On air: Does a child need a father?

This is how The Times reported a vote this week in the British parliament that means fertility clinics no longer need to consider a child’s need for a father. The new law has given new impetus to an issue that’s been burning for years.

Are children brought up lesbian couples or single mothers necessarily worse off? Is the presence of a father always desirable? What can a man bring to a child’s life that a woman can’t?

Has your country or community suffered because of the number of children growing up without a father, or even a father figure? Reading African and Caribbean blogs, many of you in those two regions are making just that case. Can you explain to us what specific problems arise when there’s no father there?

Is there a danger that we blame absentee fathers rather than poor parenting and broken homes?

If you’re religious, does your faith demand that a child has a father?

This isn’t going to be a show full of experts and campaigners. We simply would like to hear your experiences and opinions, and, if you’d like to, you can share them here. Please put your phone number if you’d like to come on air. Don’t worry, we won’t publish it.

197 Responses to “On air: Does a child need a father?”

  1. 1 Brett
    May 23, 2008 at 13:43

    Chris Rock:
    Sure, you can raise a kid and hold down a job without a man. Heck, you can drive your car with your FEET if you want to! That doesn’t make it a GOOD IDEA.

    P.S. I can see this turning into a very interesting discussion…

  2. 2 Marsha
    May 23, 2008 at 13:47

    I have three very content and successful adult children. Their fathers were either no where to be found or when they were present they were pretty much useless … so my answer to your questions is … children need responsible loving adults in their lives. They don’t have to be related by blood nor do they have to live with them. They do need exposure and influence and guidance and kindness etc etc etc. I say not only does it take a village to raise a child but the idea of a nuclear family is both propaganda that weakens the character of the individual and it is also impossible. Show me a teenager that has not learned the majority of their social skills from someone other than a family member and I’ll show you a child that has been locked up in solitary confinement.

  3. 3 arnaudemmanuel
    May 23, 2008 at 13:51

    Does a child need a father?
    Normally! Since the child was born from a father (man) therefore that child really needs a father to bring him or her up…but when the child has no choice does not matter who to bring this child up whether a lesbian couple or gay couple…for example in Rwanda many children survive on their own…no father no mother…these children are psychologically ill and abnormal because father’s and mother’s care is vital in someone’s life

  4. 4 Ros Atkins
    May 23, 2008 at 13:58

    Does a child need a father?

    Normally! Since the child was born from a father (man) therefore that child really needs a father to bring him or her up…but when the child has no choice does not matter who to bring this child up whether a lesbian couple or gay couple…for example in Rwanda many children survive on their own…no father no mother…these children are psychologically ill and abnormal because father’s and mother’s care is vital in someone’s life

    Rwandan in Cameroon

  5. May 23, 2008 at 13:59

    Here is how my MD General Surgeon Som made this father’s lif Whole last Father’s Day —BY EMAIL!


    Hope you are having a good one!

    Thanks for the trips to Sunnyvale Mountain park, the motorcycle, the car, countless toys, for being Santa Claus to me, your children, and grand children. For all your hard work, for being a responsible, hard working father, and provider. For the trips to the snow, the tree house, the sand boxes, the clothes, help with my science projects, the quality time, teaching me right from wrong, teaching me how to be a man, and take responsibility for my family. Thanks for providing structure in my life, and showing me that contributing to the world is a good thing not only for the world, but for me. Thanks for showing me that you must always have a purpose in life, and that a person without a purpose is like a ship with out a sail. Thanks for always telling me that I could do whatever I put my mind to. Thanks for the music, and the poetry. Thanks for teaching me to care for my children. For teaching me not to be prejudiced against anyone. Thanks for showing me how to have integrity, how to be honorable, honest, and fair.

    Most of all thanks for leading by example, and always caring.


    Your son Pete

    May 23, 2008 at 14:03

    in Africa, a father is a huge figure head that it would be laughable if such a thing was talked of in say my country uganda.a fatherless family is unmanageable kids despise their moms,refuse to work and even refuse to attend school.women without husbands are not given respect!

  7. 7 steve
    May 23, 2008 at 14:08

    I’m thinking so long as someone is giving the child attention, it would most likely turn out okay. You can have disasters from having a father involved, and disasters from not having a father involved. It affects males and females differently, fatherless boys either wind up in jails, or living with their mom for the rest of their lives, whereas fatherless females, especially if the father left (rather than no father at all, but how common is that?) tend to have daddy issues and are absolute nightmares to deal with, but you can be that way with a father. Look at Barack Obama, he barely had a father involved in his life, and he’s poised to win the nomination for the democratic party.

  8. May 23, 2008 at 14:15

    Hello Precious Ros… My father had died eight years ago… And although it’s been eight years now, there’s still a place in my heart that’s always soooooo empty and nobody at all is or will be able to fill no matter how much time has passed or will pass… To me a father is equivalent of SUPPORT, SAFETY, A SHOULDER I CAN CRY ON, SOMEONE WHO IS ALWAYS READY TO LISTEN TO ME, SOMEONE WHOM I CAN ALWAYS TALK TO, TELL MY PROBLEMS, MY FEARS, AND MY GRIEVES TO KNOWING FOR SURE THAT HE WILL NEVER FEEL BORED OR GET TIRED OF LISTENING TO ME… For eight years now I keep turning my head around looking for that SOMEONE, but unfortunately he’s not there for me anymore ! With my love… Yours forever, Lubna…

  9. 9 steve
    May 23, 2008 at 14:19

    Here are some statistics on fatherless children:



    85% of all children that exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes (Source: Center for Disease Control)
    90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes (Source: U.S. D.H.H.S., Bureau of the Census)
    71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes (Source: National Principals Association Report on the State of High Schools.)
    75% of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers come from fatherless homes (Source: Rainbows for all God’s Children.)
    63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes (Source: U.S. D.H.H.S., Bureau of the Census)

    80% of rapists motivated with displaced anger come from fatherless homes (Source: Criminal Justice & Behavior, Vol 14, p. 403-26, 1978)
    70% of juveniles in state-operated institutions come from fatherless homes (Source: U.S. Dept. of Justice, Special Report, Sept 1988)
    85% of all youths sitting in prisons grew up in a fatherless home (Source: Fulton Co. Georgia jail populations, Texas Dept. of Corrections 1992)
    California has the nation’s highest juvenile incarceration rate and the nation’s highest juvenile unemployment rate. Vincent Schiraldi, Executive Director, Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, “What Hallinan’s Victory Means,” San Francisco Chronicle (12/28/95).
    These statistics translate to mean that children from a fatherless home are:

    5 times more likely to commit suicide.
    32 times more likely to run away.
    20 times more likely to have behavioral disorders.
    14 times more likely to commit rape
    9 times more likely to drop out of high school.
    10 times more likely to abuse chemical substances.
    9 times more likely to end up in a state-operated institution.
    20 times more likely to end up in prison.

    Juveniles have become the driving force behind the nation’s alarming increases in violent crime, with juvenile arrests for murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault growing sharply in the past decade as pistols and drugs became more available, and expected to continue at the same alarming rate during the next decade. “Justice Dept. Issues Scary Report on Juvenile Crime,” San Francisco Chronicle (9/8/95). “Crime Wave Forecast With Teenager Boom,” San Francisco Chronicle (2/15/95).
    Criminal behavior experts and social scientists are finding intriguing evidence that the epidemic of youth violence and gangs is related to the breakdown of the two-parent family. “New Evidence That Quayle Was Right: Young Offenders Tell What Went Wrong at Home,” San Francisco Chronicle (12/9/94).

    “Daughters of single parents are 53% more likely to marry as teenagers, 164% more likely to have a premarital birth, and 92% more likely to dissolve their own marriages. All these intergenerational consequences of single motherhood increase the likelihood of chronic welfare dependency.” Barbara Dafoe Whitehead, Atlantic Monthly (April 1993).
    Daughters of single parents are 2.1 times more likely to have children during their teenage years than are daughters from intact families. The Good Family Man, David Blankenhorn.
    71% of teenage pregnancies are to children of single parents. U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services.

    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services states that there were more than 1,000,000 documented child abuse cases in 1990. In 1983, it found that 60% of perpetrators were women with sole custody. Shared parenting can significantly reduce the stress associated with sole custody, and reduce the isolation of children in abusive situations by allowing both parents’ to monitor the children’s health and welfare and to protect them.
    5) POVERTY

    “The National Fatherhood Institute reports that 18 million children live in single-parent homes. Nearly 75% of American children living in single-parent families will experience poverty before they turn 11. Only 20% in two-parent families will experience poverty.” Melinda Sacks, “Fatherhood in the 90’s: Kids of absent fathers more “at risk”,” San Jose Mercury News (10/29/95).
    “The feminization of poverty is linked to the feminization of custody, as well as linked to lower earnings for women. Greater opportunity for education and jobs through shared parenting can help break the cycle.” David Levy, Ed., The Best Parent is Both Parents (1993).

    Family abductions were 163,200 compared to non-family abductions of 200-300. The parental abductions were attributed to the parents’ disenchantment with the legal system. David Levy, Ed., The Best Parent is Both Parents (1993), citing a report from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice (May 1990).

  10. May 23, 2008 at 14:21

    A child needs to grow up with a sense of purpose, self-worth, and healthy moral guidelines. There are a bazillion different combinations that will get the child there. There are 4 times as many that will see them raised to be dysfunctional members of the society. (Some of them even go on to be president.) Understanding the give and takes of achieving the ultimate goal of a functional member is key. If you don’t have a father figure, then there is going to have to be other methods to fulfill the lessons learned from a father. The same can be true of a mother.

    This question does reek of bias stereotypes that harkens back to the argument that men neglected when it comes to parental choices. The cultural view of a reduced need of a father tends to produce fathers that feel less responsible.

  11. 11 Margaret
    May 23, 2008 at 14:27

    A child does not need a father. A child needs a caring, nurturing male influence. I can only be thankful that I had a father who had those qualities. However, I know men who grew up with fathers who were essentially attached to the television every free moment. These guys all had neighbors or even employers that helped them through adolescence and taught them life skills while their relationships with their fathers were mostly distant and confrontational by turns.

    It is only when there are no healthy male role models that children suffer

  12. 12 selena
    May 23, 2008 at 14:33

    I was born to middle aged parents. My father was very ill and barely able to look after himself until he died when I was 11. He was there but not there, if that makes sense.

    You might call me a fatherless child but it depends on how one looks at it. My family experienced the sudden loss of my brother, a teenager, when I was under 2. That changed the family dynamics, leaving me to fend for myself.

    My mother remarried after my father died and my step father regarded himself as my father but he worked away from home most of the time. When I finished high school at age 15, I left his home for post secondary school.

    My mother was a victim of circumstances… she played the martyr card well.

    The upshot is I don’t feel that I had a father or a mother and was pretty much left to my own devices. For instance, my siblings received religious instruction, while I did not. I was pretty much a fly on the wall.

    Looking back, I believe that my life has been richer for being able to form my own opinions and make my own decisions.

  13. 13 Jerry Cordaro, Cleveland OH
    May 23, 2008 at 14:34

    Children need parents – they don’t need to be be mothers or fathers, just parents – adults who love them, care for them, teach them and support them. You don’t have to be a relative to be a parent.

  14. 14 VictorK
    May 23, 2008 at 14:42

    The figures quoted by Steve put the matter beyond argument, don’t they? A child needs a father.

    There will always be cases of female-headed households where the children do well, but these are exceptions and the evidence shows overwhelmingly that policy should – at the very least – be geared towards encouraging and strengthening the two-parent, male-female household.

    Are there figures about children raised in female-female and male-male families? Many of the problems afflicting single-female households arise out of poverty. It’s entirely possible that the children of a same-sex couple will do reasonably well, assuming that such families have any degree of stability.

    In cities like London the absence of fathers is a significant factor in the pathology of some minority communities, who in the absence of ordered and disciplined family lives are racked by higher than average levels of educational failure, crime and violence.

    It must be very difficult for some liberals to see a traditionalist position that has so much hard evidence to support it. But presumably, like the British MPs, they will just carry on operating in defiance of reality as liberals are wont to do.

  15. 15 steve
    May 23, 2008 at 14:43

    Actually I was innaccurate VictorK, the stats are about children from single parents, it could be single fathers or single mothers, but the vast majority of course would be single mothers.

  16. May 23, 2008 at 14:53

    A fatherless child can apparently have a normal childhood if surrounded by the needed care. Currently there are cases of fatherless children because of the death of their fathers, divorce or the fathers simply have disappeared without leaving any trace.

    What may matter for a child is to have a father-figure imbuing him with fatherly qualities. But for many, there is nothing like a real father, especially in societies where the mother and the father are the centre of the family.

    In many (Muslim) societies, it is an insult to describe someone as being illegitimate or the child of unknown father.

    There are still people who are curious or proud of their family trees. With the new law, children can trace their families just from the side of their mothers.

    But normally a child should know who his father is, at least later in life. When adults, these children are likely to feel something missing in their lives if they have never experienced fatherly attention.

