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Saturday, August 2, 2008

Which Fathers Know Best

posted by on August 2 at 12:24 PM

A new study finds that nonbiological fathers—those who opt in to raise children who are not their own offspring—make better parents. Furthermore, making it legal via marriage correlates with even better fathering. Only heterosexual couples were studied.

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That's cause the non-biological fathers get more sex.

... you know it's true ...

Posted by Will in Seattle | August 2, 2008 12:25 PM

I don't know that that is true, Will. Probably 'cause I need to travel to Europe so I'll realize everybody eats rice.

Posted by elenchos | August 2, 2008 12:40 PM

I could be the I-can-always-make-another-one syndrome, but hey, what do I know, I'm from the dead-beat dad generation.

Posted by yucca flower | August 2, 2008 12:54 PM

How does this fit in with the other study that shows step-fathers are more likely to molest the children?

Posted by Greg | August 2, 2008 1:01 PM

Hmm? I'm not sure that means much especially given the great crisis in fatherlessness in the African-American community. The data I read says 72% of African-American children are born out-of-wedlock (up from 55% in the 60s). This rate effects prison incarceration rates and HS graduation rates. I don't dispute the science but it does say "suggests" that non-biological fathers can make better parents. I do believe children need their Dads or male role models.

Also, consider this: when a man shifts his loyalty ie. good parenting skills to a new family might it suggest neglect of biological children he may have had with another woman (women)? Here's a ghastly stat I came across: Most parents that are convicted of killing their children are stepfathers. They are not the biological fathers of those children.

Posted by lark | August 2, 2008 1:15 PM

@4 - and beat them up.

Posted by Will in Seattle | August 2, 2008 2:00 PM

Interesting. In my personal experience, with stepmothers, not stepfathers, stepparents are likely to be jealous of their spouse's children. I've heard reams of anecdotal evidence from friends and relatives to suggest that this is a common problem for stepmothers and stepfathers.


I don't know how that stat relates to Bethany's post, but I'll bet that molesters specifically seek out single women with children.

Posted by keshmeshi | August 2, 2008 2:58 PM

the study says that "social fathers" are better to bio fathers but based this on a sample where "Sample children were mostly born to unmarried parents."

IOW the bio fathers they studied were ones who weren't even married.

IOW the bio fathers they chose were those who had mor predeliction to choose NOT to be with kids.

You can conclude that social dads are better than bio dads in general only if you compare (a) social dads who marry the mom, with (b) bio dads who were married or who had married the mom (the socalled normal family).

The study compares bios who didn't marry (ie chose to not make a family) with socials who either married (choosing to make a family) or who at least chose the chick after she had kids (quasi-family making).

Posted by PC | August 2, 2008 2:58 PM

Sure everybody can cite the facts and conjecture until we all see the cows come home, yet a couple of things remain constant.

The experiance of living through a moment is what helps give fathers and mothers the experience to exercise assesment and judgement of a given situation and isn't that what learning to be a good parent is all about?

The fallacy of a thought, or notion that behavior of individual(s) and group activity stays static over time is questionable.

Take for instance this example, as experianced at gasworks park earlier today.

Friends and I were watching the lake from the bench looking east after the Seafair Airshow.

Nemesis friend on the "outs" (a term I should qualify today by stating that previously we have been more than amicable in each others company) walks up to the group of people that I was sitting with.

Everyone says hello and the repeat of a previous scene happens.

Words are exchanged and Nemesis friend

(now an aquaintance) again pulls a knife on me in the park and of course this IS threatening beyond the usual macho verbage.

To be fair to Nemesis friend now downgraded to aquaintance, he thinks I'm crazy and doesn't like me for his own personal reasons beyond stated ' "crazy" I don't like you vibe'.

That's cool fool... whatever... but don't EVER pull a knife on me, ever.

I mean... what the hell... people can't get along?

Who gave this person a permit or badge to patrol the Seattle City Parks and
" silently " be pissed off about being "outed" for being an asshole?.

I can use the word asshole in a reasonable tone of type here, because the first thing I did after getting through "the moment again" was to seek out the Medic One Team and ask them about park rules for weapons.

The Medic One Team suggested to report it to the police.

Now, any nanny patrol ( please excuse me mothers and fathers who may bite their lip at this use of terminology) who is afraid of an altercation can run down to the police and turn the suspect in... but why would I want to be "snitchy" about it when it's just more male bonding issues between personality conflicts in generational age differances?

Because, it's a festival party day and there are children around, people in the beer garden enjoying music, and of course... people sitting "on the fence" of legal consumption of alchol and mind altering substances.

