Being a married father matters, for men and society

24 Jun

Sociologically, culturally, economically, we should all be very concerned if men become increasingly unmarked and fatherless. It matters more for society’s well-being than 90% of the alleged problems and solutions social do-good ears usually talk about.

From Dr. Brad Wilcox:

It’s an open question, but I’d say the odds are against Kanye West benefiting much from his impending father status. That’s because the transformative power of fatherhood only seems to work its magic for the better when men live with the children they father, and with their baby’s mother. And, given the on-again-off-again status of the Kanye West–Kim Kardashian relationship (Kanye West recently celebrated his birthday with friends in New York, more than 2,000 miles from his baby’s mother), I’m guessing Kanye and Kim won’t go the distance.
That would be a tragedy not only for Kanye and Kim’s child, but also for Kanye. That’s because fatherhood is transformative for men’s bodies and their lives—if they manage to live with their children and the mother of their children. Of course, we’ve known about the transformative power of parenthood, since time immemorial, for women. Now, we’re learning more and more about the ways that fatherhood is also transformative for men’s bodies and lives, as my new book, Gender and Parenthood: Biological and Social Scientific Perspectives (co-edited with Kathleen Kovner Kline), points out.
For many men, the transformative physical power of fatherhood first manifests itself when the pounds start piling up. One recent survey found that the average father puts on more than 10 pounds while waiting for baby to arrive.

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