    Many adopted children feel they aren’t the natural children of adoptive parents. Relations can be good with them, but an essential part from which they were born is still missing.

    Allowing mothers to have children, without necessarily revealing their fathers, is just a response to their egoistic desires to be mothers and have a family. But there is the denial of the right of the child to know his father, especially if that is possible.

    As incest is still prohibited, it is likely that a daughter and her father can have sex or even get married without knowing the biological relationships between them.

    Maybe UK society has gone a step much further. It is normal to have single mothers. There were 1.9 million single parents as of 2005, with 3.1 million children, 81% of single parents in the UK are mothers. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single_mothers#Single_parent_demographics

    Now with the fact that fertility clinics no longer need to consider a child’s need for a father, it seems there will be a surge in the birth of children from gays and lesbians. It remains to see how these children can cope in society. Or will there be a community of gays and lesbians, transmitting these practices to their children? Contrary to straight people for whom it is a must the couple should be heterosexual, gays and lesbians may convince their children that the right way to live is to be homosexual.

    There is also the position of the church. Will it baptise these children? Or in the end, will there be a church for this category of people?

  17. 17 Ben
    May 23, 2008 at 14:58

    Hi there, Ros! Hope you’re doing great. Well, in response to the question. I think a lot of people may disagree with me, but I think a child growing up really needs a father. Someone to look up to – a role model of course. Someone to rely on for advice and guidance.
    Lagos, Nigeria.

  18. 18 John
    May 23, 2008 at 14:59

    Yes, a child necessarily needs a father to be its role model, instructor and care taker for its sound success in life and future.

    John Gaaniko Salaam
    Western Equatoria State/South Sudan

  19. 19 Virginia Davis
    May 23, 2008 at 15:12

    Steve has the statistics. For more than 12 years I was secretary (office manager) for the State Registrar of Oregon who was also the manager of the Center for Health Statistics. I believe in public health statistics.

    I’m with Marsha. Children need responsible, loving adults in their lives. Of both sexes. My family is stranger, dysfunctional, and loving each in their own way.

    I gave my daughter up for adoption so she would have a mother and father.

    Last night I learned on tv that there is a new movie with Kevin Costner called “Swing Vote.” The hero’s name is “Bud Johnson.” That’s the name of my boss at the Health Division – he was a wonderful “father figure” and a great boss. He died in an accident at his home just after turning 50.

    Virginia in Oregon

  20. 20 Brett
    May 23, 2008 at 15:23

    Ok, heres my story and why I think it is important to have two parents:

    I grew up to a single mother with two children (myself and my sister who is a year younger). For whatever reason while I was a child, I was constantly getting into trouble.
    I was moved around elementary schools constantly (3 times in 4 years to be exact) and acted out daily in class and at home. I treated my mother poorly and had no respect for anyone.

    My mom finally got fed up with the situation and sent me to live with my father. It was the absolute best thing that could have happened to me. I have no doubt that I would have been headed further down a very bad path in my life without this decision.
    My fathers parenting style was completely different from my mothers. He told me a few ground rules when I got there “Don’t get in trouble at school, don’t get in trouble with the law, dont smoke or do drugs; Lastly, what time do you want your cerfew to be?” I set my cerfew and was allowed to do whatever I wanted granted I stay out of trouble and be honest with my father.
    I never got in trouble at his house, either in school or at home. I, for whatever reason, stopped acting out, started doing well in school, lost weight, and picked up running.

    When I moved back to my moms a few years later, I realized how much she had put up with me before, and how much she had sacrificed to deal with me acting like a spoiled brat, and how much she loved me. I no longer got in trouble at school and although we had our differences (as any teenager and their parent/s have), we would always work through them much better than before. I finished high school, went off to college, finished that, and my mother and I have as close a relationship as ever. I am eternally grateful for the sacrifices she made while raising me.

    I cannot express how detrimental those few short years I spent with my father were during my childhood. Was my behavioral change due to the vastly different parenting styles? Was it due to a male influence in a young boys life? Was it due to a change in environment? I think all of these played a factor.

    I would like to emphasize the importance in having 2 parents, whether they be husband/husband, wife/wife, or husband/wife. The differing parenting styles can be crucial to a childs development, especially if the child is having problems responding to one of the parenting styles. Sort of like the ‘good cop, bad cop’ type scenerio.
    Can it be done without a partner? Sure, but almost all facts and statistics point to the need for a second partner in a childs development.

  21. 21 Sandra Patricia, Colombia
    May 23, 2008 at 15:24

    Hello everyone! 😛

    Does a child need a father? Yeah, absolutely. A kid needs the example of both, father and mother. Both are the patterns he/she’s going to follow in the future, and even though a woman tries to give her child everything he/she may need, the child also needs some other aspects related to affection, discipline and instruction that can only be given by a father.

    Today we see how children from mono-parental families are able to go ahead in life, but still lack of some affective aspects that were missing with their gone father or mother. A homosexual couple is not enough to give those needed complements, even if they have the entire intention. That’s why it’s not wise to change what God has done since it will affect the natural way things should happen, in this case the emotional development of children.

    Hug and greeting from Colombia! 🙂

  22. May 23, 2008 at 15:25

    Does a child need a father…of course. a child needs to get the perspective of both sexes. A male and female equals one unit…you see it in the majority of the natural world between animals and plants. A child that only has the perspective of one sex will always live with the feeling that something is missing. Living with a one sex perception will also be a challenge for the child when he or she becomes an adult.

  23. 23 Bob in Queensland
    May 23, 2008 at 15:32

    On the surface Steve’s statistics provide a rather damning indictment of single parent families. However, if you turn them on their head, it would appear that the majority of children from single parent families still turn out okay.

    For example, children from single parent families are five times more likely to commit suicide but the total number for ALL teenagers for the last year I could find is 16 per 100,000. This means that, although the statistics for single parent families are far worse than the “conventional” family unit, in terms of absolute numbers, most turn out fine. The same would apply to all the other statistics.

    So, what Steve’s number actually mean is that bringing up children as a single parent is much harder–but by no means impossible.

    As you might guess, this is a topic in which I have a vested interest. Although, as a father, I would love to think I’m “necessary”, four years ago I married a woman who raised several children mainly on her own. All are now adults and all are happy, healthy and productive members of society.

    One other point came to mind as I re-read Steve’s statistics: I wonder if the numbers pertaining to poverty would hold true in countries outside the USA which have far more effective systems of government sponsored welfare. I suspect not…and also suspect that many of the other problems would be less dramatic if the issue of poverty was less of an issue.

  24. May 23, 2008 at 15:33

    Abdi’s comments on Steve’s Long Areticle

    Steve I totally disagree with your comments a bove! to me it’s not true that a father is the most important factor in one’s life.Consider this factorts:
    -Bright Children in Schools are those who are orphans,and had to live a very hard life.
    -A child without father is more likely to understand complications in life a head and prepare for life as early as possible thus putting more energy in his studies.
    -A child with a father will be mistaken for the luxuries life he/she is in and thus thinks that hisher father will their for him/her forever.
    -World leaders and superstars today are orphans who had a very difficult life early in life.
    -The Articale you wrote a bove might have a very negative psycological blow to many youths in africa who for one reason or the other have never had someone to call “Father””Dad” in their lifes,

  25. 25 steve
    May 23, 2008 at 15:35

    @ Bob

    While I’m sure most turn out fine, why do something that increases the odds of a bad result? If a kid has a 2% chance of getting childhood cancer, but if you paint your walls with lead paint the chances are 5%, would you paint your walls with lead paint?

  26. 26 Janet T
    May 23, 2008 at 15:37

    @ Brett- thanks for your story-
    and I agree-2 adults are better than one.

    My husband’s parenting style is different than mine in many ways- he used to really play with the kids when they were little, I had little time or inclination for that, but I’m the one the my son tells everything to (sometimes way more than a Mom should know)- where our daughter oftens seeks out her Dad to confide in. I once told friends that if we were ever separated I’d leave the kids with their Dad- they were aghast- I just thought he was the better parent! all in all, I think they need both of us equally. I know I could not have raised these kids alone without their Dad.

  27. May 23, 2008 at 15:38

    I love my dad alot and i can’t imagine growing up without one. However this does not make me believe that a single woman could not do just as good a job at raising a child.

    The key is to have supportive parents. People who I know who have suffered from divorces are those whose parents no longer communicate, or when they are only allowed contact with one parent. I don’t think that parents need to be biologically related to their children to be good parents.

    Adoptive children grow up just as loved as biological children. The key is to have a supportive family environment regardless of gender.

    I think that children of gay couples have a slightly harder time of it than heterosexual couples, but only as a result of societies perceptions that they need both gendered role models. Being gay does not make you a bad parent, and that is why i am pleased this legislation has passed 😀

    My mum and dad are very supportive but i love that i have parental role models in my extended family.

    @ Brett
    Prehaps the reason why you acted up was also due to your dad not being around in your life when you lived with your mum?

  28. May 23, 2008 at 15:39

    @ Steve,
    Why didn’t you send those statistics to the British Parliament for it to think twice before voting in favour of the law making it possible for fertility clinics to no no longer need to consider a child’s need for a father.

    The statistics are empirically harrowing. They show the need for a balanced family, in which both the mother and the father should be present for the psychological welfare of their children.

    It seems only animals don’t need a father when born and they can altogether do without their mother when grownups. Needless to say, there are also types of birds as well as wolves that make everlasting couples, which jointly care for their offspring.

    It remains to see if some people copulate without looking back at their actions or they take such action with responsibility as it can result in the birth of a human being entitled to have a family life.

    Men who donate their sperms and women who donate their eggs must be crazy as they encourage lesbians and gays to act against prevailing social norms by having children that can know just one parent they’re from and without ever having the chance to know the other parent.

  29. 29 steve
    May 23, 2008 at 15:42

    @Abdelilah Boukili

    That stats are technically about single parent families, not “no father” families, though in most cases, it will be single mothers, but not in all cases. The stats don’t take into account two mothers, or two fathers, just “single parents”.. But as I said, is all likelihood, single fathers would be rare, as men very rarely get sole custody, and I don’t think single men are allowed to adopt children, and of course they cannot have a single child without the involvement of a woman, though maybe in a laboratory one day in the future…

  30. 30 Bob in Queensland
    May 23, 2008 at 15:50


    Obviously I’m in agreement that a loving two-parent family is preferable but that’s not always something that is a pure matter of choice.

    Indeed, something missing from your statistics are the prospects for children in a two-parent household where the parents are openly unhappy with each other. My guess is that a house full of arguments may produce even worse numbers than those you found for single parent families.

    I think the most important thing is a loving and stable home, whether that is with a man and a woman, a single-sex relationship or a single parent.

  31. 31 Amy
    May 23, 2008 at 15:51

    Has anyone thought about why there are so many single parents that this topic has arisen in so many ways? I realize that today’s topic is because of a vote in the British Parliament but many kids these days are raised in single parent households because one parent decided not to show up. Some women chose to become a single parent (can’t find the right man, biological clock) but a lot of them have no other choice. The man can walk away since he isn’t the one who gets pregnant. I know lots of single moms who do the best they can with what they have.

    Children thrive when they are given love. Having a male influence is important but it doesn’t need to be from the father. My husband’s main male influence came from an uncle since his dad wasn’t around much. When his father was around, he played mind games. Since it was my husband, his sister and their mother when he was growing up, my husband understands (as much as any man can) how the female mind works and relates really well with our two daughters. He had great female influences growing up and it is paying off now.

    Amy in Beaverton, Oregon

  32. 32 Alan
    May 23, 2008 at 15:52

    I believe fathers are very critical in a child’s life and how they mature. I have friends who where brought up with only a mother, and I have friends who were brought up with a father who wasn’t there for them. Both situations, as a result, there is something missing that is apparent in their ideas, actions, and reactions. If a father can’t be stern and give you hard life advice, you will never feel complete. With my friends who have experienced this, as a good friend, I try to complete them in giving them tough love and hard life situations.

    Allan, Ohio

  33. 33 steve
    May 23, 2008 at 15:55

    @ Bob

    Given so many marriages are unhappy marriages, I’m sure that’s taken into account in the statistics, because it’s comparing single parents to a couple (I presumed a married man and woman), so of course lots of those married couples will have bad relationships, yet the statistics reflect the kids in the single parents family being worse off statistically.

    I’m only the messenger.

  34. 34 Brett
    May 23, 2008 at 16:00

    @ Hannah:
    @ Brett
    Prehaps the reason why you acted up was also due to your dad not being around in your life when you lived with your mum?

    That was one of the points I was trying to show. I got a ‘better than nothing’ sort of experience with my father in that I was able to spend a few years with him. And in the time with him I did stop my behavioral problems.
    Had he been around more than bi-weekly day-trips when I was a kid, I may not have even been such a problem child at all.

