Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Raising Up Fathers

Christianity Today carried an interview with Maggie Gallagher, author of the book 'Raising Up Fathers.' Interesting.

But I firmly believe that mothers and fathers both matter a great deal to their children, and that marriage is the way that you get that for children. You cannot raise a generation of men to be good family men unless you tell them that husbands and fathers matter a great deal.

One of the things sociologist Brad Wilcox shows is that conservative Protestants, who are the only group of people actively advocating for male headship in our society and for a strong vision of gender difference, oddly enough turn out to produce husbands and fathers who are more like the "new man," that is, a warm, engaged, attentive father. And their wives report that these men are also more appreciative, and the wives are happier than the average wife or the wives of religiously unaffiliated men. This is true only for conservative Protestants who go to church. If you're a nominal conservative Protestant and you just pick up on the headship ideology and you don't have the idea of love and sacrifice for the sake of your family, it turns out badly.

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