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    (Wikipedia) - Father "Dad", "Dads", and "Fathering" redirect here. For the journal, see Fathering (journal). For other uses, see Dad (disambiguation), DADS, and Father (disambiguation).
    This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (March 2013)
    Paternal bonding between a father and his newborn daughter

    A father (or dad) is a male parent who has raised a child, supplied the sperm through sexual intercourse or sperm donation which grew into a child, and/or donated a body cell which resulted in a clone. The adjective "paternal" refers to a father and comparatively to "maternal" for a mother. The verb "to father" means to procreate or to sire a child from which also derives the noun "fathering". Fathers determine the sex of their child through a sperm cell which either contains an X chromosome (female), or Y chromosome (male). Related terms of endearment are dad, daddy, pa, papa, poppa, pop, and pops. A male role-model that children can look up to is sometimes referred to as a father-figure.



    From Middle English fader, from Old English fæder, from Proto-Germanic *fadēr (cf. East Frisian foar, Dutch vader, German vater), from Proto-Indo-European *ph₂tḗr (cf. Irish athair, Tocharian A pācar, B pācer, Lithuanian patinas ("male animal")), akin to Latin pater, akin to Ancient Greek πατήρ (patēr), akin to Sanskrit पितृ (pitru).

    Relationship with children
    This section possibly contains original research. Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding inline citations. Statements consisting only of original research should be removed. (February 2012)
    Father and child, Dhaka, Bangladesh

    Traditionally, fathers act in a protective, supportive and responsible way towards their children. Involved fathers offer developmentally specific provisions to their sons and daughters throughout the life cycle and are impacted themselves by doing so. Active father figures may play a role in reducing behavior and psychological problems in young men and women. An increased amount of father–child involvement may help increase a child''s social stability, educational achievement, and their potential to have a solid marriage as an adult. Their children may also be more curious about the world around them and develop greater problem solving skills. Children who were raised with fathers perceive themselves to be more cognitively and physically competent than their peers without a father. Mothers raising children together with a father reported less severe disputes with their child.

    The father figure does not always have to be a child''s biological father and some children will have a biological father as well as a step- or nurturing father. When the biological father dies, or divorces, the mother may marry a second man who becomes the stepfather of the child. Where a child is conceived through sperm donation, the donor will be the "biological father" of the child, and if the mother has a male partner, he will be the nurturing father.

    Fatherhood as legitimate identity shared by specific men and their children can be dependent on domestic factors and behaviors. For example, a study of the relationship between fathers, their sons, and home computers found that the construction of fatherhood and masculinity required fathers display computer expertise.

    According to the anthropologist Maurice Godelier, the parental role assumed by human males is a critical difference between human society and that of humans'' closest biological relatives—chimpanzees and bonobos—who appear to be unaware of their "father" connection.

    Determination of parenthoodPaternal love (1803) by Nanette Rosenzweig, National Museum in Warsaw
    This section possibly contains original research. Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding inline citations. Statements consisting only of original research should be removed. (February 2012)

    Since Roman times fatherhood has been determined with this famous sentence: Mater semper certa; pater est quem nuptiae demonstrant ("The mother is always certain; the father is whom the marriage vows indicate"). The historical approach has been destabilised with the recent emergence of accurate scientific testing, particularly DNA testing. As a result, the law on fatherhood is undergoing rapid changes.

    Like mothers, human fathers may be categorized according to their biological, social or legal relationship with the child. Historically, the biological relationship paternity has been determinative of fatherhood. However, proof of paternity has been intrinsically problematic and so social rules often determined who would be regarded as a father, e.g. the husband of the mother.

    An individual who is a genetic chimera could theoretically have more than one biological father. No example of this has been reported but human chimeras were unknown to exist until recently and scientists are currently uncertain as to the extent of chimerism within the human population.

    Fatherhood in the U.S.

    In the U.S., the image of the married father as the primary wage-earner is changing in the face of evidence that fathers may be married or single; gay or straight; living with their own children or raising others’ children, living nearby or out of the country, or incarcerated. The social context of fatherhood plays an important part in the well-being of men and all their children. In the U.S., 16% of single parents are men.

