Gender, Emotion, and the Family

By Leslie Brody | Go to book overview
Save to active project

9
Fathers and the Family Climate

My father wants the best for us, but he never has the time or the way of telling this to us.

—Mitch, age 34

Theoretically, fathers play a relatively lesser role in the development of children's self-representations than mothers play because of their relative lack of involvement in child care (Chodorow 1978). Yet, research indicates that children's emotional expressiveness is related to many aspects of the quality of the fathering they receive. How available fathers are, their empathy, the quality of their relationships with their wives, and how emotionally expressive they are, all make a difference in children's emotional expressiveness. In this chapter, I will argue that fathers play a significant role in affecting the quality of their children's emotional expressiveness. In particular, I will focus on how fathers contribute to the emergence of gender differences in emotional expressiveness.

Feminist psychoanalytic theorists (Chodorow 1978) predict that when fathers are involved in child care, their children should be less rigidly gender-stereotyped. Why? The explanation partially derives from the functions that fathers serve in the development of their children's identity (Machtlinger 1981). First, fathers are hypothesized to help mothers and children to differentiate and to become autonomous. With increased autonomy, daughters should be able to express emotions that require the ability to disengage, or distance from others, such as competition and pride. Daughters should also have less of a need to communicate dysphoric emotions, such as guilt or distress, because they would already be separate from their mothers. Involved fathers should also allow sons the freedom to express emotions without the fear that by

-177-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Gender, Emotion, and the Family
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 359

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?