23 November 2007

Well, That Surely is a Relief! Studies Show Traditional Family Roles are Best

Today The Guardian reports on a recent study of paternal involvement in early child rearing. The effects seem especially dire for the cognitive development of boys raised by fathers. According to this study, depending on the child's age, boys who receive significant amounts of care from their fathers can suffer effects across several domains that range from actively harmful to merely "no significant effects ... either positive or negative." Curiously, the study finds no analogous effects on girls. I am sure there are many who will take this as justification for keeping fathers as far out of the lives of their young sons as is possible. Unfortunately, there is a problem. In the same issue of the journal where this study appears is another study indicating that boys whose mothers work outside the home are at increased risk of obesity as teenagers. So, it seems, no matter what you do your kid may grow up to be stupid or fat ~ unless, that is, you adopt the Ward and June Cleaver model of family life.


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