The Dad Difference: New reasearch shows how Dads are different from Moms
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What The Dad Difference means for women

We live in a zero sum game world: if something benefits one group, then it detracts from another group. Which begs the question, if fathers are valued, will mothers be devalued? There will be those who fear that scientific data that shows the importance of fathers would erase the hard-won social gains of women in the twentieth century.

Any woman who has suffered at the hands of an abusive husband or an oppressive male employer might shudder at information that could be construed to give men more power.

Just the opposite is true.

Mothers will flourish in so many ways when society recognizes father’s unique importance:

  • When fathers feel valued at home, they will appreciate their partner’s parenting more
  • Improved domestic life will drive social policies

    In Sweden 85% of fathers take paternity leave creating positive culture change:
    • Companies have become accustomed to their employees taking leave and don’t punish fathers by passing them over for promotions. Women’s salaries are increasing
    • Fathers’ involvement is contributing to lower divorce rates and in the event of divorce, joint custody is increasing
  • Father influences his children’s empathy and true empathy humanizes relationships. As more fathers take an active role, the next generation will be less likely to objectify others including women.

It is clear that both mothers and fathers have suffered. Historically, mothers have been limited in their choices and power arenas, whereas fathers have been discounted within the family.

We have seen American society swing from the rigid sex-roles of post-war domesticity to the incorporation of women in the workplace. Without a clear understanding of his impact on the family and in the wake of women’s outrage against patriarchal history, men have been in a defensive position. Is there a vision of a complementary relationship without succumbing to stereotypes; is it possible for fathers and mothers to share power without having to assert superiority or inferiority? How may the new fatherhood research affect this next phase of gender relations?