Failure 0f the Macho Generati0n

Daily Mail (London), March 28, 1998 | Go to article overview

Failure 0f the Macho Generati0n


SCOTLAND'S macho fathers are breeding a generation of social misfits, according to a study of parenting.

It claims the 'strong and silent' approach of Scottish fathers when setting an example to their youngsters leads to children being inarticulate and to bottling-up their emotions.

Their inability to communicate emotions can lead to feelings of social alienation and can be linked to violence.

The two-year study was conducted by academics at Edinburgh University and was based on interviews with 120 fathers and children.

Cythnia Milligan, the report's co-author, says it is crucial to society that today's fathers break the cycle by dumping the traditional 'hard man' approach, and encouraging their children to show their feelings.

The study concludes that the Government should take a lead role and emphasise the importance of the family unit by appointing a special Minister for Families. The Scottish Office last night welcomed the 80-page report and said it would examine its findings.

It has been produced by the university's Centre for Theology and Public Issues and will be discussed at a seminar next week which will focus on the role of fathers in the new millennium.

Mother of eight Mrs Milligan, an Honorary Fellow of Edinburgh University's Divinity Faculty, said: 'This project made me appreciate what a huge barrier to making and nurturing family relationships their macho culture is for Scottish men.

'This focus on being "hard" makes it

very difficult for them to relate and communicate with their children and female partners.' The study asked children what they needed from their fathers and asked adults about their relationships with youngsters.

Mrs Milligan, who said she was speaking from her own personal viewpoint, said: 'One of the findings which struck me most was this macho attitude which makes Scottish men think they have to be rough and tough and not open up or express love or emotion to their children. …

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