  35. 35 Art in Ireland
    May 23, 2008 at 16:06

    Do kids need fathers ?
    Not at all.
    Not any more than they need mothers.
    The sooner we can get rid of all parents the better !
    Children should be cared for by specially trained a-sexual multi-skilled foster teacher/parent/nurses.
    And hopefully this task will soon be robotised.

    “George Orwell”

  36. 36 lydia nayo
    May 23, 2008 at 16:06

    I sent a long e-mail on this subject, including a note about my own father. I need to amend.

    As much as I loved my father, and as much as I miss daily since he died, I am absolutely certain my life was not improved in any meaningful way by his presence in my life. He was volatile, he was mentally unstable, he was violent and cruel, and you cannot tell me any way in which those characteristics help a child. I realize he did the best he could with the tools he had, including having had a father who would have failed any of the role model, strong support or other criteria raised previously.

    But the damage he did to his 6 kids is everlasting.

    In the abstract, children need to love and support and care of both their parents, but one lives in a dream world to imagine that a father is always better than not having one. Had my mother been financially equipped to raise 6 kids without him, with the support of a village of loving and caring sane adults committed to our successful upbringing, my father would have been less of a factor. But in the two-parent heterosexual construct lauded here, he was a disaster, an albatross, and my brothers — even more than my sisters and myself — have been trying to recover a sense of manhood ever since they left his house. Neither have been especially successful at the process.

    A father’s significance is only as good as the man himself.

  37. 37 Jessica-NY
    May 23, 2008 at 16:17

    To the people that say Lesbians or Gay people should have children, because it’s unnatural; I ask you how natural is it for for parents to abused, discard and forget their kids? Children who grow up with “father’s” does not mean they’ll have a better life. I have spent time with children who are in the government’s “care” and it breaks my heart that people are trying to legally block people who want to love and care for a child that his/her parents did not want just because of their sexuality.

  38. 38 steve
    May 23, 2008 at 16:24

    @ Jessica, just say 200 years ago, a lesbian couple wanted a child, it would be physically impossible, hence the term “unnatural”. Do you think two women could have a child back in caveman times too? I think that’s why people say the term unnatural, becuase it is, two women cannot have a child. I don’t think they’re talking about the morality of things, just the phyical impossibility.

  39. 39 Venessa
    May 23, 2008 at 16:30

    More than anything children need a parent(s) who love them and want them regardless if they are single or a same sex couple.

  40. 40 Jessica-NY
    May 23, 2008 at 16:31

    Forgot to say:

    Brovo to the 75 MP’s on their decision. Why should lesbians and single women have to miss out of being sleep deprived, up at two am, terrible twos, teenagers and paying for college like heterosexuals. 😛

  41. 41 Dee in Chicago
    May 23, 2008 at 16:51

    Believe two parents are ideal, whether a man and woman, two women or two men. However many single parents do an outstanding job of raising their children, it’s just a lot more work for one person.

  42. May 23, 2008 at 17:09

    Without a father, there would be no child. This means that without the sperm of a male human being, there will be no child.

    Prince Pieray Odor

    Lagos, Nigeria

  43. 43 Ahmad Hammad
    May 23, 2008 at 17:09

    1) Children don’t need fathers, Eugenics suggested so. The Neodarwinists dreamt of getting a better breed in order to put the offsprings who could win more wars than any other army. The Germans did so.
    Plato was of the view that the relationship of parenting was an ailment for the brave. Therefore, keep away the army from their families.
    Keeping in mind the text above, one may say Yes, childern don’t need father, any why fathers only, they even don’t need mothers….

    2) Let’s never forget that children include both male and female babies. Males get confident a bit earlier but keeping in mind the defense mechanism of Frued (in spite of his hardcore opposition we are bound to confess that), baby girls are more inspired for courage from their fathers.

    Every human being has two aspects. Fatherly and Motherly. If you remove father, a half of the personality of the human being will undergo to an utter vaccum which may, rather surely, lead to what Steve has refered to.

    I feel if my father wasn’t there, I would have been morally less strong. My father told by word and character that none should tell a lie in any circumstances. Be fair to your nation and be firm to your determination/dream…

    Saa’di, a famous persian poet said, while being in the lap of my father, I feel as if I were an empror……………..

  44. 44 Ahmad Hammad
    May 23, 2008 at 17:10

    By the way Ros, very rich and fertile topic it is…. 🙂

  45. 45 Justin from Iowa
    May 23, 2008 at 17:15

    Children need positive role models. Positive role models who are there enough to really effect their lives. A single father or mother raising a child just isn’t around as much as a child needs.

    But, in America right now, even 2 parents doesn’t necessarily gaurantee that enough time and care will be devoted to a child. Parents work longer hours and spend less time in the home.

    Community and extended family matter as much or more than having 1 or 2 parents nowadays, in my opinion. My parents spent a lot of time with me growing up, but they both worked long hours, and I spent a lot of time with my grandparents growing up… too my benefit I think.

  46. 46 Rashid
    May 23, 2008 at 17:44

    Hi Ros
    it sounds so strange and I believe soon other animal with low association attachement will be better than humans. Even those who who had direct communication to God like Jesus or mohammed had prescribed father. In Arua- Uganda a father is a necessity to maintain a good community norm. But the father has to take full responsibility.
    Otherwise soon God’ll humans create something worse than Hiv

  47. 47 viola anderson
    May 23, 2008 at 17:54

    Yes, children need a father in the home–but not at any price. Abuse is too high a price to pay. The denial of a woman’s right to work is too high a price. And so on.

  48. 48 Neha
    May 23, 2008 at 17:55

    There is way too much stigmatization directed at women and parents for the “outcome” of their children. I think that it is a community’s responsibility to look after children. Only in western countries do we get these very defined roles of who is a parent and who is supposed to raise the child. We are all responsible!

    I was raised by a number of people in my family, as well as the people in the communities I lived in. I never lived with my father and I have just finished traveling around the world and am starting grad school. My point is that my life never lacked anything because I didn’t have a father. I needed support, love, and acknowledgment . It never mattered from where it was coming from. In many cases it helped me to respect a number of point of views and learn more than I could have with just two parents.

  49. 49 Alison
    May 23, 2008 at 18:03

    My aunt is a lesbian, and she and her partner have been a part of my life since I was a kid. I love her partner the same as if she were an uncle who had married into the family. They had a child, who I considered my cousin, and she called both of them mom. When I was a kid, I was acutally jealous that she had 2 moms.

    She is now graduating from medical school and engaged to a wonderful man, so I think she proves that lesbian couples can be wonderful, loving parents.

    So just because many fatherless children do not get the parenting they need, doesn’t mean we should deprive lesbian couples the right to raise families. They can be just as good as male-female couples when it comes to parenting…in fact, she’s turned out better than a lot of my other cousins who did have dads.

  50. 50 Tommy C.
    May 23, 2008 at 18:09

    They say Men are from Mars & women are from Venus, there is a reason for this. A Mother & Father each bring something unique to the upbringing of a child. A same sex couple can never equal the natural way of two parents of the opposite sex.

    A lot of children are growing up without a mother & father and look at the problems that occur. Same sex couples who want a child are being incredibly selfish and are not thinking about what that child is going to go through when growing up.

  51. 51 Joshua Akomani
    May 23, 2008 at 18:11

    Children definately need a father,biblically fathers are the heads of the family and that the whole family must submit to them.Fathers are responsible for the upbringing of their children especially in Africa where if a child does something wrong and the father is not home, the mother goes like you wait if your father comes you will see what he will do to you.

  52. 52 Scott Millar
    May 23, 2008 at 18:15

    + No! No! No! A child does not need a father. How it has become acceptable to voice this bourgeois, bigoted stance—I have no idea! If there is any harm in a child not having a father, it is the harm caused by the people who repeatedly state a child needs one. The societal perpetuation of this archaic idea alienates and causes harm, not the lack of a father.

    – Portland, Oregon

  53. 53 Timothy
    May 23, 2008 at 18:16

    The fact that these two women who are raising this child have men picked out as father figures undermines their argument. A child need a father in one for or another.

  54. May 23, 2008 at 18:17

    My parents divorced when I was young, so I was raised by my mother, a lesbian. I had a great role model in my grandfather, and I think that it’s ludicrous to say that a young man raised by women will never have a good male role model. Aren’t about half of humans male? How could I have avoided men?
    Portland, Oregon, US

  55. 55 Tommy C.
    May 23, 2008 at 18:19

    My mother died at an early age and it was my father that raised me. I totally disagree with the lesbians talking. My upbringing was a terribly difficult time without my mother. Yes, I had support from other “mother figures” but this can only help so much. Nothing can replace the missing parents. I think it should not be legal for same sex parents to have children. The psychological issues that children suffer (that I suffered) is terrible. The lesbian couple talking are in my view full of you know what. Every word they are saying seems like a slap in my face. They make me feel sick.

  56. 56 Dave Lawson
    May 23, 2008 at 18:19

    Where did you dig up this “expert”? Don’t pretext your statements with “In my experience” and go on to talk about “what God intended.” That attitude belongs back in the 19th century.

  57. 57 joel
    May 23, 2008 at 18:20

    i was raised by my mother only, i had a happy childhood but now that im 30ies y realized that i relly misssed something in not having my father around my social skills are different when im around men

  58. 58 Rhonda
    May 23, 2008 at 18:22

    Normal is what you are around. That’s the key here. Any child being raised only knows what they have around them. If they are raised by a single mother, same-sex parents or with a father & mother they will face adversity in each situation and the adults around them (regardless of sex) teach them how to deal with each situation.

  59. 59 gary
    May 23, 2008 at 18:22

    Children need appropriate male and female role exemplars. Many social behaviors can be learned by casual societal observation, some cannot. As to your question; if a father is absent, who will teach a young boy those skills important for male socialization? Every school boy know which boys are “savy” and which are not. Seriously, moms never know.

  60. 60 Zak
    May 23, 2008 at 18:24

    Fatherless children are a product of living with warfare for all time; unless and until you can get rid of war there’s always going to be children without a father. It could be said that advocating for a missing parent is akin to advocating for war. Or that a missing father opens the door to an abusive replacement is true. But similarly parents who take over in the absence of others in a crisis like the situation in S.E. Asia right now are doing an extraordinary thing.

  61. May 23, 2008 at 18:24

    Good Morning:

    If a homosexual couple wants to have a child, that’s ok with me, but they need to do it by themselves without the intervention of somebody else or medical technology. In other words a child is created between a man and a woman. If two women wants to do produce a child, they would have to do it together, only. The same goes for two males. Let’s follow the natural law of creation. Children need both parents, a mother and a father.

    Creating a new system of creation or family nucleus, our society would perish. For me and my house I shall follow God and the natural laws of Creation.
    Family is a man, a woman and children working toguether, and following the rules from the Master and Creator of men, the God in Heaven.
    Do not question God?

    Salt Lake City, Utah

  62. 62 LisaNa
    May 23, 2008 at 18:27

    I am the third generation of children raised by Single Mothers.

    My situation is different the fathers before me were killed, so there was a loss due to death. However; each generation all our mothers and grandmothers struggled to survive, they took their children first and never remarried.

    The issue that I am concerned with is the inequality of salary. Sometimes poverty is a real issue for single parents. This impacts your child. The bottom line is love and acceptance and your child knowing that you have unconditional love for them! That the family they do have is enough and sometimes life is not so hegemonic as dominant culture would like, to compartmentalize real life and experience into a yes or no answer. The bottom line is Context.

    It is important to love your children regardless of who is co-parenting or not. You do the best you can to prepare your children to pursue their dreams.

  63. 63 Michael Williams
    May 23, 2008 at 18:28

    I think that this discussion is a very important topic. In my opinion each parent will try to present their point of view based on their beliefs. Any parent that is raising their child in a Godly manner would agree that you do need a father figure in the home or around the child. Thats just my opinion.

    Pennsylvania, USA

  64. 64 Venessa
    May 23, 2008 at 18:28

    I have many homosexual friends and many of them are raising children. Their children are very happy and very much loved!

    We will never live in a society where both parents are around. The best thing to do is offer a loving home. It’s absurd to think that people should be limited to have children; isn’t this just another form of discrimination and imposing ones views on other people?

  65. May 23, 2008 at 18:28

    I have two girls. In our society, men leaving the household has become the norm. I want to show to my girls that there are men that do not leave. You can’t have this with a one sex household.

  66. 66 steve
    May 23, 2008 at 18:28

    Just a thought, but wouldn’t a male child brought up by two females be a little bit more feminine than usual? I mean, he would be getting advice from two women, getting a woman’s perspective both times, not that it’s a bad thing, but as any guy knows, if you want advice about dating/women you go to men for that kind of advice. An example is a woman would say you should bring flowers ona first date, whereas any man knows if you brought flowers on a first date, you wouldn’t get a second date because you look desperate. Perhaps having two mothers might harm boys in the ability to date women as they grow up?

  67. 67 Lauren
    May 23, 2008 at 18:30

    Having a father does not always have a positive influence on a child’s development. My own father was detached and emotionally unavailable for me growing up. It was almost as if I didnt have one in my life. I think as long as a child has positive role models that is the key to a good development.

