Throwaway Dads: The Myths and Barriers That Keep Men From Being the Fathers They Want to Be is a groundbreaking new book by Armin Brott, an authority on the art of being a father, and noted researcher Ross Parke. "Men want to be better dads," says Brott, "but as a society, we have wittingly and unwittingly built nearly insurmountable barriers–a kind of 'glass ceiling' that restrict men's involvement with their children and families." Complete with practical steps anyone–men, women, employers, the medical community, the media, and the government–can take to promote men's involvement in their children's lives, Throwaway Dads' comprehensive program can enable our entire society to experience the benefits of active fatherhood.
There's no question that fathers are vital to child rearing. Studies prove that children with active fathers are far happier and better adjusted than those without. Nevertheless, we are bombarded with negative images of neglectful, uninterested, abusive, deadbeat, and lazy dads. The overall message is clear: fathers are not nearly as important as mothers to the family. But in Throwaway Dads, Brott and Parke explode such myths with real-life studies and hard-hitting statistics.
Throwaway Dads tackles tough, urgent issues, such as:
- How boys and girls are being trained to minimize men's role in the family as a result of the constant flow of inaccurate, negative portrayals of fathers in books, movies and on television.
- Why an archaic philosophy ("A father's primary role is to be the breadwinner") still persists, even in a society that is liberal enough to accept same-sex partners as parents.
- The ways politicians and the media ignore men's important contributions to their families and thus perpetuate myths of men as useless and/or dangerous around children.
- How children are being harmed by legislators and a family law system that keeps fathers away from their children, depriving them of the strong, loving father role models they need.
- How corporations have limited fathers' ability to expand their role in the family.
- The dubious achievements of both the women's and the men's movements when it comes to supporting fathers and reevaluating traditional gender stereotypes.
Brott and Parke strongly believe that the overwhelming majority of men want to be better dads and that we'll all be better off when that happens. But the first step toward reaching this goal is to increase awareness of the barriers fathers face. This book is an invitation to explore these issues and to join in the process of getting men more involved.
Praise for Throwaway Dads:
“An interesting and valuable book… Americans' approach to parenting has been too mother-centered.”
—Betty Friedan, author of The Feminine Mistique and Founder of the National Organization for Women
“While other titles offer instruction to the individual father or decry Dad's lack of involvement, this one is unique in both defending fathers and at the same time showing how they can be helped to do an even better job.”
“They give suggestions for involving fathers more deeply in parenting, for getting women to engage their husbands in this process and for enlightening government and private businesses…”
—New York Times
“Brott and Parke use level-headed, precise arguments and statistics to back up their ideas…”
“A wide ranging, cool-headed response to the current predilection for dissing all the dads… An important step in illuminating many of the issues — ignorance, false assumptions and power struggles — that hold men back from full participation in raising their children.”
“A capable reality check on contemporary perceptions of fathers… challenges the common notions that men are innately incompetent at parenting…”
“At last -— a book that separates myth from reality when it comes to fathers' importance in their children's development”
—East Bay Books
“Combine[s] practical research on fatherhood with practical alternatives to current thinking to create a feisty, thought-provoking read”