Have you ever wondered where dads are in parenting books? I never noticed a problem, but apparently some psychologists did, reports the UK Independent.
Mothers are mentioned twice as often as dads in 23 of the most popular child-rearing books, the American researchers found. And when dads are mentioned, “they were seven times more likely to be shown as having problems within the parental relationship than the mother,” writes the Independent.
Oh, and women are pictured three times more than men, explains the report, which will be published in the journal Psychology of Men and Masculinities this week. Well, that’s not all that surprising.
On the other hand, “dad is frequently shown as stressed, having a poor relationship with his wife, and being inadequately involved with his children,” writes the Independent.
How quaint. How damaging to our perception of fathers.
“Although these books are marketed for ‘parents’, it is evident they are written for a female audience,” Dr. Linda Fleming of Gannon University and the study leader, tells the Independent. “We were left with the impression that a mother’s role with the child was obligatory and primary, whereas a father’s role was voluntary,” she said.
Then again such impressions about dads are fairly common, though I would have thought more outside the United States than in it. But if dads are continuously being portrayed in a bad light even by parenting books, that may shed light on why courts tend to favor mothers in custody battles. Judges are simply conditioned by society and the media to believe that moms are the better parents.