Massachusetts News

The APA Strikes Again

Fathers Are Not "Essential" for Children

Massachusetts News
August 2, 1999

The American Psychological Association has printed an article in its newest journal which says that fathers are not "essential" for children. 

Fathers may even be detrimental, according to the article, because of the male tendency to consume "resources in terms of gambling, purchasing alcohol, cigarettes, or other nonessential commodities," which "increase women's workload and stress.". 

The authors admit they have a strong political agenda saying, "We acknowledge that our reading of the scientific literature supports our political agenda." 

Their "agenda" is to create a socialist state such as exists in Sweden. 
They also said that their concern is with the "backlash" against "the gay rights and feminist movements." 

They believe that any attempt to reintroduce the father into the American culture through the use of marriage is, "an attempt to reassert the cultural hegemony traditional values, such as heterocentrism, Judeo-Christian marriage, and male power and privilege." 

The article was the lead story in the June 1999 issue of the American Psychologist, which is the only publication sent to every member of the organization and which is used routinely to espouse the viewpoint of the APA leadership. 

The article appeared immediately after the APA apologized for an earlier article in another magazine which stated that the sexual molestation of children could be beneficial to children in many cases. 

"Blueprint for Change" 

The authors of the articles even gave their "Blueprint for Social Change," with the following statement. "Our final recommendation relates to an overall governmental family policy. The United States cultural ideology of rugged individualism continues to assume that individual families can and should balance the stress of work and family without the benefits of large-scale government supports. The United States remains one of the few industrialized countries without a comprehensive family policy that provides paid parental leave, governmentally financed day care, and economic subsidies for all families with children. Without these benefits, the responsibility for child care continues to fall largely on women." 

They then said we should emulate Sweden. However, they failed to note that Sweden is having serious social problems as well large debt burdens. Until 1970, that country had little public debt but by the early 1990s, their per capita debt was one of the largest in the world and nearly three times that of the United States. In 1990, the interest paid on public debt exceeded expenditures on family and child welfare, health costs, and old age pensions. In Norway, where the money from oil has provided revenues, the Chief Justice of its Supreme Court told last year about his country where the crime rate has quadrupled since 1960, with doubling of divorce and youth suicide, large problems with alcoholism, and sharply rising rates of mental and eating disorders, particularly among women, etc. 

Not New Among Feminists 

The arguments in the article are not new to feminists. Their goal has always been to advocate socialism with everyone, men and women, going to work with the children being taken care of by the government. 

They were very blunt in the 1970's and the President of the New York chapter of NOW told the New York Times, "Any real change in the status of women would be a fundamental assault on marriage and the family." Betty Friedan was a little more circumspect, "Whether we will finally have to challenge the institutions, the concepts of marriage and the nuclear family -- I don't know. I just don't know." 

What is new according to some observers is the obvious penetration of the APA by the feminist thinkers. 

Psychologist Is Startled 

One psychologist, Dr. Wade Horn, President of the "National Fatherhood Initiative," was startled by the article. 

"Just when I thought it was safe to admit I am a psychologist, the American Psychological Association goes and does something nutty yet again," he wrote, continuing: 

"Over the past six years they [the authors] have studied the fathering experience of 200 -- yes, a whole 200! -- men. Now there's a representative sample for you.... 

"So there you have it. Dads don't matter. In fact, they are downright dangerous. And the only thing marriage does is promote domestic violence against women. Why? Because those two psychologists say so, that's why. After all, they have studied 200 fathers!" 

Horn says that the authors missed "two decades of research attesting to the impact of father absence on the well-being of children, including increased risk for school failure, emotional and behavioral problems, juvenile crime, and teenage pregnancy."