Single Dad’s in the media:
The clips above represent how television shows depict two different types of single dads. In the first clip it shows a Clip of the show Two and a half men, which shows how a divorced single father raises a child. Through out the show you can see how the mother feels that her ex husband is not capable enough to take care of their son on his own. This clip shows how the parents are trying to set relatively the same boundaries to benefit their son, however as you can see it is hard for parents that are spilt up to uphold the same rules. The media in this case portrays the father as a bad influence on his son. This clip does a good job depicting a typical bad guy role of the single father.
In the second clip you can see a different kind of single father in the show Full House. In this shows a father who lost his wife, so this shows how this father as to play the role of both father and mother. In this clip we see the children’s reaction to losing a grandparent. Danny the father tries to comfort is daughter, but isn’t able to really see her pain. The T.V show may have done this to show that he isn’t able to connect with his young daughter on such a personal level, like a mother would. We also see Michelle’s older sister try and step up and act like a mother, but the truth is that she isn’t able to really help her younger sister because she like her younger sister, she is still a child too. In the third clip we see Michelle’s uncle Jesse who lives with her, and is also consider a role model in the family step up and help Michelle cope with this lost. The media portrays Danny Tanner the father as someone who isn’t able to help his daughters with all their problems, but they are able to handle them with the help of other family members. This is a very interesting view of how the show can be view. Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Do you feel like these T.V shows depict single fathers in a negative or positive light? Please explain?
Single fathers in Reality:
Through research I have found single dads in reality are becoming more and more common. In 1970 single fathers were 10% of single parents; by 2003 they were 18%, increasing their numbers from less than 400,000 in 1970 to 2.3 million in 2003 (U.S. Census Bureau, 2006). These numbers are astonishing compared to when being a single dad was unheard of. However single mothers are dominating the world of single parenthood. There are many different theories as to way that is. According to Downey and Powell (1993) they used reports from eighth graders with single fathers… and found no difference between single fathers and single mothers in adolescents repots of parental trust, clarity of expectations, frequency of rule setting, or frequency of talks about school. However they did find that single mothers were more likely to know children’s friends, and their friend’s parents. On the other hand Hawkins had a conversation with 7th graders about their single parents and found out that 475 of adolescents reported talking with their single mother about personal problems in the past month, compared to 38% for single fathers and 17% for married fathers. This information goes along with the idea of children speaking on a personal level with their mothers at a younger age, but at an older age the children are more likely to spend time with their fathers. Hook and Satvika 2008 also believe that a causing factor is “ Single fathers may spend les time with their children than do single mothers because children spend more time away from the home visiting their mothers than their fathers.” This is interesting to think about. Do you think that this is an accurate fact? If anyone has an experience either a personally or maybe one through a friend of a single father that either goes along with these theories, or goes against them if you feel comfortable sharing I think it would be interesting to see if they correlate with any of these? Please feel free to share any thoughts you may have on this topic!!
Hawkins, D.N., Amato, P.R., & King, V. (2006). Parent-adolescent involvement: The relative influence of parent gender and residence. Journal of Marriage and Family, 68, 1225-136.
Hook, Jennifer L, & Satvike. Chalasani. (2008). Gendered Expectations? Reconsidering Single Fathers’ Child- Care Time. Journal of Marriage & Family, Vol. 70, pg978-990,14p.
Powell, B., & Downey, D.B. (1997). Living in single-parent households: An investigation of the same sex hypothesis. American Sociological Review, 62,521 – 539.
U.S. Census Bureau. (2006). Facts for features: Father’s day. Retrieved February 12, 2007, from www.censes.gov/ Press-Release/www/releases/archives/facts_for_features_special_editions/006794.html.