    History of fatherhoodPainter Carl Larsson playing with his laughing daughter Brita

    The discovery of fatherhood is likely to have been as important for the development of the human race as the discovery of fire. The discovery of fatherhood took place in a historical period for which information sources are rare, but the few scholars focusing on that period gave us a sufficiently clear picture of this discovery.

    The link between sexual acts and procreation can be empirically identified, but it is by no means of immediate evidence. In fact, the conception of life cannot be observed, whereas its birth is obviously visible. The extended time lag between the former and the latter certainly does not help to identify their link, but on the contrary it makes even more difficult to assume any kind of relationship between these two events. As a result, human beings ignored that males impregnate females for thousands of years. During this extended period procreation was considered to be an autonomous ''ability'' of women: men were essential to ensure the survival and defence of the social group, but only women could enhance and reintegrate it through their ability to create new individuals. This gave women a role of primary and indisputable importance within their social groups.

    This situation probably persisted during the whole Palaeolithic age. Some scholars believe the well-known Venus figurines of that age to be clear witnesses of it. During the transition to the Neolithic age, agriculture and cattle breeding became the core activities of a growing number of human communities. Breeding in particular is likely to have led women – who used to spend more time than men taking care of the cattle – to observations and considerations which gradually allowed them to discover the procreative effect of the sexual act between a male and a female.

    For communities which looked at sexuality just as a source of pleasure and an element of social cohesion without attaching any taboo character to it, this discovery must have led to a sense of upset with consequences not only on the regulation of sexuality itself, but on the whole political, social, and economic system. The time to arrive to sufficient certainty about the mechanism of life conception must have been very long, but this time length cannot have prevented the implications of this acquired certainty from being extremely dramatic. Eventually, these implications led to the model of society which – in different times and shapes – was adopted by most human cultural communities.

    Still today, this social model founded on the capacity of the man to fecundate women tends globally to prevail: this capacity allowed men to free themselves from the secular frustration derived from having recognized only to women the ability to generate life and led them to configure a society affirming their supremacy over women. And, of course, their supremacy over the human beings they created: their children. We find an enlightening example of this social development in Aeschylus''s tragedy The Eumenides. The Coryphaeus of the Erinyes blames matricidal Orestes for having shed his own blood, but God Apollo replies that this is absolutely untrue because the mother is only a wet-nurse and not a progenitor of the child, whose blood derives from his/her unique parent: the father. This argument is accepted by the judges and Orestes finally obtains a verdict of not guilty. The extreme position taken here by God Apollo did not find complete acceptance, not even in Athens. In the regions where this position originally prevailed, it was gradually abandoned facing improving scientific explanations of human procreation. But traces of this position can still be found today in some cultural systems.

    Traditionally, caring for children is predominantly the domain of the mothers, whereas the father in many societies provides for the family. Since the 1950s, social scientists as well as feminists have increasingly challenged gendered arrangements of work and care, and the male breadwinner role, and policies are increasingly targeting men as fathers, as a tool of changing gender relations.

    Father–offspring conflict

    In early human history there have been notable instances of father–offspring conflicts. For example:

    In more contemporary history there have also been instances of father–offspring conflicts, such as:

    Categories Biological fathersFather and son Non-biological (social and legal relationship) Fatherhood defined by contact level Non-human fatherhood

    For some animals, it is the fathers who take care of the young.

    Many species, though, display little or no paternal role in caring for offspring. The male leaves the female soon after mating and long before any offspring are born. It is the females who must do all the work of caring for the young.

    Finally, in some species neither the father nor the mother provides any care.

    Tags:1927, 1968, Assyrian, Athens, Babylon, Bangladesh, Chinese, DNA, Dolphin, Dutch, Ethiopia, German, Greek, Italian, Japan, Massachusetts, Nepal, Oregon, Palaeolithic, Roman, Sanskrit, Sri Lanka, Venus, Warsaw, Wikipedia

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