Saturday, April 18, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Men, fish, bicycles and the relationship to child-rearing

By
From page B5 | June 14, 2014 |

During the 1970s, as the feminist movement forced us to reconsider the role of women in society, Australian Senator and writer Irina Dunn famously stated, “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.”

The famous quip was subsequently popularized by American feminist Gloria Steinem, leading to countless T-shirts and posters featuring fish perched on bicycles. As Father’s Day approaches, let me suggest that both dads and moms are important in the lives of our kids. This is a subject that social scientists have debated for more than half a century, at least.

In 1965, U.S. Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a Ph.D. sociologist, issued what became known as the “Moynihan Report.” Moynihan analyzed urban poverty, examining the challenges facing inner-city families. Moynihan, an advocate for the Johnson administration’s so-called “war on poverty,” noted high rates of single-parent child-rearing in disadvantaged families, with resulting economic failure.

Similarly, anthropologist Oscar Lewis, working around the same time, described a “culture of poverty,” characterized by absence of traditional nuclear family structure, and associated failure to achieve socio-economic success. Moynihan and Lewis were both criticized, as their observations struck some as discriminatory or patronizing. On the other hand, neither researcher was off-track in linking family dynamics to economic outcomes.

Moreover, both researchers acknowledged the importance of other factors that contributed to educational and financial inequality in America, including entrenched racial discrimination at that time.

When Moynihan issued his report, only 7.7 percent of births in America were considered “out of wedlock,” a high figure for the time. By contrast, Japan’s single-parenting rate was only around 1 percent. As of 2012, by contrast, American government statistics indicate that 40.7 percent of children in the U.S. are born to single mothers. Single parent birth rates in the U.S. are 17.1 percent among Asians and Pacific islanders, 29.4 percent among non-Hispanic whites, 53.5 percent among Hispanics and 72 percent among non-Hispanic blacks, according to governmental data. The so-called out-of-wedlock rate of 7.7 percent that prompted concern in Sen. Moynihan’s report is now an order of magnitude greater in some settings. What are the economic implications of single-parent child-rearing?

Women generally raise children as single parents more frequently than do men, and unmarried women raising children are four times more likely to live in poverty than are their married female peers. Women rearing children alone earn less than half the average income that would accrue to a two-parent family. Among women struggling to raise children alone in the African-American community, average income is 36 percent of that seen in two-parent households, and among white women the comparable figure is
46 percent. The economic burden of single-parent child-rearing is enormous, and may affect people of color in a disproportionate manner.

As Father’s Day approaches, it is worthwhile to consider what can be done societally to encourage strong families, with active parental involvement in the lives of children. Based on my own anecdotal observations as a physician, the economic component of this equation is critical.

For example, I see a disproportionate number of middle-aged men in their 40s and 50s who lost their jobs during the economic downturn of the past half-decade. Those without any college education are particularly hard hit. I see job-creation as critical for maintaining healthy families.

In researching this column, I came across a quotation by the aforementioned Gloria Steinem: “Most American children suffer too much mother and too little father.”

I am not sure how that view squares with the idea that men are as extraneous, as fish are to bicycles. Both parents, I believe, are critical to healthy child-rearing.

I wish you all a healthy, and happy, Father’s Day!

Scott T. Anderson, M.D., Ph.D. ([email protected]) is clinical professor of medicine, UC Davis. This column is informational, and does not constitute medical advice.

 

Scott Anderson

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

 
 
Child care program helps teen parents, students

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1, 6 Comments | Gallery

 
Wood students entertain guests at Epcot

By Susan Hiland And Susan Winlow | From Page: A2

 
 
 
Solano County Science Fair continues to grow

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Take stock of where you are now, and act

By Murray Bass | From Page: B8

 
Fairfield police log: April 16, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Suisun City police log: April 16, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
Weather for Saturday, April 18, 2015

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B10

.

US / World

Family awarded rights to rare coins

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Dog flu outbreak sweeps across the Midwest

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

AG announces anti-bias training program

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
 
 
Iraqi officials believe Saddam’s top deputy killed

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Germany mourns citizens lost in plane crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Following Alps crash, debate over pilotless planes heats up

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

.

Opinion

 
Time for meaningful financial reform

By Paul A. Volcker | From Page: A8, 4 Comments

 
.

Living

Today in history: Saturday, April 18, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: April 18, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: April 18, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A7

 
My daughter is upset that I didn’t attend my former in-law’s funeral

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A7

Idea from Adam Sandler film used to soothe dementia patients

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
.

Entertainment

.

Sports

Athletics fall to Royals 6-4 in rematch of AL wild-card game

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Warriors, Pelicans enter series with different pedigrees

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Prep softball: Seldon powers Rodriguez to victory over Armijo

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

 
JC baseball: Falcons win as Pavlovsky, Evans homer

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

Prep badminton: Mustangs roll to 15-0 win over Wolves

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

 
Prep baseball: Haney hurls Vanden to 3-2 win over Benicia

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

Armijo nears girls soccer title with 2-0 MEL win

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

 
SCAC girls roll past MEL 55-28 in All-Star hoops game

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1 | Gallery

SCAC boys slip past MEL in entertaining All-Star game

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Brazil eyes historic medal haul in 2016 Rio Olympics

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

2 weeks before Mayweather-Pacquiao, not a ticket to be seen

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Big Ten’s Delany lays out plan for freshman ineligibility

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Collmenter shuts down Giants, gets three hits in D-backs win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Merritt’s 61 trumps Masters champion Spieth’s 62

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
2 minor league baseball teams to test game with 5-pitch rule

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

NBA could alter schedule, but no change to playoffs, lottery

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Coonan stepping down as Santa Clara’s athletic director

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel says he “let down” fans

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
49ers fullback Miller at home in Georgia after March arrest

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Rockhold hopes win over Machida launches him into contention

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Martina Hingis to make singles comeback in Fed Cup match

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Injured Giants fan throws out first ball in San Jose

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Flyers fire head coach Craig Berube after 2 seasons

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Hornets GM Cho: Stephenson ‘didn’t work like we expected’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Before ruling out an upset in NBA East, listen to these guys

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Western Conference teams face perilous path to NBA Finals

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
This date in sports history for April 18

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Back on the USA Network: Sports return with NHL playoffs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
.

Business

Glaxo recalls flu vaccine due to potency problem

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5, 4 Comments

 
California home prices hit new 7-year high, sales rebound

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

Secrecy shrouds decade-old oil spill in Gulf of Mexico

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5 | Gallery

 
Frederick’s of Hollywood reveals closing of retail stores

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

Don’t plan to line up for Apple Watch next week

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
.

Obituaries

Douglas Craig Sparks

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7