I would never have guessed this at all

Children are healthier and more likely to grow up with a good education and get a good job if their biological father lives with them, research reveals.
But when a stepfather moves into a family home there are no benefits for the children, the pioneering study of British families found.

There is absolutely nothing at all in the behaviour of other animals, nor in any theory of genetics, inheritance or anything else which can explain this shocking result.

Is there?

37 comments on “I would never have guessed this at all

  1. Divorce is heavily weighted against men. Because of feminism and White Knighting from idiotic social conservatives.

    While that may make sense for very young children it is obvious that leaving children with a single mother exposes them to a whole range of risks – of abuse, of rape and early death. This is just one more piece of the puzzle.

    Custody ought to follow the Muslim rule – automatically to the mother for younger children (say under 8), automatically to the father for all children over, or when they turn, 8.

  2. Men generally don’t like kids. Except their own. You can see the way that mums and dads interact with kids at parties. The dads mostly don’t talk to other people’s kids.

  3. BiW, with good reason. Blokes talking to other kids is always viewed with suspicion these days. I avoid the little fuckers like the plague.

  4. There seems to be no mention of whether they accounted for socioeconomic status, which we already know is correlated with health and academic/work achievement.

    Intuitively, two good parents are better than one.. biological or otherwise.. but this doesn’t tell us if those kids did as well/badly as we’d have expected them to anyway given other factors.

  5. “Children are healthier and more likely to grow up with a good education and get a good job if their biological father lives with them, research reveals.”

    Unless he’s Fred West?

  6. So I guess I’m wasting my time doing all of the following with my stepson: going on foreign holidays, training the dogs together, playing computer and board games, helping him with his homework, taking him to friend’s houses, keeping his mother happy and financially secure.

  7. JuliaM – “Unless he’s Fred West?”

    He is not much better off with Rose!

    james g – “keeping his mother happy and financially secure.”

    We are talking about an average. There are good self-sacrificing step-fathers just as there are bad biological fathers.

  8. Men generally don’t like kids.

    Damned right.

    Except their own.

    And then sometimes only because they love their mother.

    I don’t love any kids, but I like a few and my criteria is that I must like the parents. If I don’t like the parents, or don’t know them, I loathe children.

  9. So I guess I’m wasting my time doing all of the following with my stepson: going on foreign holidays, training the dogs together, playing computer and board games, helping him with his homework, taking him to friend’s houses, keeping his mother happy and financially secure.

    You’re not: keep going, and kudos.

  10. But when a stepfather moves into a family home there are no benefits for the children, the pioneering study of British families found.

    That’s pretty bigoted. I thought we were accepting of childhood sexual exploration nowadays?

    Also, interesting that they don’t explicitly talk about the likely highly negative effects of the case where the mother of the bastard goes through one or two random men a week.

  11. I’ve got two children. The have many friends, some of whose names I have learned.

    On the whole, I prefer those children to their parents. I find the children’s directness refreshing and how can one fail to like somebody who finds fart jokes funny without exception.

    The adults are, almost without exception, awful. They have the social graces of engineers, the brains of social workers and an appreciation of culture on a par with a socially isolated cocker spaniel.

    This says a lot about parents in my neck of the woods (and bugger all about grown ups generally), but I do think that there is a general link between becoming a parent and suddenly forgetting there’s a whole wide world out there. And that it doesn’t revolve around your offspring.

    Doesn’t apply to all parents by any means, but- as I say- there’s a lot of that type round here.

  12. Having had the opportunity to observe female teachers of small children at close quarters I can say female affinity for other people’s children is over rated.

  13. “Just goes to show talking in averages is stupid.”

    Nonsense. Averages, medians etc can be very useful indicators of things in large populations. What they can’t do is predict backward – for example just because on average graduates out earn non-graduates does not mean that any given graduate will be earning more than any given non-graduate. But if you were a betting man given 50 such comparisons, that would be the way to bet.

    Yours is a classic ‘I’m not like that’ response which does wonders for the ego, but is of very little use when trying to establish good public policy on a larger scale.

  14. My wife can give you chapter and verse on our children’s friends, and even their friends’ friends. They have a wide circle of chums – I would say 50 kids regularly get name checked – and I can only name six or seven reliably. I don’t mind kids as long as they are polite and they don’t make too much fucking noise. That includes my own.

  15. Having had the opportunity to observe female teachers of small children at close quarters I can say female affinity for other people’s children is over rated.

    Having observed similar over the years I can atest that the majority of women have no genuine affection for their little darlings in most circumstances, treating them as little more than animated dolls to be scolded and micromanaged.

    The only time affection is faked is in circumstances of social conformity or while under the scrutiny of senior members of the female hierarchy.

    For the most part children are little more than 18 year annuities to secure a partner who will work his are off while she sits at home drinking wine and watching daytime TV.

    There are exceptions, obviously, but stereotypes exist because of common behaviours.

  16. Tim Newman,

    “And then sometimes only because they love their mother.”