  68. 68 Amy
    May 23, 2008 at 18:33


    A guy wouldn’t get a second date because he shows up with flowers? That’s absurd. That doesn’t make a man look desperate. Trust me, women know when a man is desperate and it has nothing to do with flowers.

    Amy in Beaverton.

  69. 69 Alison
    May 23, 2008 at 18:34

    I think the idea that a missing father means missing masculinity in the child is incorrect. As I said earlier, I have lesbians in the family, so I don’t mean any disrespect by this, but has no one noticed that many lesbians are pretty masculine themselves? The lesbians I have met through family members are computer programmers, softball players, helicopter pilots, construction workers.

    To venture a thought, many lesbians have both male and female qualities to share with a child that maybe straight people can’t understand.

  70. 70 Venessa
    May 23, 2008 at 18:35

    @ Steve

    I have many male friends that come to me for dating advice instead of another male!

  71. 71 steve
    May 23, 2008 at 18:36

    @ Amy

    Absolutely, maybe for the 50+ crowd that might not work, or maybe even for a teenage, but someone in their 20s, bringing flowers? Reeks of desperation. It would be like talking about getting married on a first date, would make the woman think he’s desperate. I realize this is off topic, my point being is that there is some advice that better for boys when it comes from males, rather than females. Especially about dating/women. Age of course is very relevant. My aunt is late 70s, and is dating, and dating for a 77 year old is different than for a 21 year old.

  72. 72 Jesse
    May 23, 2008 at 18:38

    I think this is a debate over what is “ideal” for a child. It’s obvious that a mother and father provide a more balanced, and therefore more ideal, environment for the development of a child. The issue with single gendered parenting is that one gender do not understand the hardships of growing up as a member of the opposite sex, and therefore can not empathize and help that child those hardships. Children need to know that what they are going through is “normal”.

  73. 73 Tom
    May 23, 2008 at 18:38

    I am a middle school teacher.I think that kids(especialy) boys should have a father. Boys who are raised without Father are easy to pick out in a group. The aren’t on the playground playing with other boys and when they try they are made fun of by other boys because they act like girls and dont not have the proper social cues that help the interact with other boys. I aslo see it hard for them to meet girls for anythng as more then friends, because again they do not know how to act as boy. If you are a same sex couple I think they need a very close uncle or granpa around that they can learn from

  74. 74 Scott Millar
    May 23, 2008 at 18:38

    + Are kids this superficial that they crave male attention? What exactly is male attention anyway? Throwing the ball around, talking about cars, repressing emotions? If a kid craves male attention, it’s not any kid I would want to be around.

    + Anyway, it’s hard to say whether this craving is biological or just a result of the lack of acceptability in society.

  75. 75 Tom
    May 23, 2008 at 18:40

    This is TOm again I forgot to say that I am from Oregon, usa. Thank you

  76. 76 John in Portland, OR
    May 23, 2008 at 18:40

    It seems many men feel as if their role in childrearing is minimized to the point of being a purely biological function. This reduction of the male role in the family is socially and emotionally emasculating. Is it any wonder that, being disenfranchised in this way, men often abdicate their roles in the family, or exhibit poor parenting skills? After all, if we are viewed as only marginally useful at best, what purpose is there to learn and work to be better men?

  77. 77 Chris
    May 23, 2008 at 18:40

    These people are missing the point. It is irrelevant whether the father is a bad one. Obviously, I would, just like I hope everyone else would, prefer one good parent to two bad ones. In that case, two loving same-sex parents are better as well. However, the point is does a young boy need a father figure. I think that question is resoundingly YES. Just like a young girl needs a mother figure.

  78. 78 mark
    May 23, 2008 at 18:40







  79. 79 steve
    May 23, 2008 at 18:40

    @ Venessa

    I don’t want this to get off topic, it was just an example. I’ve known many guys get horrible dating advice from women, I’ve heard women say that you should never get dating advice from a woman (but then again, that was advice right there too).. All I know is that I’ve been given catastrophically bad advice from women, stuff I know they didn’t even believe. I knew a woman who told me she was shocked that I don’t give flowers to women on a first date, and much later, when she had forgotten she had said that, she went on a date with some guy who gave her flowers and she told me “how desperate do you have to be to bring flowers on a first date? Did he have an engagement ring also on him for me?”.. I think it stems from young women not really knowing what they want, hence not being able to give advice.

  80. 80 selena
    May 23, 2008 at 18:43

    if you believe in the power and control model then a father is a required figure.

    However, a child simply needs to be a part of a loving human race. A child does not need control.

    Do we have to MAKE a child listen? It is amazing to me that anyone thinks that helps.

  81. 81 lou @ portland
    May 23, 2008 at 18:44

    I grew up with a father who came out as a Transgendered female later in my life. The way society forced my father to act as a ‘man’ caused my childhood and the first 40 years of my father’s life to be difficult. If we keep thinking that women and men should act in certain ways, we will not progress as a society. You do not have to have a penis to act ‘as a male’ or ‘paternally’. Bravo! to the same sex couples who break out of gender roles.
    Thinking that only a person with a penis can complete a child’s life is bunk. A person with no penis can do what a person with a penis can do.

  82. 82 Trent West
    May 23, 2008 at 18:45

    One of your guests asks why two is better than one?
    We live in a world that has two major sexes so the best way to learn to interact with the world is to grow up around both. Most of our adult behavior or reactions can be traced to how we were raised.
    I am okay with single mothers, single fathers, and gay people raising children as long the kids have regular contact with all sexes. I am cause my family was.
    I love my mother to death, she is the love of my life. But when I was growing up I never wished that when I grow up I want to be like my mom. I wanted to be like the man who drove the bus, the doctor, the football……….

  83. 83 John in Portland, OR
    May 23, 2008 at 18:46

    I am troubled by Sasha’s statement that it is sexist for women to be viewed as unable to be strong. Is it not also sexist for men to be viewed as unable to nurture?

  84. 84 mark
    May 23, 2008 at 18:48








  85. 85 Tommy C.
    May 23, 2008 at 18:48

    Oh give me a break!

    I respected my Mom, but it didn’t matter how much she brought down the heavy hand when I misbehaved, it always paled in comparison to ONE look from my father.

  86. 86 steve
    May 23, 2008 at 18:50

    @ Lou

    Nothing personally, nothing against your father, but your father has mental issues. The medical industry enables mental issues like his, by allowing them to have sex change operations. Rather than getting your father to accept himself as he is, and love himself for he was born, medical science enabled his illness by giving him a medical and surgical option to not make him accept who he was. Do you think for anorexics or bulemics, a doctor would give them a feather? Or diet pills? Of course not, that would be enabling their mental issue, rather than dealing with it. Your father was a man, he had male genitalia. It was he who refused to accept that. How is it any differen than someone who has issues with the race they were born? If a black person felt they were white? A white person that felt they were black? An asian who thought they should be Nordic?

  87. 87 another country -usa
    May 23, 2008 at 18:50

    As an African male of some 50 years who was raised my a maternal grandmother and not the birth giving mother nor father i can say no male role model during primary development years was not a bad thing…

    Men [all men whether straight, gay or bisexual] are wired to be irresponsible in terms of child rearing. I had worked with male legal colleagues who have a single child and a nanny in addition to a father-mother primary unit. It is presumed that both parents are so career focused that they cannot spend sufficient quality time with their progency. why have them?

    Second, in the west, the problem is not having a father or mother in the home, it is one of rites of passage and the proper knowledge and instructor or developing parent to shepard children through a proper rite of passage. it is the values and the value system not the gender of the parental unit.

    Turning this on its head, as a queer male with no primary male in my development years, i am aware that i have no skills at proper male to male respect and intimacy. this is not only marred my personal male to male relations/ships but made me aware that i have no skills to rear any child ever because if you never got it how can you give it?

  88. 88 Scott Millar
    May 23, 2008 at 18:51

    I grew up with two parents and I’m still a messed up lunatic. This is SO MUCH about expectations and normalcy set by others, not about the inherent nature of needing two parents.

  89. 89 Amy
    May 23, 2008 at 18:51

    What we should be talking about is a “GOOD” father figure. So many men are not good father figures – they are abusive emotionally and physically, which actually promotes a bad image to boys. We need to change the attitudes of boys and men towards the women and children in their lives. That’s more important than just having a father in a child’s life. Popular culture portrays males are aggressive, domineering and rude. That’s what we need to change so that our young people can have healthy fathers in their lives who stick around and are respectful to their families.

  90. 90 mark
    May 23, 2008 at 18:52

    who is the arizona academic??? what is his background???

    it matters.

    same sex parents??? you have got to be kidding…

  91. 91 Rhonda
    May 23, 2008 at 18:52

    I had my daughter when I was fifteen and pulled from community resources to raise her. She has now graduated from college, lives in Hawaii and doing wonderful in her life. She recently had the opportunity to meet her biological father whom had not been involved in her life since she was four. Her response when asked if she wanted to meet him was, “Why? I have all the family I need right here.” It just goes to prove that a child comes through any event with the support of ALL around them.

    It should always be a community effort to raise a child.

  92. May 23, 2008 at 18:53

    The women on the show are not seeing the future. They are talking about children as if they are children…and they are. But what about when they become adults…that’s the point that is missing.

  93. 93 Darin in the USA
    May 23, 2008 at 18:54

    Men and Women are different, it’s a good thing. I was brought up by a single mother until she remarried a horrible man who treated me badly. But I still wish I could have had a decent father figure in my life ,especially as a young man.
    If the father is abusive or destructive then I agree that the child is better off being with only the mother or perhaps even in foster care. But there is no substitute for the unique male perspective in a child’s life. The Lesbian couples who have this driving desire to have children seem to be doing so for their own selfish reasons. Much of the time they have a very negative attitude towards men in general and although I’m sure the children they raise will be grow up being okay, they are missing out on a perspective that I think is essential to function in a world that, last time I checked, had both Men and Women living in it.

    Perhaps, as a solution to this, the Male gay couples and the Lesbian couples can meet as a group occasionally and provide a more diverse environment for their children.

  94. 94 Jose M Barquero
    May 23, 2008 at 18:55

    To most of the women on the show: (Sasha in particular)

    For these women to sit there and speculate on how the young MALE minds will develop beyond the home, and based what they will see out in society, especially here in the United States is a bit short sighted.

    Coming from a 3rd world country in central america, I was brought up by my mother, who instilled my culture in us, whilst still allowing us to develop and understand a bizarre and different way kids grew up here in America.

    What is being forgotten here, is the notion of Culture and the lack thereof here in America. I think this is key when speaking to most individuals raising children here in the U.S.

    Much like what is being said/has been said by your callers from Africa, and the Caribbean.

    Finally, the issue of how a child will preceive things in the future is uncertain, but without the other parent ‘rolemodel’ so to speak, the opposite parent, that child will be MISSING something indeed.

    Cheers to you for this brilliant topic, which is quite close to me, personally.

  95. 95 mark
    May 23, 2008 at 18:56





  96. 96 Dayan
    May 23, 2008 at 18:58

    The upbringing of a child has nothing to do with one parent or the other, be it a mother or father. How cases have we seen the world over where kids are abused by either the father or the mother and at times by both. I was brought by in a household with both parents and yet it was af if my father was never there and I didnt need him to be a male roll model for me or my other 2 siblings. So having a father in the household is never the answer. The important thing is proper nurturing. So its not about having a father or a mother.

  97. 97 selena
    May 23, 2008 at 18:58

    @ Scott Millar

    We are all missed up lunatics. 😉

    I grew up alone and have never felt I missed a thing. How’s that for lunacy? 🙂

  98. 98 Vessela Ivanova
    May 23, 2008 at 18:58

    I am sure a child needs two parents, not only because it is very dificult for one person to cope whit that job – raise and educate children, alone. I still cant make a long term relationship, and I beleive that the fact I grew without father from the age of 12 (he is alive, but left) I am searching for a “father” kind of partner also…

  99. May 23, 2008 at 18:59

    Just because some one has a bad relationship with a man, it doesn’t mean you have to throw the baby out with the bath water.

  100. 100 Brett
    May 23, 2008 at 18:59

    And one more Chris Rock comment:
    You could be the baddest mama on earth.
    l care how good you are.
    Ain’t nothing you can say more powerful
    than, ”l’m gonna tell your daddy.”

    Can’t come close to,
    ”l’m gonna tell your daddy.”

    You can have a gun at the kid’s head,
    ”l’ll blow your head off.”

    -”So what?” (Child)
    -”lmma tell your daddy.”

    ”Okay, okay, okay.” (Child)

    lol, this whole discussion reminds me of his performance.

  101. 101 Precilla
    May 23, 2008 at 19:00

    In order to raise a child you do not need a father figure, you just need either one responsible, loving parent, or two responsible, loving parents that respect each other.

