July 21, 2023 – Health & ESP
Gene C. Colman Introduction: We continue to reproduce some excerpts from Prof. Linda Nielsen’s latest book, “Myths and Lies About Dads”. It’s those myths, stereotypes and outright lies about dads that tend to form powerful blockages against legislating a rebuttable presumption of Equal Shared Parenting. And while Prof. Nielsen not only shatters those myths, she expertly amasses a wealth of solid social science data that supports the key importance of both parents in their children’s lives. Throughout, the bolding and italics are mine.
From page 35: [We are omitting the footnotes. Buy the book to get those great footnote citations.]
The dad’s impact on his children’s health doesn’t stop in infancy. Children whose fathers are loving, supportive, and actively involved in their lives are generally in better health. 52 31 They are less likely to become obese and more physically active, including organized sports. They also have fewer stress-related health problems such as headaches and stomach aches. As teenagers and young adults, they are less likely to engage in risky behaviors that lead to serious injuries or death while they are young and to serious health problems as adults. These include drinking and drug use, driving while under the influence, and contracting sexual diseases from unprotected sex. For example, in surveys at nine universities with more than 1,700 female students, women who had good relationships with their dads took fewer health risks than women those with distant or troubled relationships. 53 And in one of the few studies to look specifically at which parent has the most influence, the quality of sons’ and daughters’ relationships with their dads had the most impact on their weight, blood pressure, and heart rates. 54 Well-fathered daughters also have fewer health problems related to eating disorders or injuries from a physically abusive boyfriend. 55 And in national surveys with almost 68,000 American children, those living in the same home with their dad were in better health than kids in all other kinds of families, including mom and stepdad families. 56 Remember that childhood and teenage obesity has become a major health problem in the U.S.—increasing the risk of heart attacks, strokes, cancer, kidney and liver failure, damaged joints, diabetes, miscarriages, and infertility later in life. 46 And children are getting fatter earlier in their lives than ever before.
Stay tuned to upcoming ESP Thoughts of the Day for more insightful excerpts from Prof. Nielsen’s book.
Gene C. Colman comments further
In this excerpt, we see more empirical evidence of some key health benefits when fathers are involved with their kids. Again, the inescapable conclusion is that a rebuttable presumption in favour Equal Shared Parenting would improve children’s health.