    It’s more the other way around. They’d be ditching the wife if it wasn’t for the kids. All these late 40s divorced women who are around are because of couples who are sick of the sight of each other and no longer have a reason to be together.

  17. taking him to friend’s houses

    Unless they are Fred and Rose West.

    All of us aim to keep the mother happy, that is pure self-interest.

  18. @JG
    “the majority of women (treat) them as little more than animated dolls to be scolded and micromanaged.”

    Just like they do with their husbands then.

  19. I’ll be frank, I’ve found it awkward to be around daughter’s friends in mid to late teens, especially when they come over to use the spa and pool.

    Later, MrsBud will make some comment along the lines of “Emily is going to study medicine at UQ.” In response to “which one’s Emily”, she’ll offer something along the lines of “you know, her dad is a civil engineer and her mum is a psychologist” instead of the more helpful “she’s the drop dead gorgeous brunette with legs that go all the way up.”

  20. “Children are healthier and more likely to grow up with a good education and get a good job if their biological father lives with them, research reveals.” Excellent, excellent. And they ‘controlled’ for everything of course; parents’ health, parents’ eduction, parents’ jobs …. Did they?

  21. “Having had the opportunity to observe female teachers of small children at close quarters I can say female affinity for other people’s children is over rated”. I got exactly the opposite impression when we took our nipper to Kindy in Australia. But I shared your impression when I took her to nursery school in the UK.

    Two thoughts: (i) Getting girls who like ‘littlies’ into kindergarten teaching is just the sort of practical thing that’s done well in Oz.

    (ii) The Kindy was private, the nursery school was a council school.

  22. I don’t mind kids as long as they are polite and they don’t make too much fucking noise.

    Or “seen and not heard” as it used to be known.

  23. Given this massive indifference to their children, their children’s friends, well being and so on, I wonder what it is these biological fathers are doing that works out so well for their offspring?

    I would guess it is 1. with daughters they put the fear of God up some boyfriends and so delay pregnancy until the girls have some qualifications and 2. they provide their sons with role models of how men are supposed to behave that does not involving pimping or drugs. For the most part.

    Perhaps they are just not sleeping with them – all temptations to bang their more nubile friends aside?

    Perhaps they provide a living example of what can happen if their children don’t study hard?

    It is a mystery.

  24. ‘There is absolutely nothing at all in the behaviour of other animals’

    True. They don’t waste their time and energy on stupid studies. It’s what separates Man from the animals.

  25. What about step-mothers? I have a friend who is a widowed single father, and me and his mother have been discretely trying to arrange dates for him. But it might be that remaining a single parent is the best option for his kids.

  26. Dearieme,
    I was making a sweeping generalisation, don’t assume somebody is good with children just because they are female. Most are fine, some are excellent but some are bloody witches. The “wicked stepmother” is a thing for a reason.

    DocBud,
    Dealing with industrial quantities of teenage girls in their natural environment, i.e. high school, will soon knock that out of you. Nasty, manipulative sticky things. And quite capable of doing a number on their friends’ dads, too.

  27. SMFS

    “I wonder what it is these biological fathers are doing that works out so well for their offspring?”

    Discipline. Most women are hopeless at disciplining children: they are too involved, and today want their children’s approval. Fathers can deter a child with little more than a frown. Step-fathers tend to be unwilling or unable to discipline the new wife’s children.

    Btw, I like children. Their cognitive development is fascinating, and the trials and rewards of bringing up a child made me a more fulfilled person.

  28. Jim,

    “establish good public policy on a larger scale”

    That sounds dangerous to me. What are you going to do with that ‘knowledge’? Reminds me of graduates earn x amount more on average so let’s send everyone to uni. It’s shoddy central planning at best, and when applied to social questions – fascism.

  29. Being over eighty years old I’m distinctly unimpressed with the lot of you.
    The number of taboos you now have is amazing.
    Is your metal all bred out?

  30. Being over eighty years old I’m distinctly unimpressed with the lot of you. The number of taboos you now have is amazing.

    Is your metal all bred out?

    So your recommendation is what? That we bring back the birch, incest and Morris dancing? Not sure that the cotton wool wrapped snowflakes of today could deal with that.

  31. On top of the genetic coding that makes men look after their children …
    Although I have met adopted children who received the same care as natural chioldren.
    It is, of course, just possible that the inherited personality traits make it easier for children to understand their fathers than other men. #1 son occasionally tries to (verbally, not physically) bash his parents’ heads together because he can understand each of us better than we understand each other (my wife is an Arts graduate).

  32. anon– I’ve been a widower for nearly five years: I think there will be no stepmother for my children. But perhaps this is more to suit me than the children – I want to keep the household the way my late wife and I liked it.

  33. When a lion takes over a lioness and her cubs, he kills the cubs.

    ‘But when a stepfather moves into a family home there are no benefits for the children’

    So f***ing what? WHY DO THERE NEED TO BE BENEFITS TO THE CHILDREN ?!?!

    At least he doesn’t kill them. Usually.

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