Information, Statistics & Data
about Father & Fatherhood,
you always wanted to know...
people laughed at Sonora Dodd when she gave the concept of having a Father's
Day, as traditionally, only mother is regarded as the sole nurturer of a child.
The role of father is often relegated to a secondary status as compared to a
mother. But all of us know that father is just as important for a child as the
mother is. If mothers are the heroes of child rearing, significance of father
in the development and emotional well being of a child is no less. Children
depend on their father for their spiritual, emotional, physical, financial and
social well being. For daughters, father is the ideal man in the world and also
the first man they adore, while for sons, father is an idol and the strongest
man they aspire to emulate.
traditionally father is seen more as a provider and guide for children, the
scenario appears significantly changed in nuclear family culture of today. With
most husband and wife working, fathers in present times are as involved in child
rearing job as the mothers are. Today, most fathers do not shy away from changing
nappy or taking the difficult task for putting the baby to sleep. This cultural
change is helping in strengthening father-child relationship and consequently
in emotional development of a child and building of stronger family bonds.
Dictionary meaning of "Father"
father is traditionally the male parent of a child. Like mothers, fathers may
be categorised 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. This method of the determination of fatherhood has
persisted since Roman times. 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. In the United
States, the Uniform Parentage Act essentially defines a father as a man who
conceives a child through sexual intercourse.
Might be called a "Father"
(Categories of Father)
Biological (child possesses male parent's genes)
Natural father - the most common category: child product
of man and woman
Surprise father - where the men did not know that there
was a child until possibly years afterwards
Posthumous father - father died before children
were born (or even conceived)
father/youthful father - may be associated with premarital sexual intercourse
father - unmarried father whose name does not appear on child's birth
certificate: does not have legal responsibility but continues to have financial
donor father - a genetic connection but man does not have legal or financial
responsibility if conducted through licensed clinics (UK)
Non-biological (social / legal relationship between father and child)
Step-father - wife/partner has child from previous
- the father of one's spouse.
father - child is adopted.
father - child is raised by a man who is not the biological or adoptive
father usually as part of a couple.
father - where child is the product of the mother's adulterous relationship.
father - where man takes de facto responsibility for a child (in such
a situation the child is known as a "child of the family" in English
partner - assumption that current partner fills father role.
husband - under some jurisdictions (e.g. in Quebec civil law), if the
mother is married to another man, the latter will be defined as the father.
Fatherhood defined by contact level with child
Weekend/holiday father - where child(ren) only
stay(s) with father at weekends, holidays, etc.
father - father reluctant to spend time with the child(ren)
father - a non-parent whose contact and support is robust enough that
near parental bond occurs (often used for older male siblings who significantly
aid in raising a child).
Legally fatherless children
* Where man in couple originally seeking IVF treatment withdraws
consent before fertilisation (UK)
A biological child of a man who, for the special reason above, is not their
legal father, has no automatic right to financial support or inheritance. Legal
fatherlessness refers to a legal status and not to the issue of whether the
father is now dead or alive.
Father in Religion
is applied to God, creator of the universe, begetter of Jesus and precedent
of the holy spirit, according to the Christian religion. Father is also the
title given to Priests in the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Christian Churches,
and Anglo-Catholic ministers in the Church of England as well as several other
denominations. Father is the regular form of address used when speaking to or
referring to priests from these churches. Some Protestants believe priests should
not be called "Father", based on their interpretation of Mat 23:9.
The term "Padre" is used for military chaplains, being Spanish and
Italian for "Father". The terms "Abbot" and "Pope"
also mean "Father". Catholic & Orthodox Christians give this title
to their clergy because they believe that all Christian believers make up the
Body of Christ (or the Church). They believe that the clergy who receive this
title are spiritual fathers because as one is a member of the Body, so there
are also "elders,", "rabbis," and other leaders. Father
can be translated as an elder because it presumes that one has, because of age
or study, wisdom and knowledge of the doctrines of the Church. St. Paul also
refers to himself as having spiritually begotten his fellow Christians in Christ
due to their "new birth" (or baptism) as in 1 Cor 2:15, 2 Tim 1:2,
2 Tim 2:1, 1 Tim 5:1, Titus 1:4, 1 Pet 1:18, 2 Pet 3:4, 1 Jn 2:13, etc. The
title father is also applied to certain influential early Christian figures:
church father and apostolic fathers.
