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Accounts of Single-fatherhood: A case study
Unformatted Document Text:  SINGLE FATHERS 3 cultural standpoint, many aspects of single-parenthood are assumed to be synonymous with single-motherhood. For example, most family-related television commercials are geared at mothers (e.g., advertisements related to meal preparation, childcare, household chores), projecting the assumption that issues of caregiving and nurturing are specific to women. Few television shows or movies portray single-fathers and the ones that do approach the topic from a comedic bent (e.g., “Mr. Mom”), circumstances in which the single-father receives a lot of outside help (e.g., “My Three Sons,” “The Courtship of Eddie’s Father,” “Family Affair,” “Three Men and a Baby,” or the pilot episode of the “Brady Bunch”), or involve a storyline in which a romantic interest is sought or brought into the household to assist with the children (e.g., “Table for Five”). Yet, single-fathers exist and the number of single-father households is growing (Peterson & Steinmetz, 2000). Given individuals’ propensity to equate single-parenthood with single-motherhood, single-fathers might feel as though they enact a role that is not recognized as prevalently by society. Considering the lack of voice afforded by many media and social outlets, it is likely that many single-fathers feel frustrated that their voice is not heard or validated. The purpose of this study was to examine the experience of single-fatherhood and single-fathers’ communication about that experience with their child. Single-fatherhood In the event of a dissolved marriage, both husbands and wives agree that the wife initiated the divorce over 2/3 of the time (Young, 2000). Young also argued that men are more inclined to remain in an “okay” marriage compared to women, most likely because they realize that divorce will result in their losing their kids. Following divorce, only 15% of fathers receive the custody arrangements they had desired compared to over 2/3 of women obtaining the custody arrangement they had desired (Braver, 1998). In sole-custody arrangements, the decision is

Authors: Emmers-Sommer, Tara., Rhea, David., Triplett, Laura. and O'Neill, Bell.
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SINGLE FATHERS
3
cultural standpoint, many aspects of single-parenthood are assumed to be synonymous with
single-motherhood. For example, most family-related television commercials are geared at
mothers (e.g., advertisements related to meal preparation, childcare, household chores),
projecting the assumption that issues of caregiving and nurturing are specific to women. Few
television shows or movies portray single-fathers and the ones that do approach the topic from a
comedic bent (e.g., “Mr. Mom”), circumstances in which the single-father receives a lot of
outside help (e.g., “My Three Sons,” “The Courtship of Eddie’s Father,” “Family Affair,” “Three
Men and a Baby,” or the pilot episode of the “Brady Bunch”), or involve a storyline in which a
romantic interest is sought or brought into the household to assist with the children (e.g., “Table
for Five”). Yet, single-fathers exist and the number of single-father households is growing
(Peterson & Steinmetz, 2000). Given individuals’ propensity to equate single-parenthood with
single-motherhood, single-fathers might feel as though they enact a role that is not recognized as
prevalently by society. Considering the lack of voice afforded by many media and social outlets,
it is likely that many single-fathers feel frustrated that their voice is not heard or validated. The
purpose of this study was to examine the experience of single-fatherhood and single-fathers’
communication about that experience with their child.
Single-fatherhood
In the event of a dissolved marriage, both husbands and wives agree that the wife
initiated the divorce over 2/3 of the time (Young, 2000). Young also argued that men are more
inclined to remain in an “okay” marriage compared to women, most likely because they realize
that divorce will result in their losing their kids. Following divorce, only 15% of fathers receive
the custody arrangements they had desired compared to over 2/3 of women obtaining the custody
arrangement they had desired (Braver, 1998). In sole-custody arrangements, the decision is


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