Should I present a list of all the pills people have to take under doctors orders, or should we agree that there are people smoking tabacco and marijuana and it's kind of the usual be cool fool rule.

Perhaps the power of the SLOG is what is really at stake here.

My guess is that when confronted by reasonable use of language in a given adult circumstance, juvenile behaivors
unfortunately surface before sensible thought and actions can intercede.

My personal opinion is this:

1.) Nemesis out pulled a knife on me once.
2.) Upon offence #2, the warning by me was
and legal, and the retort by offensive
was juvenile in reaction and
reasonable response.

Here comes the point of witnesses.

I returned to the scene of the mishap, to tell the witnesses and the "mutual friend" in the company of "OUT".

This is in respect for all people present.

Words are cheap, and weapons have no place in the park to be brandished foolishly and repeatedly.

He said she said mentality will always pit rational response against the testosterone loaded reaction of confrontation, unless cool heads prevail.

I wasn't drunk, stoned or manipulated or out of control.

If someone wants to argue buzzed and numbers in a court of peers, I'll stand before you and say with a honest voice, that

1.) Marijuana smokers and Hempfest
should be careful brandishing weapons.

Drugs and violence don't mix, and you can tell that to the judge.

Posted by daniel kieneker | August 2, 2008 5:01 PM

daniel @9: SEEK. HELP. NOW. or maybe you're just clownin' us. only you know.

Posted by ellarosa | August 2, 2008 6:50 PM

I think they may have studied adoptive fathers rather than step-parents. That would actually make more sense. If daddy can't make babies himself and had to go through adoption hell, he might appreciate the kid more. Where as bio-daddy has a kid(s), but they might not be planned or wanted.

If they meant step-parents, they are totally f**ked up, because I live in Arizona and every day on the news some teenie-bopper mommie is getting carted off to jail because her new boyfriend beat her kid by her old boyfriend to death...or she let new boyfriend/step-daddy diddle the kid so they wouldn't lose their meal ticket.

p.s. The child-beater/diddler goes to jail, of course, but mommie gets almost or the same sentence, because ya know they know.

Posted by yucca flower | August 2, 2008 7:23 PM

I'm 100% with Will on this one, with a couple other tid bits. When it comes to bonding with offspring, it seems that the PRESENSE of a father in their life is what dictates how well he will bond with their children. Which is why so many men who fathered children in other relationships loose contact with them. The other reason, is that men are more or less expected to the hold the financial burden by society and not the emotional burden (how many men do you know who work and work and work and every last dime they make goes to child support alomony etc.) In addition, why emotionally distant workaholics make incredibly shitty fathers. Also, sometimes I think men bond with the mothers FIRST and then the children second. Having a great relationship with the mother (sex included) helps have a great relationship with the offspring.

And sometimes ... and this MY shitty experience. Women with children, they genuinely seem to appreciate men for who they are. Women without children, it's like they have some plan some agenda and they calculate how a certain man fits into this plan (and of course try to change him) and this is the guy they want to have children with ... passion and emotion are almost totally disregarded ... and in this day in age it catches up with them.

Women who have had children, well ... they accept the dynamic world, because their "plan" already went to shit ... and thus their relationships are much better for it.

Overgeneralized, perhaps ... but I think there are nuggets in there.

Posted by formerly OR Matt | August 2, 2008 9:38 PM

had my biological father and mother remained togethor, i probably would have ended up a complete fuck up like the other 6 kids my biological father sired through 2 other marriages.

as it is, the man my mom married when i was 1 (the man whom i consider my father), raised 3 kids that are all somewhat successful.

Posted by mike | August 3, 2008 1:45 PM

As someone who was sexually abused by my stepfather, I call "shenanigans" on this study. But that's the danger of extrapolating from one data point, I suppose.

Posted by Blah | August 3, 2008 2:58 PM

Blah, I would want to call shenanogans on this study too, but remember, negative news makes great press. Just maybe for every fuck up step dad, there are probably at least two decent ones.

And besides, now that I think about, it's not all black and white. My real Dad was booted out when I was 12 and more less became less and less existant in my life by the time I was 16 (he moved to Long Island! The Devils land of over materialism!) My step Dad, had really only one simple advantage, he was PRESENT. Whereas my mother more or less bullied my Dad out of my life for a while and thought he was only worth a monthly check well ... for fucking up mom's life, but not necessarily mine and my sisters.

Whatever, no one is innocent and it's obviously not black and white.

Posted by formerly OR Matt | August 3, 2008 3:58 PM

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