God the Father
many religions, the supreme God is given the title and attributions of Father.
In many forms of polytheism, the highest god has been conceived as a "father
of gods and of men". In the Israelite religion and modern Judaism, YHWH
is called Father because he is the creator, law-giver, and protector. Likewise,
in Christianity, God is called father for the same reasons, but especially because
of the mystery of the Father-Son relationship revealed by Jesus Christ. In general,
the name of Father applied to deity signifies that he is the origin of what
is subject to him, a supreme and powerful authority, a patriarch, and protector.
the Father in polytheistic religions :
In many polytheistic religions, one or more gods is thought to be a leader and
a father of other gods, or of humanity. In comparison to monotheistic religions,
a Father God in polytheism is more likely to be attributed with both benevolent
and malevolent fatherly qualities. For example, in the ancient Greek religion,
Zeus was Father of the Gods and not the Father God of humans, who had a number
of patriarchal qualities, yet at the same time had numerous extramarital affairs
and a temper.
the Father in monotheism :
In two of the three major forms of monotheism, Judaism and Christianity, God
is called the Father in part because he is thought to take an active interest
in human affairs, in the way that a father would take an interest in his children.
Thus, many monotheists believe they can communicate with him through prayer,
either to praise him or to affect his behavior. They expect that as a Father,
he will respond to humanity, his children, acting in our best interests, even
punishing those who misbehave like a father punishes his children, to restore
those who trust in his love. "Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating
you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined
(and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and
not true sons." (Hebrews 12:8). Islam, however, does not see God (Allah)
in a fatherhood role. For Muslims, such a relationship with God is condemned
by the Qur'an. "(Both) the Jews and the Christians say, 'We are sons of
Allah and His beloved'. Say: why then doth He punish you for your sins? Nay,
you are but men of the men He has created". (Surah 5:18)
Israelite Father God : In
the monotheistic Israelite religion, God is called the "Father" with
a unique sense of familiarity. God is considered "Father" because
he created (and in a sense "fathered") the world. He also stands as
the patriarchal law-giver, and the one who through covenant maintains a special
father-child relationship with the people, giving them the Shabbat, stewardship
of his oracles, and a unique heritage in the things of God, calling Israel "his
first-born son". The Jewish God is also attributed the fatherly role of
protector: he is called the Father of the poor, of the orphan and the widow,
as their protector and guarantor of justice. He is also called the Father of
the king, as a teacher and helper over the judge of Israel.
gender of God in monotheism :
Though the vast majority of monotheists consider the One God to be asexual,
God the Father is predominantly ascribed masculine gender roles. He is thought
of as dominant (not submissive), powerful (not weak), fatherly (not motherly),
dispassionate (not emotional), whose ways are too high for his children to understand.
God is generally referred to by the masculine pronoun He. From the late twentieth
century onwards, many Christians and Jews have become uncomfortable with the
traditionally male representation of God and have sought to androgenize God
by de-emphasising or eliminating gender-specific references to God, as well
as his masculine traits. Some of these individuals and groups prefer the expression
"God the Creator" in place of "God the Father". Another
approach has been to feminize God by emphasising God's feminine qualities such
as submission, motherhood, emotions such as love and empathy, and closeness,
or by referring to God as "she" or "God the Mother". (This
is based on the mothering aspects of God. In some sects of Gnosticism and Mormonism,
God the Father is thought to be physically male and masculine; however, a separate
Goddess is postulated who is female and feminine.
