Explore BrainMass

Importance of fathers in child development

Why is the role of the single or married father, externally employed or stay-at home father, gay or straight father, and an adoptive or step-parent father important in a child's life?

Describe why each type of father is important in a child's life.

Solution Preview

As indicated in the work of Maurice Godelier, the role of the father is one of the most critical roles in society. Traditional western culture defines the father as a husband tied to a marital committent. Their traditional roles include providing financial support and making critical decisions, some of which must be obeyed without question by the rest of the family members. As with cultural concepts of family, the specifics of a father's role vary according to cultural folkways. In what some sociologists term the "bourgeois family", which arose out of typical 16th- and 17th-century European households and is considered by some[who?] the "traditional Western" structure, the father's role has been somewhat limited. In this family model the father acts as the economic support and sometimes disciplinarian of the family, while the mother or other female relative oversees most of the childrearing. This structure is enforced, for example, in societies which legislate "maternity leave" but do not have a corresponding "paternity leave"(Godelier, 2007). This limited role has increasingly been called into question. Both ...

Solution Summary

The solution discusses the importance of fathers in child development.