Issue 101

Grassroots with passion 09

Fathers provide a look at the world of men Men and women are different. They eat differently. They dress differently. They cope with life differently. Girls and boys who grow up with a father are more familiar and secure with the curious world of men. Girls with involved, married fathers are more likely to have healthier relationships with the opposite sex because they learn from their fathers how proper men act toward women. They know which behaviours are inappropriate. They also have a healthy familiarity with the world of men – they don’t wonder how a man’s facial stubble feels or what it’s like to be hugged by strong arms. This knowledge builds emotional security and safety from the exploitation of predatory males. Boys who grow up with dads are less likely to be violent. They have their masculinity affirmed and learn from their fathers how to channel their masculinity and strength in positive ways. Fathers help sons understand proper male sexuality, hygiene and behaviour in age-appropriate ways. A father brings unique contributions to the job of parenting a child that no one else can replicate.

As noted sociologist David Popenoe explains, “Fathers are far more than just ‘second adults’ in the home. Involved fathers – especially biological fathers – bring positive benefits to their children that no other person is as likely to bring.” Adapted from The Involved Father by Glenn Stanton © 2004. All rights reserved. Used by permission from Focus on the Family. For more resources on marriage and parenting, visit

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