the Father in Christianity : In Christianity, God is called "Father"
in a previously unheard-of sense, besides being the creator and nurturer of
creation, and the provider for his children, his people. The Father is said
to have an eternal relation to his only Son, Jesus; which implies an exclusive
and intimate familiarity that is of their very nature: "No one knows the
Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and any one
to whom the Son chooses to reveal him." (Matthew 11:27). In Christian theology,
this is the revelation of a sense in which Fatherhood is inherent to God's nature,
an eternal relationship. To Christians, God the Father's relationship with humanity
is as a father to children. Thus, humans in general are sometimes called children
of God. To Christians, God the Father's relationship with humanity is that of
Creator and created beings, and in that respect he is the father of all. The
New Testament says, in this sense, that the very idea of family, wherever it
appears, derives its name from God the Father (Ephesians 3:15), and thus God
himself is the model of the family. However, there is a deeper sense in which
Christians believe that they are made participants in the eternal relationship
of Father and Son, through Jesus Christ. Christians call themselves adopted
children of God: But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth
His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under
the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons,
God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts crying out, "Abba,
Father!" Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then
an heir of God through Christ. (Galatians 4:4-7)
and other Christian conceptions :
To trinitarian Christians (which for many centuries has represented the vast
Christian majority), God the Father is not at all a separate god from the Son
(of whom Jesus is the incarnation) and the Holy Spirit, the other members of
the Christian Godhead. Trinitarian Christians describe these three persons as
a Trinity. This means that they always exist as three distinct "persons"
(Greek hypostases), but they are one God, each having full identity as God himself
(a single "substance"), a single "divine nature" and power,
and a single "divine will". Other Christians, however, have held a
very diverse variety of alternative ideas. A handful have described the Father,
Jesus Christ and Spirit as each a distinct, eternally existent being (tritheism),
or as a different "manifestation" of a single being (modalism). Some
have theorized that the relationship of Father and Son began at some point probably
outside of normal "history" (Arianism); and others have believed that
God became a Father when he uttered his creating ????? ("logos" or
"word"), who is both a principle of order and a living being to whom
God bears the relationship as Father (some gnostics). Others found strong affinity
with traditional pagan ideas of a savior or hero who is begotten by deity, an
idea of the Father similar to Mithraism or the cult of the Roman emperor. For
most Christians, the person of God the Father is the ultimate, and on occasion
the exclusive addressee of prayer, often in the name of Jesus Christ. The Lord's
Prayer, for example, begins, "Our Father who art in Heaven...." In
the New Testament, God the Father has a special role in his relationship with
the person of the Son, where Jesus is believed to be his Son and his heir (Hebrews
1:2-5). According to the Nicene Creed, the Son (Jesus Christ) is "eternally
begotten of the Father", indicating that their divine Father-Son relationship
is not tied to an event within time or human history. In Eastern Orthodox theology,
God the Father is the "source" or "origin" of both the Son
and the Holy Spirit; in Western theology, all three hypostases or persons have
their origin in the divine nature instead. The Cappadocian Fathers used this
Eastern Orthodox monarchian understanding to explain why trinitarianism is not
tritheism: "God is one because the Father is one," said Basil the
Great in the fourth century. In the eighth century, John of Damascus wrote at
greater length about the Father's role: "Whatsoever the Son has from the
Father, the Spirit also has, including His very being. And if the Father does
not exist, then neither does the Son and the Spirit; and if the Father does
not have something, then neither has the Son or the Spirit. Furthermore, because
of the Father, that is, because the Father is, the Son and the Spirit are; and
because of the Father, the Son and the Spirit have everything that they have".
Hindu Trinity : The Christian trinity, which came into
being long after the Hindu trinity, has often been cited as possible common
ground. There are three forms of God in the Trimurti: Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.
The God Brahma symbolizes the creator, Vishnu represents the maintainer or presever
and Shiva represents the destroyer in the cycle of existence. It can be interpreted
concept of an ultimate three is seen by some as evidence of distant connections
with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit of Christianity. Some would argue, however,
that the Christian trinity sees the Father as the well-spring of the Son and
the Holy Ghost, whereas the Hindu trinity sees the three as equal elements of
an ultimate One: creative, preservative and destructive principles are all equal
parts of a unitary existence. If anything, the parallel is tenuous, since the
number three has long held symbolic importance in many cultures across the world.