  102. 102 Julie P
    May 23, 2008 at 19:01


    It is and isn’t off topic to bring up dating rules. I completely disagree that women tell the males in the family to give flowers on the first. As I recall, I don’t remember hearing my father telling my brother to do that, or any of the fathers of friends of mine to their sons. I am under the impression from life that bringing flowers and candy on a first date is nothing more than a marketing ploy that has become an accepted norm socially. Personally, I do not like getting flowers, candy, perfume, or other girlie items on a first date. It does come across as desperate, especially when I have told them not to. That is something that is done because you genuinely feel it. What I remember hearing my father tell my brother about dating is to hold the door open, including the car door, and listen to her.

  103. 103 Kwynne
    May 23, 2008 at 19:01

    @ Mark. Please provide those studies.

  104. 104 steve
    May 23, 2008 at 19:03

    @ Daniel

    I agree with Daniel, the real consequences of the lack of a father happens in adulthood, not childhood. And I would think it would just perpetuate, a woman with daddy issues will make poor choices in men, who will leave them, or she leave sthem, and the daughters will grow up without a father, and get daddy issues herself, and it will keep on happening.

  105. 105 Beau
    May 23, 2008 at 19:03

    I thought your bringing Stephen T. Russell who is on the executive committee faculty of the LGBT at the University of Arizona was bit biased. I would have liked to have other professors and researcher’s that could give a more balanced view.
    Great topic!

  106. 106 Pangolin
    May 23, 2008 at 19:09

    “I was raised by wolves.” That’s what my 3 siblings, formerly 4, and myself say about our parents. My mother was raised in an orphanage and forced to work due to economic circumstances. My father was a drunk, a religious fanatic, a closeted homosexual, racist, violent, spendthrift, dilletante and otherwise unhelpful. When my mother finally divorced him when I was thirteen it just wasn’t soon enough for me.

    My older brother committed suicide several years ago and we suspect that it had to do with trauma from my fathers abuse. My younger brother and myself are unable to maintain successful relationships. My sister’s are married but it hasn’t been easy for them.

    I don’t believe that children need their actual biological father in their life if that person has unresolved mental health issues. I do however believe that both girls and boys need to have a caring, heterosexual male in their household of origin to observe. Ideally that person would be their biological father working in a supporting relationship with their mother.

    No father, or worse, an abusive father figure, can be an albatross around the necks of those unlucky enough to have lost the birth lottery. No amount of therapy or prozac later in life can make up for lost years spent trying to fill empty spaces in your lives or heal the emotional pain of beatings and neglect in the formative years. These experiences quite literally shape the structure of your brain.

    To accept that children should be deliberately created without a positive father figure committed to said child is simply insane. Don’t we have enough problems already?

  107. 107 Lisette
    May 23, 2008 at 19:09

    I think a positive male role model is important in any child’s life–it offers a different perspective. In a perfect world, this male role model would be someone who could be there day in and day out, through the
    sick days and tantrums. Often times this role is
    taken by the male person who sired the child, but this role can also be taken by any loving, dedicated man.
    An uncle, brother, grandfather, close friend, etc.

    Lisette Bahamondes
    Oakland, ca

  108. 108 william ofori atta
    May 23, 2008 at 19:09

    i think every child esp boy needs his father when there is a responsible dad the boy gets an early role model!!i grew up without ma dad and i struggled to find a man in me.single mother cant help children grow but cant raise them.i wish my dad did not play the running man!!it has really affected me cos now i find it hard to listen to anyone.there is a fight for that love in me not even cupid can change.

  109. 109 Glenn in Canada
    May 23, 2008 at 19:10

    As one of your callers pointed out, only a man can feel what a boy does. The opinion of women on whether boys need father figures is therefore not a completely informed one. As a man I cannot speak for girls needing mothers, but I can tell you boys need fathers.


  110. 110 Yve
    May 23, 2008 at 19:11

    I grew up without a father and my daughter is also in that position due to her father dying. She has good male influences because we chose good godparents for her. Whilst she misses her dad tremendously she is growing into a lovely young lady not affected by not having a dad around
    Yve, Falkland Islands

  111. 111 Matthew
    May 23, 2008 at 19:11

    i think those people who have grown up with out a father or mother have idealized what it would be like to have both parents. I have two wonderful parents but don’t know how my father “taught me how to be a man”. Had i grown up without a father, i could blame my lack of a girlfriend on his absence.

  112. 112 Aaron
    May 23, 2008 at 19:11

    The problem with not having one gender in parents is that the children with lack an intimate picture of that gender’s perspective.

    It’s not even that a mother can’t teach a boy to be a man, etc, the problem is simply a lack of exposure to that point of view in a child’s life.

  113. 113 Bethel
    May 23, 2008 at 19:11

    A child needs a father growing up. Many people did not have a father at home and have grown up well, however, the best situation is to have both mother and father in the home. There are cases of exception, for example, physical or sexual abuse, but in general, the best home environment for a child is one with both mother and father.

    Kingston, Jamaica

  114. 114 Phoebe
    May 23, 2008 at 19:12

    Am a single mother struggling to raise my two children. My son whose now 8 years old desparately seeks for a male role model in his life. You can see it, he yearns for it, I am a good mom, but his natural insincts has kicked in. I have had to reach out to an uncle to step in. It has helped a great deal. A children need father figures in any form. I see the change in him.

    thank you for discusing this issue as i am struggling with it

    Phoebe – Delaware _USA

  115. 115 Ayodeji
    May 23, 2008 at 19:12

    A father cant teach his African daughter how to tie a good and fierce GELE (Nigerian head tie) neither can he teach her how to tie her wrapper with one hand. So there are things men cant do. But a woman cant teach a boy certain things too.

    Ayodeji, USA

  116. 116 Tim
    May 23, 2008 at 19:12

    In my experience, a big brother works too for male influence. especially for boys that need a role model.

  117. 117 Joel
    May 23, 2008 at 19:12

    Whether a child must have a father figure is not a question that has a black and white–straightforward: Yes or No answer. The answer is sometimes yes and sometimes no. The two most important points are that 1) a positive father figure, of which there are many, can be a very important and beneficial influence on a child’s life, and 2) a good father can give certain things to a child that a good mother cannot–just like a good mother can give certain things to a child that a good father cannot. It is a mute argument as to whether a child can grow up to be relatively happy and healthy if that child is raised without a good father or good mother around. It is possible, but there is a strong chance that a child can miss out on something intrinsically valuable to that child’s life if that child is without a positive father presence in that child’s life, equally as much as if the child is without a good mother.


  118. 118 -gerald from california
    May 23, 2008 at 19:13

    i didn’t have a father figure growing up.
    my mother did a great job of raising me.
    i never suffered academically but the point is the void can never be filled. in my life now i am constantly haunted by the absence of my father, in my relationships with other people and internally with myself. there is something about having a father figure that can not be replaced by anything.

  119. 119 Solomon
    May 23, 2008 at 19:13

    Good Morning:

    If a homosexual couple wants to have a child, that’s ok with me, but they need to do it by themselves without the intervention of somebody else or medical technology. In other words a child is created between a man and a woman. If two women wants to do produce a child, they would have to do it together, only. The same goes for two males. Let’s follow the natural law of creation. Children need both parents, a mother and a father.

    Creating a new system of creation or family nucleus, our society would perish.

    Salt Lake City, Utah

  120. 120 Lauren
    May 23, 2008 at 19:13

    Putting aside the question of whether or not a child will be able to function in society or develop a sense of masculine or feminine roles with either only one parent or parents of the same sex, what about how the child feels about having only one parent? I grew up in a household with only my mother and while she was a wonderful mother, I’ve always wished that I had a father in my life.

    There is a difference between having a male or female role model to stop by versus having a mother or father figure there on a constant basis. I agree that if one of the parents is a bad influence, they should not be around, but for those who are actively considering single parenthood (which is fine) they should take into consideration how the child may feel about having one parent versus how adults perceive their childs development in a single parent house.

    As for same sex parents, I have no problem with that, and I think that the government has no right to interfere with who can or can’t be a parent, but once again, instead of focusing on the studies on childhood development focus on the childs feelings and how hard it may be for them growing up in this society if their peers can’t accept their family lifestyle.

  121. 121 Marc
    May 23, 2008 at 19:13

    I believe my fathers shortcomings as a parent were the result of what his society expected men to be. i love him however, I believe I would have been a healthier person had I been raised in a world that could overcome gender differences and i believe the whole world would be better for it.


  122. 122 danna
    May 23, 2008 at 19:14

    I think a male model is important is to girls growing up. growing up I had 3 sisters and no brothers and my dad has taught me a lot about boys and men that it would have been much harder for me to figure out on my own without having a male in the family.

    san francisco

  123. 123 Kal
    May 23, 2008 at 19:14

    What a sexist premise! Why aren’t you asking if children need mothers? Why are you putting women on the spot to defend their choices?

    Kal in Indiana

  124. 124 Becky in Oregon
    May 23, 2008 at 19:14

    We need to draw a distinction between children who have been abandoned by their father and children who never had a father to begin with. I think being abandoned by a parent (father or mother) can be an extremely traumatizing experience for a child that affects their relationships forever. However, if a child is brought up in a supportive environment with plenty of love and good role models, I don’t think the number or gender of parents is necessarily going to determine how well-adjusted the child is.

    -Becky in Oregon

  125. 125 Tom
    May 23, 2008 at 19:14

    On the one hand, I don’t think it should be a legislation issue – lesbian couples should be able to adopt if they want and no one should begrudge a single mother.

    But on the other hand, I don’t personally believe a person could grow up as balanced without a positive male role model. Having a father there every step of the way instills a sense of masculinity and responsibility into a child. That’s just my view as a guy who had an amazing dad.

    Tom in Montreal

  126. 126 Rick in Ohio
    May 23, 2008 at 19:15

    One speaker said that if you have a good relationship with your child for the first 14 years they will carry that respect into adolescence –so that the female parent will be respected. True enough, but one of the way that the child learns to respect the female parent is that in a health home, for those 14 years the child witnesses the father respecting the mother.

    Thank you.

    Richard J. Hatton

  127. 127 Zak
    May 23, 2008 at 19:15

    I sympathize with the women’s email calling this a sexist discussion.
    Even with Ros’s calculation of it I still don’t think the BBC would have carried this discussion off 15 years ago in light of the fact that their neighbor country was being deprived of fathers almost daily due to Ireland’s conflict with England. I think this is partly born out of a guilt brought to the surface by stories like In the Name of the Father and The Boxer. This discussion isn’t going to assuage the loss of those fathers and it’s a bit shy of the mark in my opinion.
    Yes you can shelf this much longer than you would for people who have only blind support for your country and still the same with no voices from your fellow country this is another biased discussion and it probably would have been better off left alone. The fact of the matter is it’s undeniable that a family has less without both parents I haven’t heard one of these mothers disagree with that and with bias you’re only exasperating the issue.

  128. 128 Greg
    May 23, 2008 at 19:15

    My parents were divorced when I was five. My brothers and I feel like we raised ourselves because our mother, no matter how hard she tried, just couldn’t be both mother and father.

    Try rebelling against a father figure when it’s also your mother. It took years to discover what healthy masculinity was and went on well into adulthood.

    Women just don’t really grasp what different animals males are.

    Our mother was a good person, our father was not, but I still wonder if we wouldn’t have been better off being raised by the parent of our own gender. I’m the divorced father of daughters and I think they were better off being raised by their mothers rather than by a parent of a different gender.

    Portland, OR, USA

  129. 129 Glenn
    May 23, 2008 at 19:16

    The evidence of the one study presented by your guest academic indicating that father figures make no difference in the development of children flies in the face of all the academic research I have ever seen.

  130. 130 Nate
    May 23, 2008 at 19:16

    This question presupposes that fathers are good people. While many certainly are, chances are good that the biological father may not be a good presence or role model. What matters is that a child be loved, and if a father is not loving it would be better for the child to be without him.

  131. 131 Sheri
    May 23, 2008 at 19:16

    If it takes sperm to make a child, how then can anyone think that a man is not needed in the raising of a son, or daughter. Here again we go with the removable of men in a child’s life to allow others to have their own ways. Don’t much care what study has been done, everything can be slanted to provide the needed results to get done what others want. Mass acceptance to a not so mainstream point of view

  132. 132 Bart
    May 23, 2008 at 19:17

    Marsha had it right. We are pack animals, seperating us into seperate houses is against our basic’nature’. There is no perfect family. Good luck to these ladies.

    Bart (a father) Mitchell
    Oregon, usa

  133. 133 Orlando
    May 23, 2008 at 19:17

    Dear World Have Your Say: Notwithstanding the anecdotes and the study that you recently recited on today’s show, the absence of fathers or at least older, responsible men in many minority neighborhoods has resulted in adolescent boys who are delinquent. Notwithstanding the anecdotes and studies to the contrary, adolescent boys form gangs and become a law unto themselves and for the most part, with rare exception, seem to ignore their mother’s efforts to control, when such efforts exist. As for your study, I doubt that depicts the truth because it, I suspect, only studies families where the adolescent children are not in trouble and/or the household are in the upper SES. Let me design the protocols of the study, and I will show a majority of single parent families that are most often headed by women that are failing with respect to the children. Certainly, the records of our juvenile courts in the U.S. confirm what I say.

