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Daddy-bashing is suddenly cool. The cover story of the latest Atlantic proclaims “The End of Men: How Women Are Taking Control — of Everything,” while inside the magazine Pamela Paul poses the emasculating question, “Are Fathers Necessary?” Her answer, after sifting through the research: probably not. Social scientists have been unable to prove that dads contribute much, she reports. The effort and quality of parenting are what really matter, not parents’ gender.
“The bad news for Dad is that despite common perception, there’s nothing objectively essential about his contribution,” concludes Paul, the author of “Parenting, Inc.”
The bad-dad rap doesn’t stop there. A 20-year study of lesbian parents in the journal Pediatrics concludes that teenagers raised by two mothers (read: no dad) had better grades and fewer social problems than other teens. The study’s co-author, Nanette Gartrell of the University of California at Los Angeles, explained the difference by saying that lesbian mothers are more committed to child-rearing than heterosexual parents.
So what’s a beleaguered dad to do? If science can’t prove that we matter, does that mean we don’t?
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