Children under the care and guidance of stepfather must take opportunity of
Father's Day to express gratitude and thanks to him. Children must analyze the
value of stepfather in their life and be thankful for the protection and guidance
they receive from him as love of a stepfather must never be taken from granted.
On the occasion of Father's Day children must realize that their stepfather
has taken the extreme step of taking care of them out of choice and out of love
for them. It must also be understood that it is not easy for a man to become
a stepfather and that stepfathers face their own set of challenges and extra
of Stepfather :
Significance of stepfather is greatest in the life of children who are not blessed
with the love and affection of their biological father. Such kids must all the
more take full opportunity of the presence of step-dad in their life. Such children
must shower love and affection on their stepfather if they seek love and care
of their step dads. Mothers must help children in understanding that relationship
works hand-in-hand, so if they want to be loved by their step dad they must
love him too.
Father's Day with Stepfather :
The best way to celebrate Father's Day with stepfather is to give a nice card
to dad on Father's Day and tell him how important he is. Children must also
express their thanks for all the care and protection they receive from their
stepfather. Another great idea would be to spend time with dad doing activities
that both of you enjoy. For instance, you may go for picnic, movie or a meal
in the restaurant. One may also wish Father's Day to stepfathers by preparing
breakfast in bed. Efforts should be made to pamper stepfather with a gift of
love. Ideally, the gift must reflect that his likes and interests have been
taken care of. This will make the dad feel loved and needed. Such sentiments
of mutual admiration go a long way in building relationship with stepfather
and Trivias about Father & Father's Day :
Estimated number of fathers across the nation today.
these fathers :
* 21% were raising three or more of their own children under 18 years old.
* 11% were under age 30.
* 5% were 55 or over.
* 2% lived in the home of a relative or a nonrelative.
* 65% had an annual family income of $50,000 or more.
Number of fathers who are part of married-couple families with their own children
under the age of 18.
Number of single fathers, up from 393,000 in 1970. Currently, among single parents
living with their children, 18% are men.
these fathers :
* 10% were raising three or more of their own children under 18.
* 42% were divorced; 38% had never married; 15% are separated; and 5% were widowed.
(The percentages of those divorced and never married are not significantly different
from one another.)
* 10% were raising their own infants under the age of one.
* 22% were under 30.
* 1% were 65 or over.
* 15% lived in the home of a relative or a nonrelative.
* 21% had an annual family income of $50,000 or more.
Mr. Mom :
Estimated number of "stay-at-home" dads. These are married fathers
with children under 15 years old who have remained out of the labor force for
more than one year primarily so they can care for the family while their wives
work outside the home.
these fathers :
* 29% had their own children under 3 years old living with them.
* 63% had two or more children.
* 40% had an annual family income of $50,000 or more.
Child Support :
Number of fathers who provide child support. All in all, 84% of child-support
providers are men, who provide median payments of $3,600 annually.
Statistics of Popular Father's Day Gifts :
lead the list of Father’s Day gifts. A good place to buy dad a tie or
a shirt might be one of 10,416
men’s clothing stores around the country.
items high on the list of Father’s Day gifts include those you may find
in dad’s toolbox, such as hammers, wrenches and screwdrivers. You could
buy some of these items for dad at one of the nation’s 14,755
hardware stores or 5,280 home centers.
Number of sporting goods stores. These stores are good places to purchase traditional
gifts for dad such as fishing rods and golf clubs.
Number of Father’s Day cards expected to be given this year in the United
States, making? Father’s Day the fourth-largest card-sending occasion.
of all Father’s Day cards are purchased for dads. Nearly 20%
are purchased for husbands, with the remaining bought for grandfathers, sons,
brothers, uncles and "someone special," among other categories.
can also refer metaphorically to a person who is considered the founder of a
body of knowledge or of an institution. In such context the meaning of "father"
is similar to that of "founder".