    Orlando Smith, Esq.

  134. 134 Hans
    May 23, 2008 at 19:17

    Dear madam/sir,

    Asking a single parent if her/his child would have been better off with a second parent… why aren’t you asking it to the others – would a child with two parents be better of with one, none, or three… you really can’t say, of course.

    Hans Dubois, Warsaw, Poland

  135. 135 Heather
    May 23, 2008 at 19:17

    I grew up with an amazing mother and a less than stellar example of a father and turned out quite well, thank you! J I like to think we are evolved enough as a people to recognize that a role model can be feminine or masculine. I do agree that more than one PERSPECTIVE is critical and would have been immensely beneficial to me as a child, but I’m not convinced the other viewpoint would need to be male. Yes, children who grow up with a healthy, loving mother AND father will turn out differently than those with 2 mothers or 2 fathers, but societal diversity is beautiful and enriching. It’s the healthy, loving part that’s far more crucial – that should be the focus of concern for any child.

  136. 136 Luz in Mexico
    May 23, 2008 at 19:18

    I think children only need responsible and loving parents. It doesn´t matter if they are female or male. It is better for a child to a have responsible and loving single mother or single father or same-sex parents than have irresponsilbe and unloving traditional parents (mother and father).

    Children only need love and attention.

    In my case, I have a mother and a father, but they were not very good parents. My father was absent and my mother frustrated by doing everything alone (raising children, housework, etc.).

    Luckily I found a very responsible and loving man that it is a very good father to our daughters. But if I haven´t found him, I absoluty would choose to have a child on my own, be a single mother. I think is worst for a child to have an absentee father or mother, than do not have them at all.

    Luz María Guzmán
    Monterrey, México

  137. 137 Maria
    May 23, 2008 at 19:18

    While I think the ideal situation is to have a loving mother and father, we should be honest that women have been raising children on their own from the beginning of time. Men have traditionally gone away for months or years at at time and left women to raise the family – this is just another evolution.

    Last century, a same sex couple would have just been called “Mum” and “Aunty” and they would have raised children together. Today its just more public.

    I have seen it from all sides – my husband had an absent father and that has affected him greatly. Like many listeners, it was when he hit his 30’s that it really hit home as to the effects that had. My sister is in a same-sex relationship and they have a young son and are doing a great job. On the other hand my brother has 4 children and is a horrible father. So I think this is a very individual circumstance that has more to do with the individuals involved than what sex they are.


  138. 138 Marie
    May 23, 2008 at 19:18

    ” it depends what kind of a man is present” how about men who are abusive or only present physically and not emotionaly, and the ones who love to control……
    the book ” a wounded woman” does talk about the lack of fathers figure in a woman’s growing up life….a must read……no father does affect a child but less so than a “bad” father…..

  139. 139 Glenn in Canada
    May 23, 2008 at 19:19

    It is absolutely essential that a parent discipline their children as a higher authority so that when these children grow up they know the boundaries. With boys, this discipline needs to come from an adult male with whom they have a close relationship. Life’s discipline is usually much harsher than a parent’s, so to not discipline your children displays a total lack of responsibility for your child’s welfare and IMO borders on abuse.


  140. 140 Chris in America
    May 23, 2008 at 19:19

    These people are missing the point. It is irrelevant whether the father is a bad one. Obviously, I would, just like I hope everyone else would, prefer one good parent to two bad ones. In that case, two loving same-sex parents are better as well. However, the point is does a young boy need a father figure. I think that question is resoundingly YES. Just like a young girl needs a mother figure.


    Allentown, PA

  141. 141 Ayo in MD
    May 23, 2008 at 19:20

    My grandmother can scare hydrogen out of water. She was really stern, but my grandfather was stern too, but much more loving and understanding than my grandmother. Children need BOTH their parents. The emphasis should not lie on the father alone. I cant imagine what my life would have turned out like without my mom in my life. And I thank God for my father, he played his role and allowed my mom to play hers. An absent mother can overwhelm a father, and he too will have problems. And vice versa. God made them two. Male and female both are necessary.

    Ayo in MD.

  142. 142 Matt in Portland
    May 23, 2008 at 19:21

    I was nine when my father passed on from a brain hemorrhage and although my parents were divorced at the time, he continued to play a very active and supportive role in my life. The loss of my father is something that is still painful for me and there were some difficulties growing up without a male role model but I do not feel that it has harmed or hindered me. My Mother was more than sufficient role model and I am extremely proud of her and all that she did for me. Watching her graduate from college and then law school all while raising me as a single Mom is something that still amazes me to this day. I am so proud of the strength that she has showed in her life and that has taught me more about being man than any male ever has.

  143. 143 Allan
    May 23, 2008 at 19:22

    Your guests stand by their word that it’s about respect. I disagree. Their child is going to live their life being an unconventional family. Their child is going to have peers with conventional families and be subject of verbal abuse, by being different. During sports, their child will have fathers going to all of their games, and feel different because there isn’t a father. I don’t think that it’s okay to say that a child will be the same, live life like everyone else.

    Allan, Ohio

  144. 144 -Michael
    May 23, 2008 at 19:22

    What of the argument some psychologists make that lesbian couples tend towards being the child’s friend rather than a parent?

  145. 145 Beau
    May 23, 2008 at 19:23

    Stephen T. Russell, Ph.D is on the board of LGBT studies at the U of A. That interview had a bias no doubt. You might want to bring another professor who has done research that will balance it out.

  146. 146 Mattias in Germany
    May 23, 2008 at 19:24

    > Hello,
    > I thought I’ld throw in my two cents. The problem that Sasha and Megan is that they have to raise a boy. Granted it could be a problem if a father is a negative role model, however when there are no positive male role models around a male child might grow up with feminine tendencies which whether Sasha and Megan realise it or not, if he is heterosexual he will probably have problems attracting a female partner. Woman tend to be attracted to strength and dominance in men. Will Sasha and Megan be teaching him these qualities? or dismiss it as unimportant leaving this poor boy with big problems finding a woman to suit him. I’m sure he’ll have no problem finding female friends though. A sexual partner, thats a whole other ball game. If he ends up gay it wont be as problematic though.

    Did the sociologist deal with the issue of attracting a sexual partner in his survey? I find it difficult to believe that parents don’t have a significant influence on a childs social habits. How he performs in a competitive social environment for example.
    > Matt,
    > Barlin

  147. 147 Pratima
    May 23, 2008 at 19:25

    I think gender wise we do need a balance in life, both mother and father compliment the yin and yang in the circle of life (Women are different than men). My Mom had a day to day influence on us in terms of learning everyday things but my dad gave me principles (being honest etc.) and how to not give up in adverse situations. Not that my mother did not but my father was la living role model. I don’t think my mother or any mother single handedly can handle all the aspects of growing up for a child.

    Pratima Sharma

  148. 148 Lubna in Baghdad
    May 23, 2008 at 19:25

    Hey Precious Ros and Precious Peter…. Just a small point to your female guests : Being put in a situation where you’re forced to raise your own children without having their father around and choosing by your own self to make your own child fatherless are two completely different stories… With my love… Yours forever, Lubna…

  149. 149 Dennis Jr
    May 23, 2008 at 19:30



    Dennis>Madrid, U.S.A.

  150. 150 lou @ portland
    May 23, 2008 at 19:32

    who said my dad cut off the ‘ol flapper?

    society dictates the actions of people. people learn from a very young age what is acceptable.
    i bet you like wearing jeans? what if society said that was not acceptable? the 50’s told my dad that pink was not allowed. my dad kinda thought pink was a nice color… sigh… society used to say that women should act docile. we have broken through that barrier. thankfully. i dont know what i would do if i couldn’t speak my mind or pick a career as a paramedic.
    i am really sorry that people put others in categories due to one piece of info. i say my dad is transgendered and the less educated on the subject automatically assume my dad’s penis is floating in a jar somewhere and that man is mental.
    society is mental. why put others in categories due to race, gender, gender identity, hair color (blondes), height, weight, skin…ect?
    why say that a man cant wear a frilly pink dress?
    who is being hurt by that? why is it mental to want to wear jeans? oh, and those are retorial questions, i am not going to be checking for a response from you, because i know what you have to say is going to make me angry… i am having a great friday…you are not going to ruin it

  151. 151 steve
    May 23, 2008 at 19:33

    I had a thought about the lesbian couple wanting kids. I think a lesbian couple would be better for a child than a single parent family for sure, but the question was raised about how the kid would be affected by this. The kid will be made fun of for sure. In a perfect world, people wouldn’t discriminate, kids wouldn’t be picked on, especially becuase of their parents, but we don’t live in a perfect world. We know we don’t live in a perfect world, so why would you risk subjecting a child to this redicule that will very likely happen? There will be back to school night, and your kid will be the only one with two moms. He’s gonna get teased, and beat up as he gets older, until he’s old enough to defend himself (would need a male to likely to teach him how to defend himself). So why subject a child to this, for your own selfish desire to have a kid? If I knew I would raise a child with a substantial disability, or something that would cause his life to be more difficult than it had to be, do to choices I made, I wouldn’t do it. I would choose not to have kids. Why should someone else have to suffer for my selfish desires? We don’t live in the perfect world where people are all treated equally or even well, so we must base our choices knowing this. My desires and wants don’t come before someone else’s life!

  152. 152 Zak
    May 23, 2008 at 19:35

    LisaNa – my sympathy for your loss. Similarly my sympathy goes out to all the Irish mothers who lost their children’s fathers in the conflict with England. Unfortunately that way is the most prominent factor of loss, due to war, or fathers being killed. It’s just impossible to weigh in a discussion on this subject without that factor represented. I don’t think the BBC beyond WHYS had any intention of engendering that loss and that’s a very incomplete picture. If you listen to the pleas of mothers and children who lose their fathers- that is the only true measure of how a child is affected. For the BBC to stand on a soap-box with England’s former conflict looming so large in the background is just a typical reaction and not a solution. So the concerns you raise Lisa are probably going to fall on deaf ears – but there’s no doubt the factors of poverty for single mothers is a global crisis as large as the food shortage.

  153. 153 Zak
    May 23, 2008 at 19:39

    @ Brett

    Chris Rock may only be topped by Pink Floyd:
    ‘Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English Way’

  154. 154 Julie P
    May 23, 2008 at 19:43

    Parents teach their children a lot of things, first and for most, how to be adults. Here is the tale of two male parents. The first was sister’s first husband. Together he and my sister had a son. I shudder to think what what my could have become like had he stuck around. The things he would have taught to be. The biological father, and that’s being very nice, would have taught to my nephew how to be a failure at life and to blame everyone and everything else for their lack of achievement. He would have taught to disrespect women, and to be a womanizer. His biological father started out life with all of the promise in the world, but took one major life set back and never seemed to recover from it. He cheated on my sister, even while she was giving birth to their son, and left them, taking all of their possessions, and leaving them in several thousands of dollars in debt. He married his girlfriend before the divorce was final. Afterward he refused to pay child support, and refused to visit my nephew. Eventually my sister met and married another man. This man loves my sister and they have been married for over twenty years now. They have raised three children together. He raised my nephew as his own. In fact, it was her second husband who asked to adopt my nephew. He wanted him as his son, especially the biological father did not want him as his son. When the day came, my sister offered her first husband three choices, pay the back child support owed, go to jail, or sign these adoption papers and you will never be held responsible for anything concerning him again. He signed the papers and walked out without saying a word. Her second husband taught how to be successful at life, his career, how to take a set back, and how to be a decent human being. One of these men was a sperm donor and the other was father. Do children needs fathers? It depends who is raising them. I’ll take the latter of these two men.

  155. 155 steve
    May 23, 2008 at 19:45

    @ Lou

    “I grew up with a father who came out as a Transgendered female later in my life.”

    I presume you meant your father had a sex change operation, otherwise you cannot be a female if you have a “flapper” as you said. If you’re limiting this to just cross dressing, then I don’t see a big deal with that. I do agree that you shouldn’t be confined to what society thinks about superficial things such as clothing, however take into account that if you are male and you go to a job interview in a dress, you probably won’t get hired. However, if you wear pink shirts when they are frowned upon, more power to you. That’s just plain old insercurity if you care so much what others think, but the opposite, not caring at all is a bad thing (when we talk about committing crimes, not about clothes)..

  156. 156 Kwynne
    May 23, 2008 at 19:55

    @ Steve. Please, my kid is mixed race and I am black. Does that mean my parents were selfish for having me by placing me in a racist and sexist world? We need to fight against the discrimination, not let it win.

    @ Lou – bravo! We must unhook sex from gender and that is what is driving most of these assertions that boys need male role models. Gender is socially constructed! Have any of you read any feminist theory?

