Monday, April 17, 2006

98% of men raising their own children. According to a story in ForbesLife, 98 percent of men raising children they believe to be their "biological offspring" are correct in thinking so. This comes from "the largest review of paternity and genetic test data every conducted." The story said the new findings, which appeared in the new June issue of Current Anthropology, should "help squelch the long-standing myth that more than 10 percent of all fathers are unknowingly raising children who are not biologically their own." The ForbesLife story quotes lead researcher Kermyt Anderson of the University of Oklahoma at some length. It states:
Anderson said improvements in genetic testing coupled with rising divorce rates have made paternity screening a "growing industry," with the dramatic results of these tests read live daily on The Jerry Springer Show and other "shock-talk" programming.

And for reasons linked to the potential for child-support claims, "some states have also been very big in recent years on trying to get men named on birth certificates as biological father," Anderson said. "Especially in the case of unmarried parents, but even among married parents, legal fatherhood is being established early on."

However, the new study found unsuspected non-paternity to be a relatively rare phenomenon, with rates more or less similar among the United States, Canada and Europe. Among men who felt confident they were the biological father of their child, the highest rate of actual non-paternity was found in men from Mexico -- just over 8 percent.
The ForbesLife story notes that men who discover they are not the biological father of a child "often react negatively." Divorce, or abortion are sometimes prompted by the unexpected findings. The story ends with a "perspective" quote by Anderson:
Much of this is about broad statistics. Biological dads can be very neglectful, too, and stepdads can be very caring."
Here, here! Fatherhood is a psychological, cultural and biological phenomenon. All men, even infertile men and gay men, can be psychological or cultural fathers. We desperately need more fathers of all types. Today, 25 million American children are growing up in homes without fathers. Help!


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