Fathers and sons the relationship between violence masculinity

fathers and sons the relationship between violence masculinity

It's not revolutionary to say that fathers influence their sons when it comes to it occurs, impacts the father-son relationship and the son's well-being. been related to substance use, depression, stress, violence, aggression. For Father's Day and beyond, explore the dangers of toxic masculinity. We have taught our sons to glorify violence, and that the best way to earn respect is to display violence – or at Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. Vietnam, it has been said, was first and foremost a division of sons from their fathers . manhood As such, the cultural expulsion of traditional masculinity, symbol- fathers' violent behavior toward the family and attributed the paternal brutality to . relationship as his own fault, the boy's growth toward manhood becomes.

Moreover, how do fathers navigate their own masculinity and self-identities, as shaped by their experiences and by their family structures and expectations?

Gender roles, gender ideals, and gender identity are largely taught and passed on within the family structure and is taught to us through observation, conversation, and parent-child interaction. You see this in the typical saas-bahu shows of today, the stark delineation of gender roles and gender-based privilege.

Young boys may be frequently told what kind of a man they should grow up to be, and they may learn a lot about their own gender expression by watching their fathers go to work, take part or not take part in household chores, making the family decisions, and so on.

At various critical points of the child's development, such displays indicate that toughness and emotional control are valued or acceptable, perceived 'feminine or girly' behaviors are unacceptable.

However, fathers can also have a monumental role in teaching empathy to their sons through the early as well as later years of their lives. Fathers who can actively model empathy and compassion in their own familial interactions, can demonstrate flexibility across masculine ideals, and can be attuned to their own emotions and express them.

For instance, teaching their sons to acknowledge their pain physical or emotional by acknowledging it themselves, to freely express sorrow at the loss of a pet, and that parents or siblings and friends can have feelings too, is a way to bridge the gap between ideals of emotional strength and vulnerability.

fathers and sons the relationship between violence masculinity

Vulnerability is not a typically valued masculine ideal. However the consequences of teaching young boys that it is not okay to be vulnerable can restrict their emotional bandwidth in their relationships and self-identities.

The effect size for fathers was significantly greater than that for mothers, with the latter not differing significantly from zero. The latter found that father absence was associated with less traditional gender roles i. A body of recent research, however, has been conducted with children of lesbian couples.

These studies have reported no differences in gender identity and adoption between children raised by lesbian couples who do not have a father in the home and children raised by heterosexual couples see [ 30 ] for a review. This has two possible implications. Firstly it seems to support the notion that it is psychosocial stress and family attitudes which lead to differences if any between father-absent and father present individuals.

Alternatively, it may suggest that some underlying genetic factor such as androgenisation, as discussed below mediates both parental relationship success and offspring gender identity—such that children whose mothers have more lasting adult relationships be it a hetero- or homosexual relationship may have different gender identity than children whose mothers experience relationship breakdown. More research is required, therefore, to determine exactly what about the absence of a father in the home causes differences in development.

Specific sexually dimorphic behaviours Aggression and delinquency A key dimorphic trait of particular relevance to father absence is aggression. Physical aggression is a strongly sexually dimorphic trait, with differences appearing before 2 years of age [ 31 ] and continuing into adulthood. Male-male homicide vastly exceeds female-female homicide in all societies for which data exists see e.

For instance, Cherlin et al [ 36 ] found in a s British sample and a s American sample that parental divorce was associated with greater problem behaviours in children although there was no difference in American girls.

Father absence and gendered traits in sons and daughters

Again, however, they found no difference in girls. Fearfulness and impulsivity Fearfulness and impulsivity have a relevance to the father absence literature which is more secondary. Fearfulness is strongly sexually dimorphic, with women showing higher levels of phobias than men, rating identical situations as more fear-provoking, and being less likely to engage in physically dangerous activities [ 4041 ].

Although men tend to show higher levels of social fears, women are more likely to be afraid of anything which could cause injury e. Similarly, there is a significant sex difference in impulsivity across development e.

Fathers play a big role in shaping their sons' idea of masculinity

The gender differences in fearfulness and behavioural impulsivity have both been suggested as the psychological mechanism underlying the gender differences in physical aggression see e. One could therefore predict that the elevated levels of physical aggression in children of divorcees ought to be associated with lower levels of fearfulness and greater behavioural impulsivity.

However, an extensive search of the literature yielded only one study which had measured fearfulness in children from different family backgrounds.

  • About the Author
  • The Psychology Behind Strained Father Son Relationships
  • Associated Data

Milne et al [ 45 ] observed that children living with both biological parents had lower levels of phobias than children who did not live with both parents. However, whether these latter children were specifically the children of separated parents who tend to be, but are not always, father absentor whether they also included children who were adopted, fostered or living with step-parents all of which may be associated with behavioural problems was not clear.

Regarding impulsivity, parental separation is associated with developmental disorders characterized by impulsivity and poor inhibitory control, such as ADHD and conduct disorder [ 4647 ] and there may be a link between father absence and non-pathological impulsivity.

In early research, Mischel [ 48 ] found a link between father absence and reduced delay in gratification amongst Trinidadian children, and Cortes and Fleming [ 49 ] found father absent boys were reported as more impulsive and irritable than father present boys using an economically deprived African American sample. Young and Parish [ 50 ] found no link between father absence of any kind and cognitive impulsivity in college age women, using the matching family figures test.

Apart from these studies, it is difficult to find evidence using psychometric or laboratory assessments of impulsivity; research using other behaviors has however, found a link between father absence and, gambling and drug use [ 52 ], and sexual risk taking e.

Summary Overall, there appear to be four contradictory aspects of the development of father-absent offspring compared to father-present offspring: These factors appear to defy theoretical integration. Thus far it appears no research has sought to study these traits simultaneously within the same population, which is essential if we are to try and understand how they link together. The primary purpose of this paper was therefore to investigate the links between family structure during childhood and sexual dimorphism in multiple measures of behaviour and personality.

Our hypothesis was that father absence and poorer quality family relationships are associated with greater general behavioural and psychological masculinity across both sexes.

Sons of Narcissist Fathers

Participants were assessed using standardised self-report measures for aggression, impulsivity, fearfulness and sex role identity. The factors derived from the principal components analyses, and indices of reproductive development in this case, timing of puberty and first coitus were compared between participant family backgrounds. We would therefore predict that both males and females with absent fathers will show a shift towards the more male-typical end of the general masculinisation scale i.

However, should other previous suggestions e.

fathers and sons the relationship between violence masculinity

We would therefore predict that our sex role and behaviour measures would not share common variance and that men with absent fathers should show a more feminine sex role identity, coupled with higher levels of aggression, while women with absent fathers would show more general masculinity.

Samples We tested the above hypotheses using a sample of young adult participants in the US and Australia, recruited via online repositories of social psychology research projects. Australia and the US are relatively high-parity nations in terms of gender empowerment: Their Global Gender Gap Index scores are 0. The GGI ranges from 0, which represents the greatest possible inequality, to 1, representing perfect equality. Scores range from 0.


Of the countries with a GII inthe range is 0. Kashima et al [ 58 ] examined cross-cultural variation in sex differences in self-construal across five cultures including the mainland US and Australia The others were Hawaii, South Korea, and Japan. They performed multidimensional scaling on measures of seven traits including agency, assertiveness, and emotional relatedness to others. They reported striking similarities between the mainland US and Australian samples with regard to the pattern of sex differences.