    And I’m sure when you are all saying that little boys need male role models, you don’t have a femme, girly, wears a pink tutu man in mind now do you? Those are my kids male role models, and I am glad he will have access to a range of ways yo can be a ‘man’.

    Men and women can teach kids all sorts of things about gender that is not related to genitalia. To the woman who says a man can’t teach a girl how to tie her head scarf a certain way…really? Are you serious? Why can’t he learn? Cuz he has a penis? The same should be thought of about what we think of as “male” and “female”. Sacha did not say that men could not nurture, I would think she would agree that all people have the ability to nurture. Just like all people have the ability to provide discipline and respect to their children.

    @ Mark. Still waiting for those studies.

    And for those of you saying that the researcher was biased – he did a qualitative and quantitative study. With rigorous guidelines and academic ethics. So what, get a straight person on to say kids who are raised with queers are at a disadvantage? That wouldn’t be biased? Give me a break.

  157. 157 Amy
    May 23, 2008 at 20:05

    @ Steve,

    A child does not have to have a male to teach them how to defend themselves. My father was there for me and was a huge influence in my life and I miss him everyday now that he is gone (11+ years now), but it was my mom that showed me that you hit (not that you want to) with a fist and strike with the flat part of your knuckles. I have only had to use it once thankfully (in the 2nd grade). I am on the smaller side, as is my mother and my girls will be too. I take it upon myself to make sure that my daughters will be able to take care of themselves since I know what a challenge it can be to be short.

    Kids are going to be teased no matter what their home life is – it is the nature of the beast for children to tease each other. We know a lesbian couple who have a son and they just broke up. My 8 year old daughter just told him that she is sorry that one of his mom’s won’t be around as much. She just accepts that different family dynamic for what it is – different, not wrong.

    Amy in Beaverton, Oregon

  158. 158 steve
    May 23, 2008 at 20:21

    @ Amy

    Are two moms going to teach their son how to throw a baseball? Throw a football? When he throws like a “girl” the other kids are going to make fun of him even more than the fact he has two moms. There are bonding experiences that boys have with their fathers that I just don’t see two moms doing.

  159. 159 Rick Austin
    May 23, 2008 at 20:24

    In the case of a male child, a positive and intelligent father is important in understanding his place in the world. An enlightened father can help the child see through the stereotype male ineptitude portrayed by the media and prevent its effects on the boy’s self image. A father can help a child realize and counter the antimale agenda entrenched in North American poular culture.

    A father can help a boy connect with his conscience and his humanity and help him realize that to be male is not to be anything less than being female any more than being white is less than being black.

    Most importantly a father can teach a boy that inspite of the ignorance of the world you must be the change you wish to see in the world.

    I have two daughters. I have taught them these lesson from their own perspective. I could not be more proud of them. After all women can be wothwhile people too. They just need to ignore the manufactured contempt of the polically correct.

    Rick Austin

  160. 160 steve
    May 23, 2008 at 20:29

    I think Rick brings up a good point. A child without a father will probably not learn anything about men from sources other than television and possibly some male relatives. TV portrayal of men is terrible. They are always bumbling idiots, or horrible, evil people. A kid likely won’t have ready contact with males until at least 13 or so. I believe I never had a male teacher in school until I was about 13, and even in high school most teachers were females. However male students who go into sports will likely have male coaches and that could be some kind of role model or guide for boys.

  161. 161 Amy
    May 23, 2008 at 20:35

    @ Steve,

    My mom was so much more of a jock than my father ever was (and he would be the first to admit it!) My mom taught me to hit a baseball and throw a nice tight spiral. I am not saying that a male influence isn’t important because it is. I am just saying don’t discount that a woman can do things that have been seen as traditionally “male” just as I would never think that my husband couldn’t paint our daughters nails better than I could. Having love from as many people as possible can only have a positive effect on a child’s life.

    All the best and have a great weekend. I’m sure I’ll see you on the blank page.


  162. 162 Matt in Portland
    May 23, 2008 at 20:42

    @ Steve

    I played football for 8 years and was raised by a single Mom. I have never ran or thrown like a girl and am more than able to handle myself in a scrap all without having a father while growing up. As I stated in my earlier post my father passed on when I was 9 and was therefore unable to provide me much instruction in sports or self defense. It seems to me that the only defacto strength that a man has and a woman lacks is the ability to lift heavy objects. Any other kind of skill or knowledge that women presumably lack is more the basis previous generations gender bias than anything else. The idea that the most important things a father can provide are the abilities to throw a spiral and recognize zone coverage, I think that we can all agree is pretty sad. In my previous post I stated how my Mom taught me the important aspects of being man without one. btw….I love football. GO DUCKS

  163. 163 Scott Millar
    May 23, 2008 at 20:53

    + TV doesn’t portray anyone in a good light. So, now it’s proposed that children need fathers so they can show kids what men are really like?! What a half-baked load of nonsense. One case of a good dad means nothing by itself. The lack of acuity on this subject is overwhelming.

    + Men and women can equally be good at raising a child. You do not need both to do a successful job. Clearly, from the posts we can all see there are exceptions to all the rules. So, if there are so many exceptions we can conclude there is no correct way to parent the little tots. To say otherwise is uniformed, Pollyannaish and downright boring.

    – Portland, Oregon

  164. 164 Julie P
    May 23, 2008 at 21:40


    I know you are correct. I helped my sister raise her first child during the earliest years of his life. He didn’t have a real father in his life until he entered grade school. There was a point when our father thought my nephew would grow up to love figure skating, but my nephew gravitated to things he liked. He wanted to join peewee baseball leagues, so he was signed up. By the time he went to graduate from high school he was so good at baseball he was recruited by the Milwaukee Brewers minor league. He didn’t make the team, but he’s an excellent baseball player nonetheless.

  165. 165 Jessica in Canada
    May 23, 2008 at 22:32

    It’s a fact that circumstances (death, abuse, neglect, etc)don’t always permit a child to have a father in his or her life. The most important thing is that the child has a supportive family and love.

    That said, there are some things that a child would benefit from learning from an adult of the same gender. During puberty and my teenaged years, I learned a lot from talking with my mother, and I can’t imagine having been as comfortable talking about the same things with my father, because I don’t think that he would really understand what I was going through. I would assume that a male would feel the same way, genders reversed. Single parents and same-sex parents can make sure that there are male and female adults involved throughout the child’s life and maybe encourage a bond to help with this kind of situation.

  166. 166 Dennis Jr
    May 23, 2008 at 22:32

    Sometimes, a child is better off without the father…if the father has been charged (and convicted) of hurting the child..

    A Dead-beat father [who does not financially support the child] and the poor mother,
    has to go on public assistance [aka welfare, social services benefis].

    Dennis~Madrid, U.S.A.

  167. May 23, 2008 at 23:38

    Hi WHYSers!

    I think it goes without saying that children need their fathers. However, the actual business of denying a child a right to know its father is a whole other matter by itself. Issues like lesbian couples and single mothers defy this ‘rule’. Children need love, care, respect and stability in order to grow and to realise their full potentials. Some fathers are deadbeat, others are absentee, some even hate their children! Surprise! Surprise!

    So, yes, a child needs a father, at least the seed of the man is required to ensure conception!. However, the question becomes: can we live without our fathers if others of our needs are being addressed? Sure, we can! That is without question a statement of fact! Positive male role models and surrogate father figures can fill the emotional and other needs that men also provide in the lives of their children.

  168. 168 Guy Andrew
    May 24, 2008 at 00:04

    A great discussion. One (late) contribution: Is there such a thing as ‘human nature’? If there is, then perhaps there is also something we might call ‘female nature’ and ‘male nature’. If that is so – and I stress the ‘if” – then a generalized father may be better able to give a child that which is male and a generalized mother that which is female. Ever since Gassendi & Locke there has been a steadily strengthening pre-supposition in the English-speaking/anglo-saxon influenced world against the idea of there being such a thing as human nature. This has been reinforced by a) the idea that it is somehow ‘scientific’ to reject an idea if it cannot be demonstrated (using a set of criteria which is itself prejudicial and restrictive) and b) the post-WWII fear amongst many academics that admission of the possibility of human nature, of something which is not culturally derived, might re-open the door to the undoubted horrors of Nazism and the “master race”. Jung says somewhere that there is something that might be labelled “human nature” and suggests that each has an “animus” and an “anima”, it being the predominance of one or the other that makes us male or female. He adds that the problem is that these natures are exceptionally difficult of definition. I assume he means something along the lines of “The fish is the last to discover the water”. Any thoughts?

  169. 169 Julie P
    May 24, 2008 at 00:55

    Although I did not study psychology in college, studied some Locke in American Literature, and took one class in Sociology, I’ll attempt to add to your post. Locke also suggested that “the little and almost insensible impressions on our tender infancies have very important and lasting consequences.” If you were to combine that with animus and anima, which I believe are by definition the inner masculine and feminine traits of the opposite sex, then one can surmise that both have some capability to fulfill, to a degree, the others traits, and in this, influence the very young in their formative years. I would think then that one would not be more qualified than the other in rearing a child of either sex. I am going to have to pass on Jung. My knowledge of psychology is not very strong.

  170. 170 BillG
    May 24, 2008 at 01:58

    I grew up with a mother and a father – however my father was both abusive and absent (this has changed over times, but that when then). I had to identify with my mother. My mother was oppressive in her femininity. All of her fears about men came out on me. I missed my father very much but I could not get what I needed from him. This psychological situation was a very difficult one to crack – I grew to absolutely appreciate the idea of how the human personality is formed early on. I am firmly in the camp of those who think that a boy needs a father, an available father psychologically speaking, in order to imprint on his psyche what it means to have a male body and male energy and how that can be used wisely. It is kind of violent to me to hear women speaking about boys not needing fathers – I don’t think they are fully expressing what they are trying to say. A young girl needs her mother or a woman in her life. A boy may not have a father per se, but having some kind of person there to imprint with is totally important. I don’t think the women on the show would say that a girl does not need a mother or a woman in her life in her childhood.

  171. May 24, 2008 at 03:25

    @ BillG,

    I most certainly agree with you! The need for a father is only, I think, counter-balanced by the need for a good father. After all, it is not sufficient to just have the physical person present, though that can sometimes have a meaningful impact also. I rather like your point about the violence of the suggestion that boys do not need fathers! That is a very dangerous state of affairs.

    We must, I think, move beyond these absolutist statements into a more nuanced understanding of who or what a father is? What is it that he brings into a child’s life, in particular a male child? This is important, especially as we consider that in the case of single mothers and lesbian couples people often associate negative qualities with such households. ‘Broken homes’ are, in other words, the reason why society is so violent, or corrupt. Lesbians and homosexuals will, ultimately, raise sexually depraved, if not homosexual children.

    Of coure, there are several things wrong with that argument. Firstly, it assumes that the nuclear family is normative and that any variations or departures from this ideal reality is potentially fraught with problems. It also penalises homosexuality and single mothers as, somehow, inherrently bad people seeking to corrupt young children in particular boys! This, of course, is clearly nonsense!

    Fathering as a discourse of masculine identity in society goes beyond the physical abilities/ capacities of just one man to include a group, or groups of men as well as women. We all, at some level, are engaged in parenting a child and defining what is normative and acceptable behaviour in greater or lesser degrees in both the life of the child and father of that child.

    The extent to which a child grows up in the company of a loving, stable, and caring older male figure is almost always a good thing. Love, in my view, can never be too much! What is wrong with people? I wonder!

  172. 172 Adrian
    May 24, 2008 at 05:48

    Yes, a child needs a father, at least. If they fortunate, they need father and mother too. The child can learn thing from father too.

  173. 173 Jeff Minter
    May 24, 2008 at 07:54

    Of course! Who else does the maintenance come from?

  174. 174 baziamorris
    May 24, 2008 at 10:38

    I totally agreed with those who say child needs a father. When I was a little child, I always looked up to my father for security and responsibility, that is, I could not feel safe in his absence and I emulate him as my roll model as a result of that he he introduced me to listening to radio news where I came to know about BBC and it is now my habit and my three years and eleven months boys are doing the same to radio. Especially the first son before my father died last year on April 6, He learned a lot from him in by decent and responsibility which created me time to fill in as a father and still at 31, I miss him so much.

    Children respect the father more than mother, however bad fathers misuse this great chance to give to their children thus why we now a days have televised characters and personality.

  175. 175 Shakhoor Rehman
    May 24, 2008 at 12:50

    No. Women can do any job a man can do. They are the stronger gender because in addition they grow babies inside themselves and deliver them. The latter activities would crush any male. One of your contributors referred to the old African adage ” It takes a village to raise a child” as in some way linked to Hillary Clinton. No, it is linked to an African Civilisation and its method of raising children in a civilised manner. If you look at all the monsters in history that have been produced by so-called ‘normal families’ you quickly understand that no ‘conventional’ family structure has a monopoly of wisdom. Quite the opposite in fact. There is much to be learned positively from alternative family structures including single-parent.

