January 17, 2017

Men Engagement

To contribute towards prevention of violence against women, it simply takes more than being just a non-violent man, whereas it requires complete understanding of factors which contribute to violence directed towards women. For such purpose, it is the need of the hour to change, adopt new beliefs and attitudes required to put behaviors in line with the continuous efforts to eradicate violence.

Fatherhood serves such purpose. As what it takes to be a good father, is not only restricted to just being non-violent, but also their role extends to contribute on their part to put an end to violence against women. Being father, and due to their close relationship with wife and children, they are in better position to reflect on issues of masculinity and gender-discrimination. They are apt to do much more than being non-violent and can effectively contribute towards prevention of violence.

Generations back, we thought every father to be a ‘traditional model’ father- their work was to work outside homes and to be a good economic provider by being ‘breadwinner’ for the entire family. It was not expected of them to contribute more than just minimal amount of work in homes. With evolving concept of ‘fatherhood’, this notion was shattered and men are responsible equally with women to play their part in upbringing and nurturing children. From past 30 years, this concept of ‘fatherhood’ has been receiving much attention with revelations that dads occupy a major role in parenting and also in ending gender-based violence.

It has been shown that fathers who are involved in lives of their children have the ability to make their children understand the importance of healthy and equality-based relationships. It can be rightly said that fathering is one of the best catalysts for ending gender-based violence. Fatherhood can also bring a transformational experience for those men who grew up without such role-models in their childhood.

Such shift and transformation of fatherhood is positive impact of feminism. As women have begun working outside homes, so they too expect their male counter-parts to do their share of domestic work and childcare. This shifted concept is not just important to children, but also important to women in families. It can be a strong motivator for men who engage in violence to end it, while keeping in view the better upbringing and developmental process of their children. It is well considered to be the part of long-term solution to ending violence.

We will be able to witness less violence in society as more men will focus on care-giving, nurturing and making efforts to bring up their kids as better human beings. It will ultimately result in less violence against children, less violence against women and less violence against other men.

Many studies have clearly shown that Children of involved fathers are more likely to demonstrate more cognitive competence on standardized intellectual assessments (Lamb 1987; Radin 1994) and have higher IQ’s (Gottfried et al., 1988; Honzik, 1967; Radin 1972; Shinn, 1978).

Furthermore, Children of involved fathers are more likely to enjoy school (National Center for Education Statistics, 1997), have positive attitudes toward school (Flouri, Buchanan, & Bream, 2002; Flouri, 2005), participate in extracurricular activities, and graduate. They are also less likely to fail a grade, have poor attendance, be suspended or expelled, or have behaviour problems at school.

Children of involved fathers are more likely to have higher levels of economic and educational achievement, career success, occupational competency, better educational outcomes, higher educational expectations, higher educational attainment, and psychological well-being.

Children of involved fathers are more likely to demonstrate a greater tolerance for stress and frustration (Mischel, Shoda, & Peake, 1988), have superior problem solving and adaptive skills (Biller, 1993), be more playful, resourceful, skilful, and attentive when presented with a problem (Mischel et al., 1988), and are better able to manage their emotions and impulses in an appropriate manner. Father involvement contributes significantly and independently to adolescent happiness (Flouri & Buchanan, 2003a).

If we see all such facts from biological point-of view, we would be rather surprised that even Biology is there to back up good parenting. Hormonal studies have revealed that dads show increased levels of oxytocin during the first weeks of their babies’ lives. This hormone, sometimes called the “love hormone,” increases feelings of bonding among groups. Dads get oxytocin boosts by playing with their babies, according to a 2010 study published in the journal Biological Psychiatry.

Fatherhood also leads to declines in testosterone, the “macho” hormone associated with aggressive behavior.

All in all, it can be rightly concluded that,

Involved dads = Successful children

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