Fathers Bear the Brunt of Gender Bias in Family Courts. (Fair Comment)

By Thompson, Dianna; Sacks, Glenn | Insight on the News, August 19, 2002 | Go to article overview

Fathers Bear the Brunt of Gender Bias in Family Courts. (Fair Comment)


Thompson, Dianna, Sacks, Glenn, Insight on the News


The National Organization for Women (NOW) recently released Family Court Report 2002, which claims that family courts are "wrought with gender bias" against women. However, the respondents to the survey upon which the report is based were not chosen at random, but instead were self-selected from among those whom NOW calls its "constituents." If one selects a survey's respondents, one can make the survey show almost anything. For this reason, these types of "self-selected listener opinion polls" (SLOPs) are viewed as junk social science by serious researchers.

NOW's report sounds the alarm on women's "loss of custody through gender bias," but the vacuity of this claim can be demonstrated by examining how rarely courts grant custody to fathers in contested cases.

For example, a Stanford study of 1,000 divorced couples selected at random found that divorcing mothers were awarded sole custody four times as often as divorcing fathers in contested custody cases. A study of all divorce-custody decrees in Arlington County, Va., during an 18-month period found that no father was given sole or even joint custody unless the mother agreed to it. According to Frank Bishop, the former director of the Virginia Division of Child Support Enforcement, almost 95 percent of custody cases in Virginia were won by mothers.

An Ohio study published in Family Advocate found that fathers seeking sole custody obtain it in less than 10 percent of cases, and a Utah study conducted over 23 years found similar results. According to the 2000 Census Bureau report, mothers constitute 85 percent of all custodial parents.

Even the 80 percent to 95 percent maternal preference documented by these studies and others understates family-court discrimination against fathers by identifying many coerced child-custody arrangements as "uncontested." The vast majority of divorces involving children are initiated by women, and women usually are granted temporary custody of the children. Judges are reluctant to switch children from the custody of one parent to another.

Fathers, left to right an uphill battle to gain custody--and often out of both money and hope--sometimes give up. Others spend their life's savings trying to obtain joint physical or sole custody so they can remain a part of their children's lives. Devastated financially and with little hope of winning, they often sign consent orders granting custody to mothers. In both of these common scenarios, the child-custody arrangement is "uncontested."

NOW has attempted to obscure this antifather family-court bias by claiming "according to several studies, when there is a custody dispute, fathers win custody in the majority of disputed cases. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

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.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

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

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Fathers Bear the Brunt of Gender Bias in Family Courts. (Fair Comment)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

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?

Full screen

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.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

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.