Fathers are persons instrumental in the establishment of an institution, usually
a political institution, especially those connected to the origination of its
ideals. The term is most often used in more reverential treatments of national
have sometimes been raised to indicate that the term is inherently partial to
the role of men in history, and thus sexist. Alternate terms, such as "Framers",
or "Founders" may be used to be more inclusive of female participation.
There is, of course, the counter-argument that patriarchal dominance in history
has been the rule and that the term is thus more descriptive of an era (or of
most eras) than it is truly sexist.
terms such as these may also be used to indicate a more neutral attitude to
the individuals in question, as while anyone may be a founder of a nation, the
implication of familial relationship is likely to be something more personal.
An American, for instance, might be less likely to refer to the "Founding
Fathers" of Canada, and vice versa--the term itself is generally particular
to one's own country, and may be more often used in reference to American history
than to that of other nations
* United States of America : The
creators and early developers of the United States of America, such as the signers
of its Declaration of Independence and the framers of its Constitution.
* Commonwealth of Australia :
The leaders of the Australian federalist movement in the 1890s might be described
as Founding Fathers.
* Confederation of Canada : Canada
has its Fathers of Confederation.
* European Union : Winston Churchill,
Robert Schuman, Jean Monnet, Konrad Adenauer, Alcide De Gasperi, Paul-Henri
Spaak and Altiero Spinelli have been referred to as the founding fathers of
the European Union.
* German Federal Republic : Otto
von Bismarck, the "Iron Chancellor", engineered the unification of
the numerous states of Germany. Modern, democratic Germany was decisively shaped
by the "Fathers of the Basic Law" in the 1948 Constitutional Convention
at Herrenchiemsee and by the first Federal Chancellor, Konrad Adenauer.
* Italy : Giuseppe Garibaldi,
Victor Emmanuel II, Count Cavour, Giuseppe Mazzini have been referred to as
the founding fathers of the Kingdom of Italy.
* South America : José
de San Martín, Simon Bolivar, Jose Antonio Paez, General Rafael Urdaneta,
Francisco de Paula Santander have been referred to as the founding fathers of
the northern countries of South America (Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Panama,
* Swiss Confederation : Both the
anonymous Eidgenossen who drew up the Federal Charter of 1291, or the liberal
statesmen who helped found the modern Swiss Confederation in 1848 can be considered
the founding fathers of Switzerland. Among the latter, those who became the
first members of the Swiss Federal Council were perhaps the most notable: Ulrich
Ochsenbein, Jakob Stämpfli, Jonas Furrer, Martin J. Munzinger, Daniel-Henri
Druey, Friedrich Frey-Herosé, Wilhelm Matthias Naeff and Stefano Franscini.
Father of the Nation
of the Nation is a term used by many countries to describe a political or symbolic
leader seen as a founding father of the nation. He may also be key figure from
the nation's history whose perceived heroism and moral authority make him a
source of patriotic inspiration and worthy of respect or veneration. His image
is often elevated to that of a national symbol and is likely to be featured
on items such as banknotes, stamps and national memorabilia. In some countries,
a cult of personality may also be established about him. Not all "Fathers
of the Nation" are retained, especially when historical research indicates
they were not all they seemed. During his period of rule in the Soviet Union,
for example, Joseph Stalin was promoted and seen by millions of Soviet citizens
as a father figure and a father of the nation. The esteem in which he was held
was such that a wave of suicides was recorded following the announcement of
his death, suggesting that some citizens had sincerely come to believe that
life without Stalin was unthinkable or unbearable. Within only a few years,
however, the scale of his repression began to be made evident, leading to his
denunciation by successor Nikita Khruschev and the removal of his body from
the mausoleum where it had been laid alongside his predecessor (and founder
of the Soviet Union) Vladimir Lenin. Another example is Eamon de Valera, three
times head of government in the Republic of Ireland. Many Irish people saw him
as a "father of the nation", but a re-evaluation of his reputation
since the 1980s has seen attention focus on other leaders such as Michael Collins.