societies; often there are a number of people involved in the care of children, such as relations and friends (Weisner & Gallimore, 1977).

* Ijzendoorn & Tavecchio (1987) argue that a stable network of adults can provide adequate care and that this care may even have advantages over a system where a mother has to meet all a child’s needs.

* There is evidence that children develop better with a mother who is happy in her work, than a mother who is frustrated by staying at home (Schaffer, 1990).

There are many articles relating to this nonsense, and how it has been refuted. The original theory was promulgated by John Bowlby. Bowlby grew up mother-fixated because he did not have a relationship with his father. See why here.

Psychological research includes a shocking history and continuation of maternal deprivation experiments on animals. While maternal deprivation experiments have been conducted far more frequently on rhesus macaques and other monkeys, chimpanzees were not spared as victims of this unnecessary research.
Maternal Deprivation applies to monkeys only.