  176. May 24, 2008 at 15:02

    I think many are confusing two issues here:

    1. a child who grows up and is told that he has no father that in fact, he or she has two ”same sex” parents: Female and female or male and male.

    2. a child who grows up and is told that: yes u have a father but he ran away and you were brought up by your mother or your both parents are dead. so you were raised by your ant or some foster parents or guardians.

    the two case are basically dis-similar.

    in the first case, i don’t think any one would like to be told that you have no father . this will be a serious psychological blow to know that you came out of an unnatural union- female/female or male/male relationship. i do recognize that homosexuals have a right to be together but to the extent of depriving new born of natural parents- male -female, is disturbing.

    Biologically, it is impossible for same sex couples to have children, therefore is important for them to live with that reality because that is the life they have chosen. To deprive newly born human beings of a mother or father is a human right violation.

    in year year to come, children from same sex marriages and or relationships or unions will go to court to sue for psychological or emotional damages.

    it is very possible that many of the children from these same sex unions will not embrace same sex life styles.

    it is gross human violation to deprive an unborn child of any of his natural parents- this is recipe for future problems and possible societal deviants.

  177. May 24, 2008 at 17:30

    @ Shakhoor,

    I hear the ‘girl power’ argument used by you but cannot resist asking why are women not able to fertilise these eggs on their own? It would seem to me that the issue of whether women are stronger is not quite the matter at hand, but rather that there are specific functions that each parent performs in the life of a child, boys and girls, alike, that would warrant the need for a father in a boy’s life, especially. This means that, no one is denying the singular importance of female strength in the world today. Rather, it is to foreground the importance of the wholistic approach to childraring and childbearing. Even though I am not a parent, it always worries me when we get into this “who is stronger” argument, almost as a way of dispensing with the humanity of someone else. Surely, this is not responsible argumentation.

    I agree with Janga A’s point, “it is gross human violation to deprive an unborn child of any of his natural parents- this is recipe for future problems and possible societal deviants.” While, I do not know what he means here by “societal deviants” I do want to believe that there is a very real possibility that the active denial of child’s right to know his natural parents can be potentially problematic. It is surprising to me that such a proposal is being considered, given all else we know about childraring insofar as the need for a stable home environment in which a child has access to the resources of both parents as well as the extended family unit. How sad for all of us that we can now feel that it is okay to raise a child by denying it the right to know who its father is?

    Indeed, parenting is a gift we should all celebrate why are we punishing people with it? I am curious.

  178. 178 Abdul
    May 24, 2008 at 21:51

    Have we forgotten that we are human? Have we forgotten what is natural, how our species have lived since its beginnings? That we live in certain ways not because of logic, convenience, or tradition, but because it is how we as a species live?

    If one wants to examine the real, natural structure of the human social system that we lived in for much longer than we have lived in civilized nations for, then we shouldn’t look farther than hunter-gatherer groups.

    In a natural, hunter-gatherer setting, for which our bodies are much better adapted, and our minds and thoughts must have feigned to be healthy, there is a community of close-knit members. The children have a father, and a mother, but also many other intimate adults looking after them.

    First, we have taken away many children’s right to intimate relationships with grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, and so on, from them. The natural relationships that humans adapted to as a species, over time, and that are natural. Now, we want to take away one of the two individuals who were required to biologically fertilize the child and bring it into existence initially.

    Yes, a child needs a father. A child needs much more than a father, and people today are already having hosts of psychological and emotional issues. There isn’t any ancient literary record of a narration of a mid-life crisis; yet the mid-life crisis is incredibly common today. Depression, anxiety, etc, all the emotional ills, are going to at least be somewhat influenced by the unnatural social structure we forcibly impose upon ourselves.

  179. 179 Jeff Minter
    May 24, 2008 at 22:16

    Extreme feminist opinions like Shakhoor’s are hardly convincing and just shows how pathetic it can really get. 49% of the world is male, you can’t raise a child effectively without one such male in close proximity as a base.

  180. May 25, 2008 at 06:28

    I speak from experience. I raised a boy and girl alone. It can be done, many of my friends did so as well, however, anyone who says a child does not need a father and mother is fooling themselves. My children are now in their 30’s and parents as well. They said they had a great childhood, but even till now they both wish their father would have been there. We were created to live in families consisting of father, mother and children, etc. Anything else can and is done, but perhaps, if we would just keep it simple our world would not be in such turmoil.

  181. 181 florin
    May 25, 2008 at 14:13

    Yes a father is important because in a child life because he or she will become a wrek without a father i heard on radio a woman that her son is so smart he has but she ask her self if he has a god heart so what without a heart is just a empty shell i know some body she got 4 kids and she has no fhater to her kids and now they are smart and god but all of them they become gay .a woman can do a man thind and a man can do a woman thing so a cild needs both parents because when the girl or boy will have a family and their kids they will say dady dady then he will think that he never had the chance to say those words some womans say that their husbans come home dooing nothing not every man are the same they are man who tace care of ther wife and kids that why is wrong a cild to grow up without a mother or father i have 2 sons theyare 10 and 15 and some time they dont listen to their mother but im just looking on them and tell them did you listen what your mother said my and thay do strait away what they been ask thay are man in this world growing kids without a woman because she is an alchoholic and somting more. again a cild needs both parents. this is god creation and a child needs a mother and a father not 2 mother or 2 dads this is against nature and against god they soudn’t be alowed 2 have kids what they will theach their baby boy or baby girl how to become like them

  182. 182 HARSH
    May 25, 2008 at 17:55

    I believe that anybody can substitute the work of father but the child still needs a father. Father is a is figure who has the most important influence on a child’s psyche after the mother.
    Anybody can provide the necessary items such as food, shelter, security etc which all the fathers of the world do, but as they say that Blood is thicker than water. The emotional bonding, the loving care and affection that a biological father in true sense can provide cannot be replaced by someone else.
    History is full of examples of emotionally unstable people or criminal personalities arising out of broken homes. Where fathers forgot their role and went on their own way or died prematurely. Now human mind interprets the world with his or her own personal experience. One tends to see the world as uncaring and ruthless if the childhood was devoid of security and paternal love. That is the case with most of the people who have experienced it . Some people become emotionally cold and some seek that kind of dearness for the rest of their life.
    That does not mean that if there is no father in family then there is bound to be some loss. Many political leaders and very successful people had responsibility of family thrown upon them in their childhood because there was no father or loss of father. They used it as a positive influence rather than negative one and came out to be more responsible and successful in life.
    In the nutshell, father is an important influence in ones life. Cannot be replaced by just anybody, but of course can be substituted by someone who knows the responsibilities of the father and its true meaning.

  183. 183 Stephen McKechnie
    May 25, 2008 at 23:31

    As God is my witness, every human Child has a Mother and a Father.
    Children / people are the product of their environment.
    If a child’s most trusted and respected best friends are its Parents, and those Parents primary goal is to raise a confident healthy child. The way of life and the values of that society will be supported for another generation.
    While every Farmers daughter does not grow up to be a farmer, and every Nurses son does not become a nurse, the confidence, self worth and healthy attitude of their Parents will remain with them where ever they go in life.
    Children raised in an environment of alchohol and violence do not have socially acceptable values.
    Narrow minded selfish Parents are not good for society.
    Society needs more children who are able to question the values and goals of their elders. Children able to evolve. Children that are not scared of change.
    Haven’t we seen enough societies who breed generations of pupets to follow their leader without thought?
    What would the Hitler Youth have been, if Adolf’s father came “out of the closet”?

  184. 184 Zaynah
    May 26, 2008 at 00:07

    A child needs a mother AND a father, but they also need more than that. As the saying goes ” It takes a village to raise a child”, so in order to nurture a child properly it goes beyond their mother and/or father for they can’t do it alone.

  185. 185 selena
    May 26, 2008 at 02:09

    Millions of children are abused every day across the globe. The answer is more complicated than simply having a father and a mother.

  186. May 26, 2008 at 03:02

    It is every child’s RIGHT to have 2 parents, 1 male and 1 female and legislating out the contribution of the father or the position of father in the family is a violation of that right. Any legislation that encourages one parent families or homosexual families is committing a violation of that human right. Such legislation is therefore invalid in law.

  187. 187 Mohammed Rafiqul Islam
    May 26, 2008 at 08:01

    After the age of 24 months no child needs any father or mother or father figure but a wise guide is necessry to brought up with times.

  188. 188 Bazlur Rahman
    May 26, 2008 at 09:32

    Children need parents in order to grow up with the ultimate sense of humanity,to enjoy the real feelings of human beings, to get the originality of the family, society and customs of the country. Without parents children can get many things but they cannot enjoy the near and dear one’s unending love and affections that they truly need during childhood. Motherly and fatherly love and affection will provide them with cocoon of humanitarian sense and ultimately they will be able to instill some fabulously fantasic gen-studded knowledge. Realistic standpoint of knowledge says that they really need parents who care them.
    Bazlur Rahman
    Dhaka, Bangladesh

  189. 189 Alhaji
    May 26, 2008 at 13:17

    every child needs a father because it's a natural way of life. Those who don't have live with a measure of emotional trauma because they find it difficult to mingle with others who have as it remind them of their misfortune in life. A father makes a child's life wholesome and comfortable. Although, lesbianisn or gay sex is still strange in many parts of Africa. From Alhaji Danjuma, Bacita, Nigeria.

  190. 190 Pedi
    May 26, 2008 at 13:37

    Kids need to learn tolerance and love, if they are brought up in a single sex relationship I think there is the danger that they may not learn to relate to the gender that is excluded from that upbringing. parenting is a joint responsibility between both genders as children grow into adults and adults in the end have to take the responsibility for the world we live in, we need to respect and tolerate each other in order to do that.

    pedi daddy Budapest (David)

  191. 191 Mohd. Burhandden
    May 27, 2008 at 07:36

    It is undoubted fact that, any child needs both parents to be brought up normally. Spsychologically, both father and mother have different role to play in child’s development, which one part impossibly handle both. As far as my religion is concerned, a child is considered illegal if he/she exist without father. It could be said that most of today’s crimes, misconduct, anti-social etc. are consequence of lack of balanced upbringing that chilred received in their childhood. Why do we need male and female interactions for the sake of child.

  192. May 27, 2008 at 09:04

    My experience shows me that this fact is undoubtedly truth. A child need as well as s/he wants both parent’s care and attention. Besides for child’s holist development both parent’s involvement is much needed.
    By their simultaneous care child can get balance life skills and develop with full potential same time they will grow with gender equity. So, it is very important.

  193. May 27, 2008 at 11:23

    I think it is absurd to think that children can grow up without a father. What can two mothers teach a child. The child will certainly grow up to have a lopsided view of the world. Both mother AND father have a particular role to play as a parent, a different role. They teach the child different things in life, and the father brings strength within.
    Yes, certainly things can go wrong, as we grow up relationships can fall apart, but this doesn’t mean that the man is all bad which is what you are angling at. My wife left me with my two small children Jessica (8) and Daniyel (10) while she went and partied herself stupid for two years. Was I angry? yes, did they need a mother ? yes. I stood by my children day and night, and 12 years on, my daughter really loves me and appreciates how I helped her (and still help her) in life. My son after five years went to live with his drop-out mother, got involved with wrong sorts of people, mixed up with drugs, and ultimately killed himself on the 29th March 2005. Can I forgive her ? NO !! My boy really needed the strength and guidance of two sensible parents to cope with his addiction. God knows I tried my best. But things can and do go wrong in life and we have to cope the best way we can.


    My son

  194. 194 Md.Rozaer Hossen
    May 27, 2008 at 13:10

    I do say and believe that every children should have father because without father’s love they can’t be fulfil for the need of their love. For most of the children of the world never be able to lead or get pragmative life which is very, very important. To be honest, I have to say there may be an alternative for father’s love but that never be able to make children’s demands of love & affection.

  195. 195 Roger in Montreal
    May 27, 2008 at 13:14

    My sister is lesbian and she lives with her friend and her friend’s two children, 12 and 17 years old. They been together for about 6 years. They take care of the children very well, they love them very much, But sometimes parents don’t see what is obvious, the kids need a father image to reference them self. Every year i bring them to camping with my son and my father for a week and there you can see that they stick to my person looking for the image they don’t have at home. I wish i could spend more time with them because i see they are thirsty for male reference of a father that no mother can give.

  196. 196 Charlene Farber
    May 27, 2008 at 23:53

    The world is governed by complimentary forces called yin and yang. A child needs both a female and a male presence in his/her life, not necessarily their biological parents or stepparents. Even another adult can be a valid stand-in…

  197. May 28, 2008 at 01:09

    I think children need positive role models of all genders to see that there is respect for all people.

    To say whether this figure needs to be a “father” — either through birth rights or adoption/marriage or a grandfather, uncle, or a dear friend of the family — the heteronormitive stance on whether this person needs to assume a patriarchal place in the child’s life is not an absolute.

    The same goes for single fathers raising children without a female presence.

    Children should see adults respecting one another, of all genders.

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