Tag Archives: Dads and Daughters

Where are all the Dads?

Just got around to reading some back issues of Dads and Daughters newsletter, and came away a bit stunned by the tidbit that, of all the research studies child psychology researchers have done in the past 8 years, only two percent of them studies published were devoted exclusively to fathers while 45 percent of those studies were devoted exclusively to mothers. The rest researched both mother and fathers.

Now, I’m not up on all the latest academia reports in pediatric psychology, but it goes without saying that, even to a lay person like me, that two percent number is shockingly low.

Perhaps some of the confusion comes from the fact that academics can’t even decide what a father is, or how to define that role.

(University of South Florida’s Dr. Vicky) Phares noted the irony of commonly being asked to define “father” in her research writing and presentations, although never being asked to define “mother.” It appears that the role of the mother is assumed to be filled by the primary caretaking biological mother for most children, whereas the role of the father might be filled by any number of male individuals, such as the biological father (who may or may not live with the child), the stepfather (who may or may not live with the child), or a father-figure (such as the mother’s boyfriend, an uncle, or a grandfather – any of whom may or may not live with the child). Thus, the question is a legitimate one, but it also conveys a lack of consensus about how to define fathers currently.

So, it’s pretty hard to study the effects of a father if you don’t even know who the fathers are.

The article the D&D newsletter refers to is is entitled Are Fathers Involved in Pediatric Psychology Research and Treatment and was a joint study between the University of South Florida and Yale University School of Medicine.

A Victory for DAD’s

I meant to blog about this last week when I first received the following notice from Dads and Daughters.

This fall, Hasbro plans to start marketing—to girls as young as six—a line of dolls based on The Pussycat Dolls, a six-woman music group that performs highly eroticized dance routines and songs, and helped launch a sexual cabaret show in Los Angeles.

Act now to urge Hasbro President and CEO Alfred J. Verrecchia to put his own granddaughter’s face in the picture and reverse the company’s decision to market these dolls. Join Dads & Daughters and the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood to preempt an irresponsible effort to create and promote unhealthy, hyper-sexualized toys for elementary school age girls.

However, before I had a chance to blog about this, Hasbro had already received enough mail to back down from their decision. A few minutes ago, DADS issued the following email followup.

After a grassroots letter-writing initiative from Dads & Daughters and the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood , Hasbro, Inc. announced today that it will halt plans to market—to girls as young as six—a line of dolls based on The Pussycat Dolls, a six-woman music group that performs highly eroticized dance routines and songs.

The company issued the following statement:

“Hasbro and Interscope have jointly agreed that Hasbro will not move forward with the line of dolls based on the recording group, The Pussycat Dolls. Interscope’s current creative direction and images for the recording group are focused on a much older target than we had anticipated at the time of our original discussions, thereby making a doll line inappropriate for Hasbro.” (Note: Interscope is the record label that created and manages the Pussycat Dolls group.)

DADs President Joe Kelly called Hasbro’s decision a victory for families and responsible corporate practice. “We asked Hasbro executives to imagine encouraging their own six-year-old daughters and granddaughters to engage in developmentally unhealthy behavior. It appears they did that, and then made the right decision for their families, our families, and the company.”

DADs encourages people who care about children to mail or fax letters of thanks to Hasbro President and CEO Alfred J. Verrecchia at 1027 Newport Avenue, Pawtucket, RI, 02862-1059 or fax 401-727-5544.

I’m a big fan of the work of Dads and Daughters, a non-profit in the US that is dedicated to helping Dads of girls actively engage in their daughter’s lives, and fight against cultural messages that devalue girls and women. if you are a DAD, I encourage you to check them out.

Nice work, DADS!

Being More Than a Present Dad

Yet another study shows that it isn’t enough for us Dads to be present in our kids lives, we must take an active part.

This recent study from the University of Texas focuses on the corelation between a girl’s first sexual encounter and her relationship with her Father. The study basically says that the more present a Father is in his daughters life, the longer she will wait to engage in sexual behaviors.

“This shows us that it is not enough for dads to be merely present,” says (Dr. Mark) Regnerus, an assistant professor of sociology at The University of Texas at Austin. “They need to be active in their daughters’ lives. There are hints here that girls who have poor relationships with their dads tend to seek attention from other males at earlier ages and often this will involve a sexual relationship.”